What would be the value of this saddle? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-08-2013, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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What would be the value of this saddle?

To start off, I don't mean what it's worth right now--it has some damage and a lot of wear, I know that. I'm actually pretty sure it's around 50 years old.
What I want to know is what it would have been worth when it was new (In current dollars).

The reason for this is that the sheepskin of this saddle has been through a few wrecks and needs to be replaced, but I know that it would cost more than the saddle is currently worth. So I want to replace it, and I'm looking for an idea of what kind of price I should expect to get something of equal quality workmanship new or lightly used.


  • It is handmade, and very well I think. All of the leather is at least 1/4" thick all the way around.
  • All of the hardware is anchored to the tree, including the back cinch D-ring and breast collar rings.
  • It has two rows of metal rivets on the inside of the pommel and around the base of the horn.
  • There is no maker marks on it, but there is a brand (Like a cattle brand) tooled on the left fender, probably from the ranch it was made at.
  • It is 14" and weighs about 45 lbs--Not a wimpy saddle!
  • I think it has full QH bars, but I may be wrong.
  • It has a little bit of tooling, but for the most part it is a very practical saddle.

This saddle has been through 3 instances where it got dragged under a horse (not by me ) and recently, a car accident. Not that you can tell from the leather!

When I took a piece of the fender off to shorten the stirrups, it took 30 minutes to cut through it with an x-acto knife, a box cutter, and leather shears--so the leather quality is very, very good.

And believe it or not, through at least 50 years of ranch work and multiple years of neglect before I got it last year, there is not one hint of cracking deeper than maybe half a millimeter. Saddle 1.jpg

Saddle 2.jpg

Saddle 3.jpg

Saddle 4.jpg

Saddle 5.jpg

Saddle 6.jpg

Saddle 7.jpg
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-08-2013, 11:42 PM
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I'll guess it cost about $185 new, fifty years ago I also imagine you can find a site that will do conversion on inflation.
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post #3 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 01:05 AM
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I would have no idea. But, putting on a new sheepskin isn't THAT expensive.
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 02:39 AM
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Putting new sheepskin on is not that expensive. If the saddle is worth using quality-wise (minus the sheepskin) then just bite the bullet and get it replaced. Because of inflation, difference in materials, etc, there's no way anyone could give you a comparison to any saddle currently being manufactured. I'll say the seemingly unhelpful thing that everyone always says with saddles: buy the best product that you can with the money you can spend, or make do with what you have if it's of adequate quality.

If nothing else, then because of the lack of a maker's mark you cannot give a real initial value of the saddle. I'm not good at picking out quality saddles with only a maker's mark through the internet, so if I had to pick out its value today it would be next to nothing. However, many older saddles have quality despite not having a brand. Identify the features that you like, determine how much you can spend, and look for saddles that fit that. That's assuming that you can't spend the money getting the fleece replaced ;)
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 06:18 AM
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I sold an old custom bear trap saddle on ebay for $450. It also needed the fleece replaced, but the leather is what determines value. I made a decent profit as I bought it locally, then decided it didn't fit me quite right. Just a little too confining.

It was a no-name saddle as well.

Your saddle looks like the leather has some mold on the seat? Might not be worth much.

Last edited by 4horses; 11-09-2013 at 06:20 AM.
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 06:59 AM
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That saddle has been beat to heck and back, and has a lot more wrong with it than just needing new sheepskin. The fact that you CUT the fenders with an X-acto knife instead of taking it to a leather shop tells me you've pretty much ruined it, anyway.

There's no way to tell how much it cost new, so the only thing to consider is if it's worth the expense to you to have it repaired. The leather looks dry rotted in places, and you don't know if the tree has been damaged by all the wrecks it's been in unless you have a professional look it over.

Bottom line, it looks as if it was originally a middle of the road custom job. Made as a working piece of equipment out of decent materials, but nothing fancy.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!

Last edited by Speed Racer; 11-09-2013 at 07:03 AM.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
That saddle has been beat to heck and back, and has a lot more wrong with it than just needing new sheepskin. The fact that you CUT the fenders with an X-acto knife instead of taking it to a leather shop tells me you've pretty much ruined it, anyway.

There's no way to tell how much it cost new, so the only thing to consider is if it's worth the expense to you to have it repaired. The leather looks dry rotted in places, and you don't know if the tree has been damaged by all the wrecks it's been in unless you have a professional look it over.

Bottom line, it looks as if it was originally a middle of the road custom job. Made as a working piece of equipment out of decent materials, but nothing fancy.
LOL, the "mold" is spots from dirt, mud etc. I didn't have a lot of time to oil it before I took the pics

And as for the cutting it, I DID have a professional look at when I got a quote on the Sheepskin. He told me outright that paying him to do it would be a waste of money; all I had to do was narrow the fender at the top so the fender would slide back farther to shorten the stirrups, which was something people did all the time.
I've also had a little leather working experience myself--not a whole lot, but enough that I doubt I ruined a saddle by trimming a fender

Before the car accident just a little bit ago, I had the tree tested as well. Nothing wrong with it then .
Since the car accident, I'm going to have it tested again just in case, though the saddle really didn't get too damaged from it. That's another reason why I want to see about replacing it, if the tree is damaged

Thanks!
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 11:39 AM
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From what I have seen in my area a used saddle of good quality will bring several hundred dollars. But it has to be in very good condition...no rolled leather, not beat up, and a known brand.
As long as your saddle is solid (I wouldn't guess the weight of it from the photo), it fits you and your horse, and you can replace the sheepskin yourself, I'd use it and enjoy it. It's hard to say what it cost new 50 years ago, so much has changed. Seems like comparing that time to today is like apples and oranges. It's hard to find a good all leather saddle today for under $1200 new...and that may be a bit conservative.
By the way, I love the "ears" in the second photo.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 11:43 AM
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Just looked into getting fleece redone on a old saddle. the Fleece its self is Cheap about $30 a yard. But is all the labor involved it cost about $250 for my saddle shop to replace because you have to take the whole saddle apart.

Don't Flatter yourself Cowboy I was looking at your Horse
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! You've been a lot of help :)
I think I might take it into my local tack shop where I take my tack for repairs and get his opinion on it when I test the tree. :)

Thanks again!
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