I agree it's wise to buy the best you can afford. Even if it's plain looking, you can always add the bling. Check out ebay for conchos or Tandy leather factory. I have a saddle that came plain with just screws. It's a very well made saddle but the fancy conchos cost extra. When I could afford it, I bought conchos and replaced all the screws. Now it looks very flashy. Be creative and add your own bling. Take some plain leather reins and make them special and personal.
"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France