Bucking Rolls – What are they and why use them?

Posted by John Brand on

Bucking rolls are two padded pouches that are added to the front of the saddle seat. Most bucking rolls are filled with wool, trimmed from bark-tanned sheepskin. Bucking Rolls supplement the swells on a saddle and help a rider stay secure in the saddle. They are designed to be used with slick fork saddles, which have very little width to their swells.

Modern day bucking rolls seem to have had their start in the late 19th century in the Northwest.  Early models were made of a tube-like construction that extended from one side of the saddle to the other, just to the rear of the fork. Some were fixed and some were removable.

The John Clark Saddlery, of Portland Oregon, is credited with the first patent on a removable bucking roll that looks much like those of today. 

Bucking rolls are usually made of leather and can be very decorative, colorful and attractive. They come in many colors with tooling and decoration.  Usually, they are made of soft chap leather and can sometimes be found in exotic leathers such as ostrich, beaver tail, and shark.

The two rolls are connected in the center, usually with a leather strap. They are created with a curved shape to conform to the contour of the saddle and are attached to the saddle with saddle strings or screws.

Some people may ask, “Why would anyone would choose a slick fork saddle and then add bucking rolls? Why not just get a swell fork saddle to begin with?”

They definitely have their place.  For one thing, they are relatively easily attached and detached, making them handy for people who use their saddles for varied activities. A rider may put them on when they want a more secure seat, but take them off for long distance and trail riding.

Some riders prefer a slick fork saddle with soft bucking rolls over a hard swell fork saddle. Some people just like the way they look!!

Buckaroo Leather Products' bucking rolls are American made from soft chap leather with a beautiful cowboy western stitch pattern or hand basket stamp to fit any saddle. Our bucking rolls come in a variety of colors.

Buckaroo Leather has a nice selection of bucking rolls and can custom make them with your color and stitching choice.  We outfit drill teams and riding clubs with custom colors to match existing tack and clothing.

See our bucking rolls and other fine, American made tack here!

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