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.
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?
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!