Originally Posted by iridehorses
The saddle you are looking at is an inexpensive one. That doesn't mean it isn't a good deal but that depends on how much they want.
It is a huge leap to go from a 14" to a 16 1/2" saddle. How tall and what is the weight of the rider who will be using it? Next, on any saddle I would buy, it would be contingent on fitting not only me but especially my horse. Many, many behavior problems with horses come from ill fitting tack. If you do not know a lot about saddle fitting, have someone come over (or you go to them) and check out the fit.
As you said it is more important that the horse be comfortable and that it fit him. I totally agree. That is the main reason for getting a new saddle. If it does not fit her it will not ride right with us either. She turns saddle moves etc. I did have a guy come over that makes saddles for a living as well as being a farrier. He said the saddle needs to be a little wider and that the saddle is just to small. Another thing is I wear tennis shoes and they will not even fit in the stirrups. They have on other horses that I have used. I would take my horse places and see if the saddle fit only problem is she is barley 3 and she does not load worth crap. Gave up on that idea.
I have a guy that is close that has a saddle shop. He has been in business for years and knows his stuff. He has some used saddles but they are a little on the high side. But it may be my only option since I need something that will fit.
How do you know if it is a cheap saddle or cheap leather? I see this saddle and it looks cheap to me. Then I see another saddle that looks like the same leather and it is like $700 bucks.
Once again thanks to all for the helpful info.