10 Best Ranch Saddles Actually Worth the Money (2023)

The western part of the United States was built on horseback, and the best ranch saddles were a crucial part of the horse and rider partnership that made it happen.

Durability, comfort, and security are key features needed in all ranch saddles. They usually have plenty of leather to distribute weight evenly on the horse’s back too.

ranch saddle

Best Ranch Saddle
Billy Cook

ranch saddle

Best for Women
Hud Roberts

ranch saddle

Best Money Can Get
Martin Saddlery

Best Ranch Saddles

1. Billy Cook Arbuckle Wade Ranch Saddle 

ranch saddle

Billy Cook made the best saddle for ranch work, and its name is Arbuckle Wade.

The Billy Cook Arbuckle Wade Ranch Saddle is designed for long days of moving cattle to different grazing, climbing mountains and treacherous trails, or roping cattle and working them.

This saddle easily withstands the wear and tear of daily ranch life and will be used by your children after you.

The name Billy Cook is associated with a quality ranch saddle and this one takes the cake.

It’s made to fit Quarter Horses, and ranchers with other breeds will need to explore other saddle options. Those with Quarter Horses will find the fit ideal for many members of their herd.

What We Liked 

  • Built to last – this is a saddle that generations of family members will use
  • Room to attach gear and long strings for securing it
  • Wide bars designed for Quarter Horses
  • The horn is 4-inches making it wide and sturdy for all your roping and dragging needs
  • Multiple color options allow a fun customization

What Can Be Improved 

  • Doesn’t work with a lot of breeds other than Quarter Horses
  • Detailed tooling is difficult to clean
  • This saddle feels heavier than its 42 pounds at the end of a long day

Type: Ranch Saddle
Weight: 42 lbs
Seat Size: 15’’ to 17’’
Gullet With: 6.5’’ to 8’’

2. HR Hud Roberts Staci Wade Ranch Saddle 

ranch saddle

This saddle is made for female riders and is a more comfortable option because the features are designed for women.

Luckily, it also has the durability and quality needed on the ranch to make it just as functional as the unisex options.

The roughout provides extra grip along with the balance of the hardseat. Half-inch seat sizes allow riders an exact fit.

It may sound trivial, but the most annoying thing about this saddle is the six sets of strings. While a few sets are useful, these just seem to be everywhere.

Other than that, it’s the best ranch saddle for women.

What We Liked

  • An incredibly light ranch saddle for ladies at only 30 pounds
  • Four seat sizes with half sizes make it easy to find the right fit for the rider
  • The bar spread is a 92-degree angle
  • Roughout on the hardseat and fenders offers extra grip
  • The front rigging is located in the skirt

What Can Be Improved 

  • Only one gullet size is available, limiting equine fit
  • Six sets of strings mean they are sometimes getting in the way
  • Most men will not fit in this saddle, but they have other options

Type: Ranch Saddle
Weight: 30 lbs
Seat Size: 14’’ to 17’’
Gullet With: 6.75’’ 

3. Martin Saddlery Wade Saddle

ranch saddle

The Martin Saddlery Wade Saddle is the best ranch saddle for roping, with its lariat holder, twisted stirrup leathers, and design made to help you move freely.

It’s a high-quality saddle designed on the traditional saddles used by California Vaqueros – that means its made for working. Every element of this saddle serves a purpose.

Most riders like the freedom of movement and comfort on a long day of riding best. This western ranch saddle has a balanced design that works for the horse and rider.

One downside with the freedom of movement is you can feel less secure. Although it’s a more expensive saddle, it pays for itself in use and comfort.

What We Liked 

  • Modeled on the saddles used by California Vaqueros; built for ranch work
  • Narrow seat with a deep pocket, and hardseat give a cool riding surface
  • Fenders swing freely to alleviate pain
  • Rigging is flat plated, so you have close contact
  • Horn is strong and 4.5 inches thick for a hard day of roping

What Can Be Improved 

  • The horn is not very tall, remember, it’s in the Vaquero style
  • Made for agile riders, it’s easy to mount/dismount, but some feel less secure
  • Long strings are annoying when not in use

Type: Ranch Saddle
Weight: 38 lbs
Seat Size: 15’’ to 17’’
Gullet With: 6.5’’

4. Circle Y Cody Crow Versatility Saddle 

ranch saddle

Ranch cutting saddles designed by riders always offer the most comfort and usability because the professional had the opportunity to fix things that bothered them.

The Circle Y Cody Crow Versatility Saddle combines the craftsmanship of the brand with the know-how of world champion rider Cody Crow. 

Cueing is more precise in this saddle thanks to the close contact skirts, and the hardseat offers maximum comfort over long hours in the saddle.

This is a new model, so it’s not being used by a lot of riders yet, but with the names Cody Crow and Circle Y behind it, we expect it to be popular.

What We Liked 

  • The skirts offer close contact and cueing is more accurate
  • It’s available with both a regular and a wide tree
  • Offers half-inch sizes on the seat (15.5 and 16.5)
  • Custom copper hardware is unique among ranch saddles
  • Precision BW Ranch Cutter Tree maximizes comfort for horse and rider

What Can Be Improved 

  • Only three seat sizes available, although two have half-inch options
  • Hardseat and three-inch cantle mean some riders may not feel as secure 
  • Newer saddle and hasn’t been used the way other models have

Type: Ranch Saddle
Weight: 35 lbs
Seat Size: 15’’ to 17’’
Gullet With: 6.5’’ to 8’’

5. Dakota Mule Saddle 

ranch saddle

Mules are popular in some areas for ranching, and the Dakota Mule Saddle is the right fit for these animals.

The saddle is built around a Steele Equi-Fit tree and has fiberglass bars specifically designed to fit mules.

Riders report having an excellent range of motion in this saddle and being able to easily rope with the horn.

Those without mules will want to skip past this saddle unless their horse has the distinct shape and conformation mules are known for.

This saddle doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but the saddle strings are useful, it’s functional, and gets the ranch jobs done.

What We Liked 

  • High cantle and swell needed for ranch work
  • Standard roper horn makes this a versatile working saddle
  • Comes with a full flank set including a connector strap for the front cinch
  • The tree comes with a five-year warranty on the full bars
  • Designed for mules, but is a great choice for horses with a similar shape

What Can Be Improved 

  • No tooling or extra design touches enhance this saddle
  • Lacks extra grip in the seat and fenders or with rough out
  • Limited as to which horses fit this ranch saddle well

Type: Ranch Saddle
Weight: 40 lbs
Seat Size: 15’’ to 17’’
Gullet With: 6.5’’ to 8’’

6. American Saddlery Bear Trap Rancher

ranch saddle

Ranchers have long extolled the benefits of a bear trap saddle and this cowboy ranch saddle doesn’t disappoint.

The deep seat, high cantle and swells that point towards the rider create a bear trap, meaning once you’re in the saddle, you will stay there until you want to get out.

This saddle is comfortable for long hours of ranch work too.

Unfortunately, the single gullet size limits who can use the American Saddlery Bear Trap Rancher, but those with a horse needing a 7-inch gullet love this option.

The quality craftsmanship extends to a long and useful life for this model.

What We Liked 

  • The Steele Equi-Fit tree will last for a long time
  • Wide horn is useful for roping or holding on
  • Forward stirrup position improves balance in the saddle
  • The dark color will last for years without looking used and abused by ranch work
  • Stay secure in the saddle for hours over rough terrain with the bear trap

What Can Be Improved 

  • Some riders prefer a tree with more give than the Steele Equi-Fit has
  • Shorter and taller riders may not fit in the 14 to 16-inch seats
  • A 7-inch gullet width is the only option

Type: Ranch Saddle
Weight: 35 lbs
Seat Size: 14’’ to 16’’
Gullet With: 7’’

7. HR Hud Roberts Ranch Cutter Saddle 320H 

ranch saddle

A ranch cutter saddle needs to be versatile, durable, and able to withstand the twists, turns, and pressure of working cattle.

The HR Hud Roberts Ranch Cutter Saddle 320H is the perfect saddle for someone who spends long hours working and wants quality without the high price tag.

It has a traditional wooden tree and a close contact skirt for better communication with the horse.

Some riders have experienced knee pain after a long day in the saddle because of the wooden stirrups.

Overall, it’s a saddle that you can head out and get to work in, knowing it will work as hard as you do.

What We Liked 

  • Four seat sizes include two half-inch sizes making it easier for a precise fit
  • Close contact skirts allow riders to feel and cue their horse easier
  • It’s the best budget ranch saddle built for working
  • A traditional wooden tree that is preferred by some riders
  • The rear flank strap is included 

What Can Be Improved 

  • The seat isn’t as comfortable during long days on the ranch
  • Wooden stirrups have less flexibility and give compared to newer types
  • The cantle is lower than most other ranch saddles

Type: Ranch Saddle
Weight: 36 lbs
Seat Size: 15.5’’ to 17’’
Gullet With: 6.5’’ to 8’’

8. Billy Cook Nebraska Rancher Saddle 

ranch saddle

This is the best ranch saddle that money can get and will be one that family member after family member uses.

The Billy Cook Nebraska Rancher Saddle is built to work and last with the durability expected from the brand.

The saddle is functional and supportive, with a comfortable seat surrounded by a generous swell and cantle that are signatures of the Billy Cook brand. It’s also a beautiful saddle to look at.

Those needing a 17-inch seat will be surprised by the extra charge, but in the end, it’s worth it to own a Billy Cook Nebraska Rancher Saddle.

The quality and craftsmanship speak for themselves.

What We Liked 

  • It’s a beautiful saddle, with a chestnut color, basket pattern, and floral border 
  • It maintains functionality with the beautiful design
  • The swell is large, at 14-inches, for extra support
  • A high back ranch saddle with 5.5-inch cantle and a Cheyenne roll for extra support
  • Stirrups and horn designed for roping

What Can Be Improved 

  • The 17-inch seat adds an extra charge to the price
  • The square skirt isn’t as popular anymore and digs into the side of some horses
  • One of the heaviest ranch horse saddles on the market

Type: Ranch Saddle
Weight: 42 lbs
Seat Size: 15.5’’ to 17”
Gullet With: 6.5’’ to 8’’

9. Circle Y Colorado Ranch Cutting Saddle

ranch saddle

This ranch cutting saddle offers quality and durability in a model appropriate for the show ring or a day of work and is popular with riders looking for versatility in a single saddle.

Circle Y is known for listening to customers and addressing their needs, and the Colorado Ranch Cutting saddle does exactly that, easily transitioning from a day of ranch work into the cutting arena.

Riders have the close contact with their horse, making it easy to cue them. The saddle is lightweight while also being durable enough for ranch work.

The one downside is the cushy seat can hold heat on long days in the saddle.

What We Liked 

  • This saddle has a ranch cutter tree and is a hybrid with a roping 
  • The cut-out skirt eliminates bulk and gives the rider closer contact with the horse
  • Easily switch between roping and cutting 
  • This is a lightweight ranch saddle and still durable for the job at hand
  • Cushy suede seat is padded with fleece underneath

What Can Be Improved 

  • The suede seat and fleece can be hot during a long day in the saddle
  • Hybrid model can be less effective if ranch work is the predominant use
  • Cantle has a lower profile 

Type: Ranch/Cutter Saddle
Weight: 36 lbs
Seat Size: 15’’ to 17’’
Gullet With: 6.5’’ to 8’’

10. Billy Cook FQHB Wade

ranch saddle

The Billy Cook FQHB Wade is the best western ranch saddle for horses with broad shoulders and those without prominent withers, as the angle is flatter than that of other Quarter Horse saddles.

The Mother Hubbard skirt provides close contact with the horse and pre-twisted stirrups make it easy to spend long hours riding. The bicycle padded seat is unique and enhances comfort as well.

At first glance, this saddle looks odd with the hot oil color contrasting against the rough out and bicycle padded seat. But the look can grow on you after a while, and the herringbone pattern makes it more attractive.

What We Liked 

  • Bicycle padded seat makes for a comfortable day spent riding
  • Ideal for short-backed horses with a short, rounded skirt
  • Rough out ranch saddle provides extra grip in the skirt and fenders
  • Post horn reinforced tree will withstand the wear and tear of ranch life
  • Beautiful hand tooling adds a distinctive look

What Can Be Improved 

  • Only for broad shouldered Quarter Horses without prominent withers
  • Hot oil color is a different look with the rough out and bicycle seat
  • You either love or hate the bicycle padded seat

Type: Ranch Saddle
Weight: 36 lbs
Seat Size: 15’’ to 16’’
Gullet With: 7’’

How to Choose a Ranch Saddle?

Ranch saddles are generally bigger and bulkier than other western saddles because riders spend so long in them. They are sturdy and built to work.


Terrain on a ranch is uneven and, in some cases, mountainous. Tasks are never the same, with horses and riders working on different things throughout the day. All this requires security, and the high cantle and deep seat of a good ranch saddle are a key factor to consider when choosing a ranch saddle.

Sturdy Horn

Ranch work often includes roping cattle or dragging tree branches or other items out of the way. This type of work puts a lot of pressure on a saddle horn, and you’ll need a sturdy one in any ranch saddle selected. Taller and thicker horns are two characteristics to look for.


Ever had to sit on a wooden bench without back support all day? It’s not fun. Comfort is a key feature any ranch saddle should have, since you’ll need to head out in it day after day, or at least spend a long day here and there in it. Cantle height can increase comfort level too.

Low Swells 

At the same time, you don’t need anything hindering your work either, and low swells in the front of the saddle stay out of your way as you get the job done. The swells are on either side of the horn and can interfere when roping or dragging items if they are too high.

Gear Attachments  

If you might need something on the ranch, it has to be attached to your saddle. The gear attachments on a western ranch saddle, specifically the strings, are imperative for packing the materials needed for a day’s work, whether that’s a rain slicker, lunch, or fencing tools. Longer strings are preferred in most cases.


What is a rancher saddle? 

A rancher saddle is a type designed for various types of work with cattle and in open countryside and mountainous regions. 

What is the best saddle for ranch work? 

The best saddle for ranch work is durable, comfortable, and sturdy enough to withstand pressure and hard use.

What makes a saddle a ranch saddle? 

Specific features like a bulky saddle with lots of leather, low swells, gear attachments, and a sturdy horn make a saddle a ranch saddle.

What kind of saddles did cowboys ride in? 

Many cowboys rode in ranch saddles because they spent such long hours on their horses.

How much does a ranch saddle cost? 

A ranch saddle costs anywhere from $1,200 to $4,300 and price varies based on quality, features, and craftsmanship.

Are ranch saddles comfortable? 

Ranch saddles are very comfortable because riders have to spend so many hours sitting and working in them.

How heavy is a ranch saddle? 

Ranch saddles are some of the heaviest on the market because they need to be durable and evenly distribute weight on the horse’s back.

Can you rope in a ranch-cutting saddle? 

You can rope in a ranch-cutting saddle because it’s a hybrid between a cutting and ranch saddle. 

What’s the difference between a ranch cutter and a cutting saddle? 

A ranch cutter is a hybrid saddle with features of both types, whereas a cutting saddle is designed just for working cattle in a pen.

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