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Bucking Rolls, Do They Affect Rider Fit?

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  • Bucking Rolls, Do They Affect Rider Fit?

    I was trying to find a decent article and/or video for a friend who was wanting to put bucking rolls on her saddle. I know how but I am 4 states away and horrible at explaining things lol.

    Anyway it seemit the stuff I find really pushes that bucking rolls will change the fit of a saddle to the rider, I have never really noticed this? Mine on my saddle never changed the fit for me, they were just there in case the red headed queen decided she didnt want to get her freshly trimmed hooves dirty that day.

    Maybe it is because the saddle already fit me before hand? Or iam I just not noticing it? How would one estimate the affect the bucking rolls would have on rider fit without strapping a pair on?


  • #2
    Impossible to say honestly. How she sits in it, how it sits on the horse, etc


    • #3
      They shouldn't. If you think about where bucking rolls sit versus where the rider sits (or is supposed to sit), the bucking rolls would only become "engaged", so to speak, if the rider gets pitched forward.

      If the rider is in a saddle that's too small for them to begin with, than yeah, you might have an issue, but that's due to poor fit from the get-go, not because of the addition of the bucking rolls.
      Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not. Remember that what you have now was once among the many things that you only hoped for.


      • #4
        Short answer, yes.
        Bucking rolls change the distance between the bottom edge of the cantle to the swell or lack of if riding a slick fork saddle.
        Seat size isn't the only measurement affecting fit.

        ​​​​​Something to consider if using bucking rolls, using them to keep you wedged in the saddle will also keep you wedged out


        • #5
          Also consider, practically every saddle type for millennia started as an A-frame.

          Then there were added-ons to help with staying power and comfort.
          Those were all kinds of sheepskin and other skins with roll-up fronts, blankets, dressage and Australian saddles substantial knee rolls and yes, bucking rolls.

          Then someone figured to just make swells into the trees of western saddles and the rest is history.
          May want to conside going to the type of western saddle today with swells, truly a better mousetrap.
          That just makes more sense, unless part of a re-enactment historical group that wants to look the part.


          • #6
            I think swelled fork saddles being the better mousetrap would be a matter of opinion and preference.
            ​​​​​​I have both swelled and slick forks and love both but I have my preference depending on what Im doing.


            • #7
              I had to google this. I realized then that I've never seen a slick fork western saddle IRL. I rode Western mostly as a kid in a predominantly Western time and place, never saw one to notice. From Google I think they might be a buckaroo/ vaquero thing?

              I ride English now and have used my dressage saddle with modest knee rolls on pretty gnarly mountain trails. Anything I feel OK riding down I have managed in that saddle. Interestingly when I borrowed a Western saddle last summer what I missed was the shaping under the thigh that you get in both jump and dressage saddles.

              Looking at bucking rolls online it seems to me that whether they'd affect saddle fit would depend on how big the seat was for you to begin with. I can see where having stuffed rolls would be more comfortable than slamming into the hard horn swell. But I also feel like if you have a solid seat you won't hit the horn. Now I have never ridden a horse with a serious buck, but on the other hand don't plan to either! My pony as a kid had a big spook but I don't ever recall hitting the swells either as a beginner or later on steep mountain trails.



              • #8
                Based on mine...if they interfere, there is something REALLY wrong with how your saddle fits you.


                • #9
                  I think the bigger issue is that there is actually, historically, a correct and incorrect positioning for bucking rolls. Originally, they were designed for a saddle which was neither a slick fork or swell, but kind of a middle of the road design, and they attached from one side to the other just to the rear of the fork.

                  It's only within the last 100 years or so that they have started becoming attached further in, and only in the last 25 or so that people have started using them to the same effect that they use large thigh blocks on dressage saddles. Bucking rolls are NOT meant to force your leg position or keep you wedged in the saddle, and vaquero-style riders who keep to tradition will tell you that using them as such is not appropriate.

                  So in a saddle that fits the rider well and with properly positioned bucking rolls, they should not affect saddle fit. But if attached too far back or used for the purpose of forcing a position or trying to make up for a rider's poor seat, yes, they can affect saddle fit.
                  Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not. Remember that what you have now was once among the many things that you only hoped for.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GhR009 View Post
                    Based on mine...if they interfere, there is something REALLY wrong with how your saddle fits you.
                    Sure, but without knowing what's what, we can't say either way.


                    • #11
                      Learn something new all the time on here. Never heard of or saw these before. Must be a regional thing. But looking at them, they are going to change the fit and if you get thrown forward, could bite you. I don’t even like a large swell though.
                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.