Good western saddle brands?
I'm looking for an affordable saddle. These are some brands I'm considering.
Does anyone have any experience with any of these brands? Are there any brands I should avoid? Are there any other brands with good mid-price saddles?
Also, what is the difference between the Billy Cook saddles made in OK and the ones made in TX? Is one better than the other?
I'm actually looking at Big Horn now. Some people really like Abetta (doesn't put my legs in good position though). Some go with Wintec, but I'd stay away from western Wintec (heard number of complaints and personally had an accident with this saddle).
I've never heard about Showman and Nash Saddlery, but heard not so nice things about the rest.
Oh, and you can always look for nice (leather) brand used on ebay or craiglist!
Don't know what the difference is but a Billy Cook is always at the top of my list!!!
Welcome to the forum!
The difference between the TX and the OK Billy Cooks is that the TX is just using his name and the OK are actually made by him.
It sounds like you are in the $600 price range and for that money I would look into a Dakota. I had one special made last summer as a backup and now it's my go-to saddle (the one I got was in the $1,000 range with the extras I wanted). Although over the years I've had several custom made saddles, I'm very happy with the quality and comfort of the Dakota.
As for the others, I've looked at the Royal King, the Showman, and the Blue River and wasn't very impressed - that's how I came to buy the Dakota.
Circle S - Fair
Double T - Fair to Junk
Showman - Fair to Junk
Nash Saddlery - Fair
Blue River - Fair
Dakota - Great
Billy Cook - Oklahoma - Great
Billy Cook - Texas - Good
Abetta - Fair to Good
BigHorn - Fair to Good
Fabtron - Good
Simco - Good
American Saddlery - Good
Southern Trails Saddle - Great - I love mine as so does the friend who referred me.
Billy cook is a great saddle.
I would look for a used saddle.
I don't have good experinces with any of the above saddles. I have a Circle S that does not fit any horses at all. It just isn't made properly.
I have a Circle Y saddle that is really good and fits a wide range of horses. I also have a Western Rawhide which is a mid range saddle that I LOVE. I paid just under $800 for it brand new and it has been on of the best saddles ever. It fits all of my horses, keeps me in a good seat and is so comforatable and sturdy. Out of the 5 saddles in my barn I always go for the Western Rawhide. They are made in Canada.
I have a Simco roping saddle I bought about 5 or 6 years ago and it is very well made and comfortable. I can't really say much about the others because the only other saddles I have ever ridden were Billy Cooks that were made in the 70's. Not really indicative to today's quality. LOL.
Billy Cook all the way. I have a used one (15") I'm trying to sell for around $850 obo. I got it for $1300 new. Let me know if you're interested. It's super comfy and will last forever. I've taken really good care of it.
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