I'm off to go saddle shopping for a quality work/low level show saddle. I'm really hoping I can find a used one for less than $1,000. Ideally, no more than $600 and I could put silver on it. Then I'm also going to be considering what saddle maker to go with to have my show saddle made - hoping no more than $5,000 for that one.
I'm wondering what brands are good to choose from, that will last a long time. I've heard of Circle Y's, Billy Cook's (which I personally do not like) and Crates being nice saddles. For show I've been looking at a Dave Chavez, any idea of the quality of those?
Also if you know of any saddles generally running smaller or bigger, I'd love to know. I need a 14" seat, no more than a 14.5" (yes, I know - sad isn't it?) So I would buy a 15" at the right price and have it padded to a 14.5".
I have tried going to a tack shop in my area to sit in the different brands, but the only one even remotely close to where I live only has two brands and only carry barrel and pack saddles.
I am so lost on where to start :P Any tips here would be fantastic.