Western Saddle Guide

Western Saddle Guide > Saddle Types > Slick Fork Saddle

Slick Fork Saddle

The slick fork saddle (also known as an A-fork) is named for the shape of it's fork. The fork is the saddle part at the front of the saddle tree that joins the bars together and provides a base for the horn. There are many styles of forks, but they fall into two main categories - "swell fork" and "slick fork" (or "A-fork").



saddle forks

The fork on a slick fork saddle is generally only 8 to 10 inches wide with the sides of the fork sloping straight up to the outside of the horn. This leaves the front of the saddle open and provides comfort for long rides and freedom of movement for ranch work. Bucking rolls, which simulate a swell, can be added if the rider will be working with young horses or otherwise feels the need for some added security.

The slick fork saddle comes from the buckaroo tradition and, up until recently, was found mainly among working cowboys in California, Nevada, and western Montana. This is definitely a working saddle. There has been a recent surge, however, in its popularity among the general riding public. A renewed interest in the buckaroo tradition combined with a number of high-visibility horsemen riding these traditional saddles has raised their profile. The most popular of the slick-fork tree styles today is the Wade. A number of saddle manufacturers, as well as custom saddlemakers, are now producing an increasing number of slick forks.

Examples of two slick fork saddles (notice the bucking rolls on the second saddle):

saddle saddle


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