Ok, so I sold the crappy synthetic western saddle I bought (yay!) and have my nice Stubben (that doesn't fit Aires anymore) up for sale. As soon as I get the Stubben sold, I will be seriously saddle shopping for a decent western saddle I can show at local schooling shows in and that (barring it being too nice) my boyfriend can learn to ride in.
I'm not too particular on style (people at the schooling show at my barn ride in everything from gaited endurance saddles to roping saddles), but I do prefer medium to dark oil. A little tooling is nice, but not required. I need a 16.5-17" seat.
Here's where it gets tricky, though. Aires is 16.3-17hh and about 1600lbs. He's mutton-withered and has a broad back. He has fairly wide shoulders, too. I know SQHB are too narrow for him. The synthetic I just sold had a 7" gullet and was ok, but the angle of the bars was too narrow (pinched his shoulders a bit). So I would think the saddle would need a decent amount of flare in the bars to accommodate his shoulders. To give you an idea, the lady who bought the synthetic saddle tried it on her 15.2hh stout QH mare with fairly large (for a QH) shoulders and it was perfect. Here comes my other issue...Aires just hit another growth spurt. He's gained a half an inch in height (at least) and quite a bit of heft in just the last couple of weeks. Which means that I don't know how much longer FQHB will be enough for him.
As for budget, I definitely want to keep it under $1000. I would prefer to keep it in the $500-800 range (lower, if at all possible). I prefer used saddles (already broken-in ), but would consider new if the price and fit are right.
So, thoughts on what to look for would be greatly appreciated. I'm more than likely going to have to shop online, as all the stuff around here is made to fit stock horses.
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