$400 and under - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-13-2013, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: central Illinois
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Question $400 and under

My husband retired and we took a big hit in our monthly income. I need a saddle for my mare who is registered 99% foundation QH. She is a big girl. She is only 15.2, but her body is heavy muscles and thick.

My gelding's saddle really does not fit her well, and also if I have a friend who wants to ride, I need a second saddle.

The saddle would not get used a whole lot, probably only a couple times a year or maybe 3 at the most.

What is needed: western saddle, 18 inch seat, about 24-28 pounds.

I have read comments on here about double t saddles. They sound like they might do ok for my needs, but I would like suggestions for other inexpensive saddles, but not really bad junk. I know there are some nasty ones out there and don't want to get stuck with one again.

I wasted money (what I consider to be a waste of money) on one from Ligers N Tigons saddle company. I got it off ebay and it was awful. I do not have it anymore. I took a big loss on what I paid for it just to get rid of it. It was not at all usable on my horses, and not for anyone else that tried it on their horse.

There is a place on line named "Saddle Online. Com". I have talked to them via their chat. Their saddles are made in India. They said they design and test the saddles here in the U.S. They are located Chicago, IL. Their 'chat' person said they all own and use the saddles on their own horses. That while the saddles are made in India, they make sure they are good saddles. But I know people can and will say a lot of things to get someone to buy their product. However I also know that good items can be found that are made in other countries.

I need a saddle, but I have to keep it under $400.

The saddle needs to be 18 inch seat, might be able to do a 17, but no smaller than that. Actually a 17 is going to be quite a squeeze and 18 would be best, but if all I can get is a 17, then I would do that.

Does anyone know of a saddle company, saddle brand, or where I could get a saddle for what I am needing.?
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-13-2013, 12:39 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
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Have you thought about looking at used saddles either at local tack shops (most do consignment) or on Craigslist? Most saddle shops will test the tree before putting it out for sale (at least they do around here...any hint of a busted or cracked tree and they refuse to take it) and if you find one on Craigslist you like, most sellers will take a check and hold it for 24 hours so you can try it on your horse and in that time you can take it to a saddle shop and have them give the saddle a once-over.

When I was looking for a saddle for my old gelding who was hard to fit, I actually put an ad on Craigslist detailing out what I was looking for and how much I could spend. I got tons of replies and all were willing to let me take the saddle to try it on him if I left a deposit.
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-13-2013, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: коза країни
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You can get a brand new Abetta synthetic for $400 and under, not sure if you can in your and your horses size, but worth a look. Go to Chicks Saddlery.
bsms and 2BigReds like this.
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-13-2013, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: USA
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A used Saddle or an Abetta would be my suggestion for that price range

Most Foundation Style QH's will use a Full QH Bar


May all your Trails be happy and safe ones

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post #5 of 17 Old 02-13-2013, 01:22 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
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I too am looking for an inexpensive western saddle that will likely only be used a few times a year, so I am watching this thread. Maybe I'll take some time and look at the Abettas... any fitting/sizing tips on those? Luckily for me, my guy's a pretty standard looking QH. May need SemiQH bars though. Not sure.

It can be tough, so far on CL in my area, all I've seen is overpriced crapola and very nice expensive saddles.
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-13-2013, 01:56 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Used has been suggested. Good saddles for less than new.
Even if it will have limited use it still needs to fit the horse well.
Craig's List or Tack Trader are a couple of places to start. Tack stores also.
Look at as many good brands as you can so you will know a good used deal when you see it. There is a lot of trash out there not worth throwing under a truck. (Wouldn't want to do damage to the truck!)

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #7 of 17 Old 02-13-2013, 02:11 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
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Originally Posted by Sharpie View Post
It can be tough, so far on CL in my area, all I've seen is overpriced crapola and very nice expensive saddles.
I actually had better luck with putting a "wanted" ad up than I did with looking at existing ads. Sometimes people have saddles that they aren't sure they want to sell or don't think about selling until they see someone needs what they have. The second instance happened to me when I put my ad up. Was contacted by a lady with a 16" equitation seat western show saddle with real silver accents that was on an Arab tree, which is what I needed. She had switched from Arabs to Morgans, so the saddle didn't fit any of her horses and had been sitting on a saddle stand in her living room for five years, not being used. It was a gorgeous saddle, extremely well-made, and she was going to sell it to me for $250. The seat ended up being uncomfortable for me (sat on it on the stand in her living room...the swells pinched my thighs in an odd way), so I had to pass. Nearly cried when I had to say no, though.
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-13-2013, 03:59 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Clovis, CA
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As mentioned before, an Abetta would be your best bet I think. Too bad the one I'm selling is only semi QH bars and a 16" seat! It's barely even used but they are good, inexpensive saddles for the occasional trail ride with a friend. I know for a fact that they come in "wide" as opposed to their "regular", which is semi QH bars. Not sure about the seat, but I'm sure I've seen 17" and I seem to remember having seen an 18" seat before too...
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-13-2013, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Clovis, CA
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Not sure how you feel about ebay, but they DO have a very good buyer protection program. If you get a guarantee IN WRITING from the seller that the saddle they're selling you has been checked by a professional and has an undamaged, intact tree, you get it, and it's broken in any way shape or form, ebay can make sure you get your money back.

This one it only 17", but it's a wide tree and only $300! Looks to be in great condition too!
Used Abetta Cordura All Around Trail Saddle Western Style 17" Wide Tree | eBay

This one's 17" and wide tree as well, new for $435 so just slightly out of budget, but add shipping and it's closer to $500.
17" Abetta Stealth Super Cushion Trail Saddle Flex Wide Deal | eBay

Shoot I just realized the first one is local pickup ONLY in Wisconsin. I wonder if you could message her and ask if you could arrange for shipping as well? For an Abetta it shouldn't at all put you over budget. I've noticed this listing has been up for awhile considering the first recorded offer was back in October 2012. If you offer to pay her the full price plus whatever extra it would cost for shipping and she turns you down, she obviously doesn't want to sell it that badly. :P

Last edited by 2BigReds; 02-13-2013 at 04:20 PM. Reason: ETA
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post #10 of 17 Old 02-13-2013, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Minnesota
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I've got a 17 inch extra wide leather saddle I'm looking to sell soon. It's really quite nice, tooled leather, either a barrel or roping saddle. No brand but very good quality. I'm looking to get 300 for it sans shipping, if you're interested.

Otherwise, yes, Abetta makes good quality Synthetics if that'll work for you. I've heard really good things about them!

Tack sales around our area might have something. Check eBay, but don't buy anything that doesn't have a brand or advertises as 'new' when it's only 200 dollars, and don't buy any packages of any kind. Check out the Tack and Equipment Classifieds section, too - People sell saddles there often!
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