I am currently trying to find a western saddle for my standardbred gelding. While not one of the traditional gaited breeds that "gaited" saddles are designed for, I have noticed that my gelding as well as many standardbreds I have met, have trouble with saddle fit because of the short, flat back.
Depending on the style and build of a saddle, I have had a couple of semi-quarter saddles fit just fine. I am looking for advice on saddle makers that might offer a saddle to fit us both.
One particular saddle I have been interested in is CTK Saddlery and Sycamore Creek Saddlery. And while I would love a Tucker, Dixieland or Crestridge, I am not that ridiculously, disgusting wealthy that a person needs to be to afford those brands(yes, even used).
I am looking to spend under $700, and preferably closer to $500. While I know that the ideal situation would be to find a used saddle, used saddles are both few and far between and rarely the fit that I need for my oddly shaped gelding. I will continue to search for a used saddle, but in the mean time I am looking for advice on saddle makers that sell new saddles in my price range.
I am not remotely concerned about things like silver or tooling. I trail ride recreationaly so looks don't matter, just comfort for me and my horses. I'm totally open to a cordura saddle, but I want the seat to be leather. I prefer the way a leather seat wears, cordura skirt and fenders are a-okay. I am also not going to buy a name brand just for the name brand. Let's face it, there are several of those popular brands out there that sell for much more than a saddle of comparable quality handmade by some guy you haven't heard of.
I am also not super concerned about buying a lifetime saddle. I am not expecting to pay this kind of money for a saddle and have it hold up for decades. What I want is a saddle that will hold together for the next 5-10 years, by which time maybe I will have saved enough to put a down payment on a Tucker.