I'm pretty new to the site, and in the process of becoming a horse owner after 8+ years of riding, leasing, and whining. :D However, I never ended up buying my own saddle because I didn't want to be stuck with something that wouldn't fit my eventual horse.
I'm looking at Western saddles, primarily for pleasure and trails-- maybe endurance riding in the future, but certainly not for a while. My budget is around $500, however anything less would be a relief.
Of course, the first option is to go synthetic (Abetta, Wintec), however I understand that several people do not believe they have the same give and flex as a leather saddle (and understandably so!). Alternatively, I can shell out the money for a quality leather saddle (Circle Y High Horse Lockhart Saddle - Statelinetack.com), but I'm not really sure where to start!
Can anyone recommend a good first saddle for my purposes? Any help is appreciated! Thanks so much! :)
you would be better off looking into a second hand saddle. It really depends on the horse, and what works for him/her.
Everyone has their own opinion. I kind of like the Crates saddles.
The Circle Y High Horse models use the same Ralide Brand Tree in them that Abetta, Fabtron and Bighorn Brands use.
The Circle Y calls the Size; Medium or Wide, which relates to Semi-QH and Full-QH in that order.
The Tree is what fits the Horse, whether or not the Skirts and Housing are Leather or Cordura has no effect on how it actually fits the Horse.
I'd wait and look for a nice second hand saddle on ebay or CL. Good saddles will last a life time! One of my friends royal king saddles is already coming apart after a year of light use. The metal is rusting, the "black" leather is peeling and it just really uncomfortable! Better off saving up your pennies and getting the best product you can afford! In the mean time ask to try out friends saddle, this way you can find out what fits you the best. Personally I've had my eye out for a TexTan imperial reiner!
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I'm not sure what brand my saddle is but it was used when I got it. It is HEAVY, and a roping saddle. I *love* it for trail riding or light riding around home.
I may go through a million horses but I wouldn't take a million dollars for that saddle, it fits my but just perfect, as long as it fits whatever horse I ride I will always use it
If you have gone 8 years without buying a saddle I would recommend going longer to save enough to get a good quality hand made custom saddle built for you. Figure out the types of horses you are going to ride and get the saddle built with that in mind. Get a good custom made one and though the initial outlay will likely be at least double your limit it will also, provided its looked after, out last you and probably your grand children too.
Find a top quality used saddle instead of spending money on a Circle Y....seriously. I'm not a fan of Circle Y's at all! You could also get a roughout training saddle in your price range. I have had one for 10 years and love it...you can't kill this saddle. I actually like it more than my custom show saddle!
Just start looking for used saddles, you can really find nice used saddles for great prices! But you do have the right idea, if you cant afford a nice leather one go with synthetic, like the brand abetta you have suggested. Stay away from the cheap saddles, hopefully you can have a trainer or even better a saddle fitter help you!
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