So, I'm tired of using the not-very-well-contructed saddles that my parents had brought home to me when I was younger. They worked okay for a while, but my poor filly is just not happy with the way they fit her (she has that long, lean, western pleasure build, and the saddles all front load on her).
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.