I work at a western based tack store so I get to see the good, bad, and the ugly when it comes to saddles! Billy Cook puts out a great saddle but you have to be carefull! Make sure that you read the saddle makers stamp. If it reads "genuine Billy Cook made in Sulphur Oklahoma" not Greensville Texas. The Texas made saddles are a cheap copy of the originals While the designs are Billy Cooks he has nothing to do with the shop producing thoes saddles. The workmanship isnt bad but you can tell the difference between the Real Billy Cooks and the other factory's work! It's just not the same.
Corriente produces some really nice saddles! The leather is nice and thick. Their well constructed, sturdy saddles not to terribly expensive! And most importantly the tree actually fits a horse! They make kids saddles that are really nice and hold their value when well taken care of! Their are several currently residing on the racks where I work!
Circle Y, Reinsman, the older Tex Tan Herfords are great I love the Softee Leather its awesome! A brand new saddle that feels like a well broken in saddle is well worth the expense!
I would kill for a Bob Marshall! I just can never find one in the size range I need! 16-17 they do tend to ride small depending on your horses back shape! If you get one make sure you get a pad with a channel that goes along the spine. Otherwise thay can put too much pressure on a sensitive horses spine!
Another brand to watch for is Billy Shaw their pretty good quality for the price I have one and With proper care they will hold up nicely! I have one that I got new on 06' and it still looks great.
One other to look at is Courts saddlery I have one of their saddles that is a 1994 model its so darn comfortable its not funny! It's a pleasure/reiner style the style numbers on the keeper were lost before I bought the saddle. Their customer service is awesome though! The unfortunatly lost a lot if not all of their records in a fire awile back, but have sence resumed saddle making! They are a Texas based company. Their saddles are well worth their purchase price! I got mine for 600.00 used new it sold for well over 1,000.00. I wont let that one go for anything less than a nice Bob marshall! If you have any more questions feel free to ask! I Live and Breathe Saddles, Bridles, Bits and Spurs! I am also a hoof nut,LOL!
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