Saddle hunting - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-02-2014, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Saddle hunting

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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post #2 of 19 Old 05-02-2014, 10:52 PM
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Isn't he half draft? You may want to look into a draft tree/extra wide tree saddle.
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post #3 of 19 Old 05-02-2014, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SullysRider View Post
Isn't he half draft? You may want to look into a draft tree/extra wide tree saddle.
Yeah, he's paint/Percheron.

I have looked a little for draft saddles, but I am apparently search engine-challenged, because all I can find are the cheap crappy ones or the ones with the 10" gullet. I found one on eBay with a 7.5" gullet that looked REALLY nice, but then I saw the brand (Tough-1) and ran the other way.

I should also add that the only thing I can't stand is round skirts. I don't mind rounded (as in square with rounded corners), but the actual short round skirts do not appeal to me.
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post #4 of 19 Old 05-03-2014, 12:33 AM
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wonder if this would be a good saddle?

eBay item number:121332921930

Up for auction is slightly used Bighorn 18" Draft Saddle. Its in excellent condition and was only used for one season. FREE SHIPPING

Tree: Fiberglass covered wood tree with bars designed especially for draft horses.
Seat: 18" Padded
Finish: brown.
Horn: 3" x 2 1/2"
Gullet Width: Extra Wide.
Stirrups: Leather covered Visalia, 4 1/2" tread width.
Trim: Silver conchos spot tooled with oak leaf border.
Serial #: 1682

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post #5 of 19 Old 05-03-2014, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by anndankev View Post
wonder if this would be a good saddle?

eBay item number:121332921930

Up for auction is slightly used Bighorn 18" Draft Saddle. Its in excellent condition and was only used for one season. FREE SHIPPING

Tree: Fiberglass covered wood tree with bars designed especially for draft horses.
Seat: 18" Padded
Finish: brown.
Horn: 3" x 2 1/2"
Gullet Width: Extra Wide.
Stirrups: Leather covered Visalia, 4 1/2" tread width.
Trim: Silver conchos spot tooled with oak leaf border.
Serial #: 1682
Hmmmm...I like the specs on it (not sure how I'd fit in an 18", though, but one place I looked said that the 1682 is a 17.5" seat, so it could work). It's a $1400-1800 saddle, new, according what I can find. According to one site, the "extra wide gullet" is 8". It also seems to be fairly lightweight at 30lbs.

The more I look, the more I REALLY like this saddle. Too bad I can't come up with $700 in two days for the one you found on eBay, ann.
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post #6 of 19 Old 05-05-2014, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Does anyone know anything about the quality of the Bighorn leather saddles? Particularly looking at the one anndankev found above (the model 1682). It looks like a VERY nice saddle, but I can't find any reviews online.
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post #7 of 19 Old 05-05-2014, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum View Post
Does anyone know anything about the quality of the Bighorn leather saddles? Particularly looking at the one anndankev found above (the model 1682). It looks like a VERY nice saddle, but I can't find any reviews online.
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The Model 1682 is a 16" seat, they sell New for about 1,100.00 and is very good saddle


The model 1683 is a 17.5" seat

.

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post #8 of 19 Old 05-05-2014, 12:14 PM
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My mare's wire test measured 9 3/4. I got her a Circle Y Wide saddle with 15" seat and it fits her pretty good. Also, a Billy cook Reiner FQHB fit her pretty good as well. Don't go off of the gullet measurement as everyone measures the gullet differently. So their 7" measurement might actually measure 8" where you would measure. By the sounds of things, make sure to look for a FQHB saddle. If you can get your horse to a tack store to try on saddles that would be a good place to start. Write down all makes and model #'s and see what you can find used with that info.

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post #9 of 19 Old 05-05-2014, 12:14 PM
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Oh, I threw a BigHorn trail saddle on her and it fit her great to. It was a FQHB saddle.

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post #10 of 19 Old 05-05-2014, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SouthernTrails View Post
The Model 1682 is a 16" seat, they sell New for about 1,100.00 and is very good saddle


The model 1683 is a 17.5" seat

.
I probably meant the 1683, as that's the seat size I need.

My saddle hunt is postponed, so I'm probably going to save up the money to get the Bighorn. I love the look of it. My hunt is postponed because I talked to my BO today (who runs the schooling show that I want to show in) and she said that showing in western classes in my Aussie saddle would be perfectly fine since they are looking more at your horse and how your ride than what you are riding in.
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