HELP! What to look for, Saddle Quality - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-06-2011, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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HELP! What to look for, Saddle Quality

I had a serious incident today when the cinch ring ripped off my saddle while mounting offside (training exercise), slid to the side, and spooked my dear greenie, Red Man. The whole saddle pretty much fell off, held on only by my breastcollar and tie down. Red jumped two gates (one with the saddle STILL DRAGGING) before finally stopping.

He's perfectly okay, got a scratch on his nose and probably got some nice bruises. He threw a hind shoe as well, nothing major.

I DO want to get a saddle back on him ASAP. He IS green and I don't want this to become a issue (fear of being saddled, mounted, etc.). So, I need to get a new saddle! I have my Aussie but the cinch is too long for my narrow boy


On my old saddle, it had a wooden tree wrapped in rawhide. The cinch ring (where the latigo strap attaches) was attached to the tree with a nice piece of leather and about a dozen nails.


So!
I'm looking for a solid, older saddle. I have a few quality questions


1. What kind of tree?
Fiberglass? Rawhide-wrapped wood?

2. How should the leather be attached?
Nails? Screws?

3. Is there anything I can do to check the solidity of the tree?
Anywhere to look?

4. What kind of weight should it have?
Heavy? Light? I read somewhere that generally, better-made saddles are heavier.

5. What kind of stitching?
Is there a specific kind/type that I should look for as an indication of quality?

6. What kind of rigging/rings/etc.?
Should I just go with "Could pull a bull elephant out of a mud pit?"

I know what to look for in terms of leather and fleece quality, but I want a FIRM idea of what to look for!

Wait! I'll fix it....
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-07-2011, 05:35 PM
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Wow, this sounds like a huge event to me. I think getting the horse back to comfortable with saddles and such is the primary concern and do not feel qualified to give advice.

For a saddle I would look for one where the rigging is fastened AROUND the tree and secured back to itself (sewn or properly riveted), so there is no "end" to the leather or material rigging straps that are nailed or screwed on to the tree at all for holding power. I think even with in-skirt rigging the plates are sandwiched between leather and sewn or riveted in. What style of rigging did your saddle have?

There are several people here that are very knowledgable about saddles, I'm sure they will reply when they see your post. Good luck.

PS I'd love to see some pics of the mangled saddle.

Last edited by anndankev; 05-07-2011 at 05:36 PM. Reason: PS
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-07-2011, 10:45 PM
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Did the leather strap holding the ring rip loose or did the strap break where it folds around the ring?
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-08-2011, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anndankev View Post
Wow, this sounds like a huge event to me. I think getting the horse back to comfortable with saddles and such is the primary concern and do not feel qualified to give advice.

For a saddle I would look for one where the rigging is fastened AROUND the tree and secured back to itself (sewn or properly riveted), so there is no "end" to the leather or material rigging straps that are nailed or screwed on to the tree at all for holding power. I think even with in-skirt rigging the plates are sandwiched between leather and sewn or riveted in. What style of rigging did your saddle have?

There are several people here that are very knowledgable about saddles, I'm sure they will reply when they see your post. Good luck.

PS I'd love to see some pics of the mangled saddle.
I actually don't think he'll be too difficult as far as saddling, mounting, riding, etc. I think the sliding of the saddle yanked the tie down and breastcollar around, causing discomfort which led into a spook, then I of course fell off mid-mount and the saddle fell off which REALLY sent him into orbit!
He calmed down real quick after stopping finally. Divo actually took the longest to chill out, he jumped the gate into the small pasture then tore up and down it at full speed all excited.

The saddle is actually still in decent shape (looks wise) considering the beating it took. I'd like to strip it and see how mutilated the tree is under the leather. I got cell phone pics, but I'll grab better ones with my camera as soon as I can


Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
Did the leather strap holding the ring rip loose or did the strap break where it folds around the ring?
The leather held, a piece of the tree ripped completely off where it was attached. I'll get a pic tomorrow or Monday

Wait! I'll fix it....
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