Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Beautiful Pacific Northwest
• Horses: 0
this is really a 2-part question:
Chick's Saddlery: I've ordered from them several times, and have always been pleased with them. Their descriptions are accurate, their service is good, and their prices are great.
English starter set: Please don't do this to yourself or your horse. A good saddle costs $1500-$3000 new. A great one up to $5000. So how good do you think a $160 one is, including all the accessories? (hint, a good headstall costs more than that whole set).
Those starter sets are made in India or Pakistan out of water-buffalo, with sub-par construction and workmanship. They often put you in a bad position, making you fight the saddle. They can hurt your horse, both from odd flocking, twisted tress, and gullet plates that are made of crappy steel that flexes over time.
Here's what you want to do:
Get the horse first.
Study his/her back shape: this includes a wither-tracing taken about 2" behind the scapula and a profile along the length of the back. Determine the tree width.
What kind of riding will you be doing? Determine whether you need a dressage, A/P or Jumping saddle.
Then look for good deals on USED, QUALITY saddles. If you are a savvy shopper and know what you're looking for, you can get an older, but well-cared-for English, European, or Australian saddle for the same price or a little more than this starter package. You and your horse will be much happier.