Saddle Advice! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-31-2013, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Saddle Advice!

I need advice, I am thinking about buying this saddle from a saddle dealer online:

http://www.horseclicks.com/img/adpho...to_1_small.jpg

It is close to brand new and synthetic with no name, which to many are all flaws I know, but I am a beginner rider so I feel like I don't need anything fancy. What are your opinions on the saddle? How sturdy do you think the saddle looks? Do you think it looks like it might be treeless? Is it a jumping saddle to you or all purpose saddle? Anything else you notice?

Thanks a lot, I just want to make sure that I am making the right choice with a possible buy.
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-01-2013, 12:24 AM
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It definitely has a tree and I would say it's an all purpose.

The thing is - it's not about being fancy. Yes, there are brands that are more fashionable than others but there are three important things with every saddle.

First is - horse fit. Buying a saddle online you have no way of knowing if it fits your horse. Some brands offer adjustable gullets or are known to fit certain horses which allows you to make an educated guess as to whether or not it will fit. You cannot do this with this saddle. I would not buy a saddle without being able to try it, or something very similar on my horse. If it does not fit it will cause problems.

Second is - rider fit. Without sitting in it or something similar you don't know your size. While many disagree I think beginner english riders should ride in a dressage saddle. Why? Position is hard enough as a beginner without a saddle working against you. Few all purpose saddles encourage the correct position, many make it harder and the poorer quality ones make it impossible. With this saddle you don't know how it will sit you. It's not about being fancy, it's about the right tools for the job.

Third - quality. If a saddle doesn't have a brand you have no idea about the quality. To me its a worry if no one is willing to put their name on a saddle. No guarantee, no way of researching it. You don't know what is in the stuffing (i've heard of some shocking stuff) and you don't know the quality of stitching, tree etc.

I know buying a saddle can be difficult and expensive, I've gone through it many times but you have to try to make the best choice you can. I've lost hundreds buying saddles online that turn out not to fit, if they don't fit you can't use them. There are lots of affordable second hand options out there. It doesn't have to be the best brand but get something that is known. Try it on your horse, and sit in it before making a final decision.

If you end up having to buy online, at least if you buy a well known brand and model you can be somewhat assured for rider fit and quality, then there is just horse fit - and if that doesn't work out the resale value is higher than for an unbranded saddle.
smrobs and wild old thing like this.

Last edited by Saskia; 08-01-2013 at 12:28 AM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-01-2013, 11:24 PM
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Is has no type of brand name on it at all? Somebody had to make the thing. It kind of looks like the Thorowgood to me. If it is truly so low end that is has no maker listed on it, I doubt it would last you long enough to make back your money.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-01-2013, 11:34 PM
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For someone who is just getting started in riding and is looking for an affordable saddle that is also good quality, I always suggest looking at used saddles that are a big name brand. Since I don't ride English, I have no idea what those name brands might be, but IMHO, it's worth it to spend a little extra money now for a good saddle rather than spend more money later on reflocking or another saddle and chiropractor appointments for your horse or, worst case scenario, medical bills for you. It's not uncommon for well mannered horses to have a serious fit if they are forced to wear a crappy saddle that hurts them.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-02-2013, 08:25 AM
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I agree with everyone above. If you're looking for a decent synthetic saddle, try searching for a used wintec. I just purchased one that cost less than half the price of a new one and it was in excellent condition. I think thorogood is also a synthetic saddle brand.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-02-2013, 05:54 PM
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You can get a brand new synthetic Thorowgood T4 wool flocked for $400 from Dover Saddlery. Less if you buy from their "slightly blemished" section. Try finding wool flocked for less. It's a great saddle, fits most horses well and has very nice balance.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-02-2013, 09:58 PM
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Like anything else in riding, like helmets and boots, fit is everything. Do yourself a favor and wait until you know the saddle you want, the brand, the model number, the size. Then go searching for it rather than the other way around.

Sometimes you'll get a break and something will practically fall right on your doorstp thta's a great buy.

But if thst's not he case, it can also be a total klinker. What's worse is you won't even know because you don't know what you want. So figure out what you want and begin from there rather than viceversa.

-Cynthia
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-03-2013, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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Okay thanks everyone the advice helped. I decided not to go with the saddle and am looking more into name brand ones to be on the safe side. I am considering a Thorowgood and Wintec because I decided I want a lightweight saddle and something easy to clean, which synthetic seems to offer.

I am also thinking about that dressage saddle first idea that Saskia mentioned. It seems the dressage saddle offers more in terms of balance and posture because of the deep seat, which I need to gain as a beginner rider. The deep seat idea has me considerimg going for a western saddle, since I am a beginner rider and really need to focus on balance. Do you all think a dressage saddle with a deep seat to gain balance/ posture would be my best choice or an actual western saddle?

I also like the idea of trail riding a lot and would probably do that the most and it seems western saddles are better for trails.

I know I went from one point to the next but the mention of a dressage saddle for a beginners posture made me rethink about the all purpose/ no purpose idea and reconsider a saddle type that actually seats me since I am a beginner.
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On another note, my horse is an English rider for the most part and is pretty used to the English bit.

Last edited by Emma24; 08-03-2013 at 07:40 AM.
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