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Help me choose a western saddle
I'm trying to figure out which saddle to order. My budget isn't huge, and I plan on getting a nice pad so I have to figure that cost in the equation.
My horses is a 16HH Paint/TB and I would classify him as "medium wide," likely leaning more towards wide than medium.
I used to ride in a 14" seat but have definitely gained weight since then. I'm either a 15" or 16" now (5'6", 170 lbs).
Option 1: Used Circle Y. It is obviously the most expensive option, and is definitely a used saddle. Seller thinks it needs to be refleeced, but due to the location of the missing fleece, I don't think it actually needs to be done. 15" seat, 6.5" gullet. I'm concerned it might be a bit narrow. No return option.
Option 2: No name off Ebay. Actually looks like a decent enough saddle, price is very low, shipping is a bit high but the price is low enough so it doesn't really matter. Seat is 16", gullet is very wide (8+ inches). I'm concerned it might be TOO wide. No return option.
Option 3: No name off Ebay. Looks like the "cheapest" saddle, but still not as bad as some of the knockoffs I see listed all the time. Black color looks to be rubbing off, though. 15" seat, no info as to gullet/bars (I've asked the seller and am awaiting a response). Same price as the last no name, much lower shipping. 14 day return policy, not including shipping.
Option 4: Jeffers Equine saddle. Is technically a "no name," but looks to be well made. I actually had a very similar looking saddle from Country Supply many years back and it was one of my favorite saddles ever. Price is nice, shipping is free. Full QH bars, 16" seat. 30 day return policy, I'd have to pay for shipping the saddle back. It's on backorder for a month, though, so that's a bummer.
Can you go into a tack store and find out exactly which size seat you are? No point going for one of the 15" if it's too small.
Option 1 seems like a bit of a waste of money, especially if it's the most expensive and yet might need repairs.
Option 2 made me drool :D But you might be better off going one that you can return if necessary. Also, I think 8" in western saddle equates to something that would fit a draft.
Option 3 is nice, but it does look quite worn. And of course, the gullet might turn out to be completely wrong.
Option 4 I like. I presume it is new and, although the picture is teeny, it looks like it's nice. But from what I know about western saddles (which is very little), FQHB might be a bit much for your horse.
I would avoid Option 1 - I dont think it would be wide enough in the bars for your horse.
I like Option 2 - maybe you can confirm the gullet width? Sometimes people mis-measure. I've seen some out there as 10" or 12" and so forth because the measurement location is slightly off.
I also think Option 4 is safe because it seems like you know more of what you're getting and there's a return policy.
In order of my preference: 2, 4, 3, 1
Hope it works out for you and your horse!
I don't know about the rest of you but I steer FAR clear of anything no name or cheaply priced on Ebay..Far, far away.. Especially with no return policy..
Keep looking, those saddles are okay but don't settle on one of those if you don't love it and know what you're getting. Ask a ton of questions at tack stores, sit in a lot of different styles, and remember your favorites.. There's also the question on what type of saddle you're looking for? All western saddles are made a like..
i'm not sure what your price range is, but check out craigslist.
also have you looked at abetta saddles? they have lots of options, easy to keep clean, hold up really well, and priced pretty cheap for a new saddle.
i'm also in the hunt, semi-qh bars for my high withered, wide backed TWH, and so far the abetta is the one that under a grand (one i'm getting is 475ish, but you can find new/used down closer to 350-400 with a return option)
Medium/Wide in English roughly relates to 6.75" Gullet or Regular QH-Bars
#1 is too narrow
#2 I doubt is 8" but not worth the risk, verify size
#3 While inexpensive is American Made, verify size
#4 From Jeffers is a piece of Junk, there is no such thing as a New all Leather Saddle for under 500.00 that is worth a flip, you may find a closeout like a low end Simco or American Saddlery (the both have low end and high end models) for 450.00 or 500.00 but that would be an at Cost Closeout.
You can find a New Fabtron, Abetta or Bighorn in a Synthetic that is New in the 400.00 price range.
For those asking about the measurement of the wide saddle, this pic is actually on the ad:
Would've been a great saddle for my mutton withered QH... but my new horse has somewhat high withers so I don't think it's going to work. :(
I'm wondering if I should just up my budget a few hundred collars and get something I REALLY like, like these:
16" Tex Tan (semi bars, I've asked about gullet width):
16" Big Horn:
I really should consider non leather saddles and do have a few on my watch list... but I'd really rather have a leather saddle.
You have to try a good cordura saddle. The essential parts are leather. Skirt and fenders are cordura." Soft"fenders sure are nice. And depending on the maker, they ride just like their leather ones. Stay away from the no name one's. Circle Y and Big Horn IMO are the best. Abetta I find too hi tech looking and the Wintecs I can't get myself to even try....
As for fit for high withers/tall horse I would definitely go Big Horn
My trainer has a bunch of Big Horn cordura saddles and I did ride in one and liked it on her OTTB. Maybe I'll wait on buying a saddle and use one of her Big Horns for awhile and see how it fits me and Eclipse.
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