Originally Posted by DancingArabian
I agree with what KWPNowner says. I often see used Crosby's in that price range. It might be better for you to pay a saddle fitter to come out and make suggestions rather than just guess. That way, you don't have to spend money on a saddle only to find out that it doesn't fit the horse.
I have to point it out but hunter under saddle IS a style of english. If your trainer thinks your horse should learn western before english yet you should start HUS, don't you see a little hole in the trainer's plan?
I'm also confused as to what the game plan is... you can't really start by doing western with the horse and HUS for yourself at the same time
To answer your question, I would go with a used saddle of a decent brand. In particular, plain flap saddles sell for pretty cheap nowadays. Consider looking for a used Collegiate, Stubben, Crosby, etc. Don't go for a cheap no-name saddle, or for a "starter" saddle package with saddle, bridle, girth, and pad for about $200. NOT worth the money in the long run, and may sore your horse.