Buying a western saddle (as an english rider)

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Buying a western saddle (as an english rider)

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  • If i ride in a 15 inch english what would fit me western

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  • 1 Post By smrobs
  • 1 Post By Saskia

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    06-11-2013, 06:59 PM
Green Broke
Buying a western saddle (as an english rider)


So recently I have started riding in a friend's western saddle and love it! So now I want my own. Unfortunately, here in Australia western saddles aren't so common and can be rather pricey. I've checked out the saddleries in my area and they only stock about two brands, and I don't feel that they suit me and my purposes very much.

My friend is offering the saddle I am using for sale for about $500 which I think is about the going rate. It's a non-brand saddle with just a stamped number and a saddler who has looked at it has estimated it's about 30 years old and guessed it would have been hand made by some saddler back then. The problem is that while it's useable now, I feel that I'd want some work done on it. The buckles (two prong) on the stirrup leather are rusted and pretty fused. I've spoken to a saddler and it would cost approximately $200 or a bit more to get new stirrup leathers. The rest of it is useable but the seat is getting really worn, and worn especially thin near the edges of the "neck" part. I spoke to the saddler and he does not think it would be worth reseating. I spoke to my friend and they just recommended I buy a new saddle. He also expressed concerns that because of it's age he'd be worried about it standing up to anything vigorous.

So I guess I am asking a few questions. What do you think about the saddle I am using now?

If I were to buy a new saddle, are there any places (in Australia or elsewhere) that I can buy a saddle from online? My budget isn't so big (maybe up to $700 from an international store, $1000 from Australia), so I'd probably prefer to get a second hand saddle around here... but they're just uncommon.

What is the going rate for just an all round western saddle? What are the good or just decent brands, and which are the ones to watch out for?

Also, I'm looking for as short a skirt as possible, and brands that cater to that?

Thanks for any info!
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    06-11-2013, 07:19 PM
Well, as I'm not sure what would be available to you, I will mention this; you don't have to replace the entire stirrup leather and fender to replace the blevins buckle (two-pronged thing). If you have some copper rivets, you can order new buckles and replace them yourself.

As for buying a saddle online, you'd be very hard pressed to find a new mass-produced one to fit into your budget that was decent quality. Buying sight unseen, you'd definitely want to go with a big name brand like Circle Y, Billy Cook (make in Oklahoma, not Texas), Simco, etc....but those are all American companies.

Do you know what kind of tree you need, what size gullet, what angle of the bars?
GotDaWhip likes this.
    06-11-2013, 09:28 PM
Green Broke
I don't know about what this saddle size is but it just seems to be "standard" size, if that is an option, the seat is a 14.5 - 15 inch. My friend has another western saddle and they both seem to fit the same in width and bars.

I'd consider buying from America, but my budget is likely too small (would have to be under a thousand) as postage will be on top of that.

The buckles aren't Blevins, it's literally just a two pronged buckle, I've attached a picture. I'd like to change it to Blevins, which I will need new leathers for.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_3706.JPG (84.1 KB, 37 views)
smrobs likes this.
    06-11-2013, 09:51 PM
Huh, I've never seen a western saddle with buckles like that on the leathers. Interesting! The metal looks sound on that one, if the joints are sticky and the tongues don't move easily, it might just need a bit of oil or WD-40 (not sure if you have that there).
    06-12-2013, 08:59 AM
I have seen them. My Big horn endurance has them like that and I think one of my older husband saddles. They are actually less likely to slip then the belvins but don't sit quite as flat. Might bother some people. Doesn't bother me.
Just peaked at my Simco trail saddle and it has the same kind of buckles. I actually like them better. Easier to adjust for my aching knees.

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