Has anyone ever owned/used this saddle...??
In my quest to find a good [but affordable] set of english tack I happened to come across this "starter set":
Economy English Starter Set
Now, for $159.99 you get the all-purpose jumping saddle along with leathers, irons and web girth, as well as a snaffle bridle and bit with laced reins. At first I was like Woa! That can't be right. But then it was more like, Alright, what's the catch? But all but one of the reviews seems to be all positive about this set. It seems too good to be true.
Has anyone ever owned or ridden in this saddle? If so, what is your opinion of it?
The reviews they allow are all positive, lol.
Most all starter packages are cheap Asian imports made on inferior fiberglass trees with stiff, cardboard leather. They show wear to the leather VERY quickly, rarely put the rider in a proper position, and rarely fit the horse properly. And if you decide to sell it, you'll be lucky to get $50 for it, even if it looks brand new.
You're much better off getting an older used saddle of a quality brand. The saddle market right now is LOW and there are some GREAT deals out there! A high quality European made saddle is more likely to fit you and your horse, put you in a good position, have a higher resale value should you decide to sell, and will last a lifetime if properly cared for. I have two Stubben AP saddles that are at LEAST 30 years old and still going strong ;-). I bought the last one for my daughter for only $125! It needs some minor repair, but only cosmetic issues. It rides great!
Welcome to the forum!
In my experience, whether it's an English or Western starter set, they have all been very poorly made and with really inferior leather. Most likely the tack was made in India and the quality is poor.
You would be better off looking for a used quality made saddle that will typically be worth what you paid for it when you go to resell it. In that price range or a little more, you may find a Collegiate, Crosby, Blue Ribbon, Wintec, or others.
I would strongly advise you not to get it. With those saddles you can almost guarantee that they will not fit your horse and will give him saddle sores. I made that same mistake when I got my first saddle 9 years ago and my trainer said she wouldn't let me put it on any of her horses. A good cheap saddle is a Wintec. They are good for learning with. You can get a cheap bridle for around $40-$50 and as long as you oil the crap out of it, it should be fine.
Yea, thanks everyone who commented.
That's what I thought, but I just wanted to get someone else's opinion on the matter. In fact, the saddle I am seriously considering getting is a Wintec. It's $250. I would much rather pay the extra than injure my horse with crappy Asian failure. =)
Unfortunately that Saddle is not even Asian, it is made with Water Buffalo from India.
You can generally pick a Brand Name Used Saddle for just a little more.
Stay away. I've seen these at the first barn I boarded at. They won't fit you or your horse and the leather is ridiculous, hard and not supple AT ALL. You would essentially be putting a brick onto your horse. They are terrible.
Save yourself the money and put a couple more bucks into a really nice used saddle. There are some really nice brand name saddles out there.
India is in Asia ;-). I lump all Asian made saddles together: Indian, Paskistani, Chinese, etc.
I got one of those sets for Christmas when I was 9. My parents didn't know any better at the time. I used it for about 2 years and then got a new saddle. I think I ended up selling it for $25. It was just like the others described, cardboard like! Try to find a better quality used saddle.
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