Ok, since they are a valuable and important piece of equipment, (and i've heard several cool stories before), what is the story of you saddle? Western and/or english, pics if you have them! If you just bought it new at a shop, then why did you want it? (not just 'it fit me and my horse', we all know that ). I'll post mine later, feeling lazy now haha
My Aussie saddle was purchased at a local consignment shop for half of what the seller was asking. They accepted my low-ball offer because it had been sitting in the shop for over six months. On further research, I'm fairly certain that it's handmade (so not one of those cheap made-in-India pieces of crap that are so often found).
My Stubben Siegfried was purchased from someone my old BO knew. She had a lot of nice, older tack that she was selling for outlandishly cheap prices. She used to be a leather worker/saddle repairer for a big show jumping barn in California (no idea which one) and they gave her all the older tack as they replaced it. Along with the saddle itself, she gave me leathers, irons, a leather girth, two sheepskin shaped pads (one real and one fleece) and a canvas saddle cover...all for $275. Posted via Mobile Device
MY saddle, I needed a wider saddle as my colt outgrew my old one. So I went to my buddy who sells tack and "shopped" the saddle I took home sat in the living room a few weeks (winter) finally threw it on his back. It honestly just fell in place perfectly. A quick lunge proved he was appreciative of it as well.
Rawhide tree, tree rigged old school saddle. I like craftsmanship. Heavy? Very! 60+lbs.
After posting it here, asking everyone I ran across, I asked a saddlery. Turns out its likely handmade and likely off a ranch or small town saddle builder. It's roughly 50yrs old and rides sooo nice. Posted via Mobile Device
I just purchased two syd hill poley saddles from a workmate. He's owned them for over 20 years but no longer has horses. He's used them for breaking, retraining OTTB's, general riding and a lot of polocrosse games. The most interesting thing the saddles were used for was a ~100km ride re-enacting an old mail run to Northam, West Aus. They are in great nick, fit me and my pony really well and are really comfortable.
My western saddle was in a group of five I bought for $50 each. I fixed, cleaned and resold all of them for $100 to $250 each. No one wanted my saddle, it's ugly, probably Mexican made, but very comfortable and fits wider horses that have good withers without a problem. Funny thing I owned a high withered, wide backed standardbred at the time, one day decided to try it on her and end of story, I kept my ugly saddle. It fits my new mare fairly well with a thicker pad as she isn't as wide, but it works.
My sidesaddle I saved up for a year and bought it.
What a great thread!
One of my first saddles was a gift. I couldn't afford a new saddle and had made friends with an older gentleman , who was a lonely bachelor who came and visited with me regularly at a store I worked in. Well one day he shows up all happy holding this old simco roping saddle. The poor old saddle was a gift that his father had given him long ago. The saddle had since been residing in an old shed and was in rough shape. A few jars of saddle soap and some elbow grease later and it was beautiful again. He had hardly ever used it - still creaked. I still have it and use it. Few years ago the man went missing - never found. So the saddle is also keep sake now. I've been told that it is an early simco (obviously) and that it was when it was the original Crates family. What ever the saddle is it is fondly reffered to around here as 'the ol'friend'.
When I was 12 (I'm now 35) I rode my friend's horses, in a saddle bought for her mother for valentine's day. It was an old Stubben Siegfried training saddle, gray suede. (The ENTIRE SADDLE was suede). I loved that saddle, as did my friend. Many years later, my friend's mother died of breast cancer, and her estate was mostly sold off. She had specified that THAT saddle was not to go to just anyone for $50.... I asked my friend if I could buy it for $50, as I had many fond memories in it, and she let me. I LOVED that saddle... a couple of years later, my mom was saying how uncomfortable english saddles were.... I asked her to ride in mine. She promptly bought one with the same measurements and tree size, as it was the most comfortable saddle she had ridden in. When the stitching finally gave way and the flocking started to leak out, I decided I needed a new stubben.... Although the stubben I ride today doesn't have much story behind it, it was bought because of a valentine's gift to my best friends mom over 20 years ago. :) And you know.... I've had many a 4-h'er hop on my saddle when they said english saddles were uncomfortable and promptly order one as close to it as they could find!
We had searched for months and months for a saddle that had enough wither clearance. We both wanted a lighter saddle on him since he was already so flashy and black or dark brown was just not that great on him.
Meanwhile he was borrowing a saddle and the lady riding him was still using my dressage bridle. Since basically EVERY headstall I found was horse size, and the larger breed ones were boooooring, I had them custom make a headstall. For some reason I wanted it in light oil with conchos and some bling. It ended up looking amazing
So then we searched for a saddle to match it...
Soonthereafter my dressage saddle, at the time, no longer fit my horse. When I came down to visit, we began the process of getting one proffessionally fitted. It was literally a 3 day process. On the second time to the tackstore, my friend spotted a really nice light oil Western saddle! We tried at least 4 or 5 different western saddles and the light oil one was BY FAR the most comfortable! We decided to bring it along to try on my horse.
The same day we tried about 50 types of dressage saddle and decided to tey 3 of them on Sky.
The next night we tried them all on Sky and sure enough the western and the dressage saddle I fell inlove with was literally a perfect fit. We were SHOCKED! But so happy.
We went halfsies on the western saddle and I bought the Dressage saddle myself.