The Western saddle was designed for cowboys who spent long days riding the range, driving and working cattle. Leather Western saddles are much heavier than English saddles but the weight of both saddle and rider is spread over a larger area of the horse's back, which makes it less tiring for the horse
Western saddles are used for western riding and are the saddles used on working horses on cattle ranches throughout the United States, particularly in the west. They are the "cowboy" saddles familiar to movie viewers, rodeo fans, and those who have gone on trail rides at guest ranches. This saddle was designed to provide security and comfort to the rider when spending long hours on a horse, traveling over rugged terrain.
The Western saddle is designed to be comfortable when ridden in for many hours. Its history and purpose is to be a working tool for a cowboy who spends all day, every day, on horseback. For a beginning rider, the western saddle may give the impression of providing a more secure seat. However, this may be misleading; the horn is not meant to be a handle for the rider to hang onto, and the high cantle and heavy stirrups are not for forcing the rider into a rigid position.
They also have a tall horn for a good grip and a taller pommel to secure the rider. A barrel saddle also has a higher cantle to allow more security while going around a turn. Barrel saddles are made to be lighter and more compact so that it doesn't add a whole bunch of weight onto the horse.