Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Beautiful Pacific Northwest
• Horses: 0
Look for a good, used saddle. Be sure you know what tree-size your horse needs. Be sure to know what style saddle you're looking for or the choices can be overwhelming.
There are reputable online tack stores that sell good, used tack. Most will let you try the saddle on your horse and return it if it doesn't fit. When I sell saddles on CL or eBay, I also always offer a return policy for fit, but few people do, so be sure to arrange it before you buy. If buying from a tack-store, you can usuallu fax them your wither-tracing and they can help weed out the saddles that won't fit.
Some online stores to try are: St Croix Saddlery, Maryland Consignment Saddlery, Galloping Grape, Pelham Saddlery...
Some makes to look for in your price range are: Stubben, Kieffer, Passier, Courbette, AG Felsbach, Crosby, Wintec, Bates, Thorowgood, Toulousse, HDR, Collegiate... I'm missing a few - haven't had my coffee yet. Basically, look for a name-brand - if it's from England, Germany, Switzerland, France, North America, or Australia you're going in the right direction.