My neighbor does estate sales and found a saddle that he sold to us for $25. I figured, meh, $25, no big deal might as well buy it even if it just becomes an ornament. However, I would like to be able to use it. It has been unloved for a long time, looks like someone was spray painting near it and didn't care to cover it up, was filthy and needed oiling very badly. I did some care on it and the leather softened up quite a bit but I think it'll need to be done again.
Can anyone tell me about this saddle? Anyone have any experiences? I don't know how old it is, if it's just a piece of junk, if it would be okay to use for trail rides, etc.
Sorry if it's too late, but Borellis are average quality saddles. They are older Argentine saddles. Borelli quit making saddles in 1982, so this saddle is over thirty years old. I personally have no problem with older Argentine saddles, as the leather they used was WAY better than India and Pakistan leather. Good luck!
Check that the tree is sound and straight. The billets look fine. Make sure the panels aren't too hard or lumpy so they don't hurt your horse's back. I agree with Bonyroany's description of the Borelli saddles. They're not super. They're not bad. The ones I've sat in have been surprisingly comfortable to ride in. Assuming the tree is good, you did quite well for $25 and some elbow-grease. And of course, make sure it actually fits your horse before using it.