09-24-2011, 02:28 PM
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Don't buy one of those. A good brand, used is the way to go. There is nothing better than a properly fitted saddle that's already broken in!
-The older Billy Cooks from OK are great, don't buy any Billy Cook from Greenville, they are all junk.
-Older TexTan's are great too, the newer ones are less up to par, but still pretty comfortable.
-You can never go wrong with a Circle Y.
-If you run into a Sanchez saddle, they are less known, but super high quality, usually harder to find (because no one wants to sell them) and worth every penny.
-Usually if you can find a new or used trophy saddle for sale, they are good quality saddles.
-Be wary of "custom" saddles, but each one is worth looking at. Some of the little "hole-in-the-wall" saddle makers make really nice, sturdy saddles, some are just cheap throw-together saddles. If you don't know how or know anyone that knows how to properly check the leathers, rigging, tree, etc of a saddle, then pass and stick with a brand that you know is quality.
No matter what saddle you find, if you know any where around you that does saddle repair, you should be able to take it to them to have it checked out for quality and damage. If the seller isn't willing to meet you there with the saddle or let you take it to have it checked out, just pass.
Good luck in your saddle search! I know how frusterating it can be! Took me 8 months to FINALLY find a saddle that I liked AND fit my mare correctly!