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A knack for horses 01-27-2011 10:24 PM

What type of Western saddle would work for me?
This is kind of early, but I would like some imput.

This spring/summer, I will be purchasing my first saddle. (Yay! :D) The reason I will be buying one now is because I will need one when I go to college. Also, my family isn't the richest, and with the cost of college these days, I'm trying to stagger my purchases so the "College price tag" won't be as big. Plus, I'm going to own a horse someday :wink:.

Anyway, I will be buying a used western saddle. I am really interested in ranch rodeos (specifically team penning) and I want to start reining. I also do a lot of trail riding. As for college requirements, I will be starting a colt. So, here comes my questions.
  1. As for buying used, I know you have to be a bit more thurough in checking the saddle quality. What are some tests for checking for broken/damaged trees? Is there anything else I need to look for?
  2. I think for my needs, a reining saddle would be the best fit for me. Obviously, they will work for the reining. They have the curved skirtsto allow more leg contact which would be good for starting horses (I've noticed training saddles have similar designs.) And I guess they would work pretty well for sorting. Would a reining saddle be a good choice? Is there another type of saddle that would work well?
  3. Do you know how much used saddles cost? I know it greatly varies, but for what I'm looking for, is there an approximate value for a decent looking saddle that would meet my requirements?
  4. What are some good brands to look for for a reining saddle? What about other suggested types of saddles?
Thanks for reading and thakns in advance for you imput! :D

tinyliny 01-27-2011 10:41 PM

Those are really good questions and I will be watching to see what the old pros say, 'cause I would like to know, too.
Which college are you going to and what will you study?

A knack for horses 01-27-2011 10:55 PM

For now, I am hoping ot go to Black Hawk College East to get an A.S. in Equestrian Sciences. (I know if I apply I automatically get in) After that, what I do will depend on my specific areas of interest, admittance, and the amount of scholarships I get.

Right now, I am planning on going to get certified in equine dentistry and then get my certification to be a farrier. In the long run, I want to build a large indoor show arena, give lessons, do some training, and maybe take in a few boarders. And the dentistry and farrier work will be my main source of income.

I'm not the type of person who has the patience or mental capacity to do the same thing day in, day out. I'm hoping when I take the horse management course at our school (I've got 7 weeks until I take it :D), I can "zoom" in some areas that really peak my interest.

Yeah, my career path isn't set in stone. I just know I want to work with horses. :lol:

Wallaby 01-27-2011 10:56 PM

I know nothing about saddles really and I have no idea if they make reining saddles, but I LOVE Bighorn saddles. I think they are generally super comfy and I've never sat in one that I wouldn't have enjoyed riding in for hours. My saddle right now is a 1969 Bighorn and to get that thing away from me, you'd have to pry it out of my dying hands. Haha I just love them.

Anyway, I hope you find a great saddle! I'm sure you will. :)

corinowalk 01-27-2011 10:58 PM

1. Take the saddle, put the horn near your belly, grab the cantle and pull. There may be a little give but you don't want a shift. If the tree is broken badly, the seat will wrinkle. On some older saddles, you can take a flashlight and see parts of the tree under the fenders and such.

2. I like reining saddles but I think a good all arounder will work well also. For the kind of work you are going to be doing, you want a good, tough saddle...pretty is nice but it isn't going to save you.

3. I like a solid built, middle of the road saddle. Bighorn is my favorite but older tex-tans are a close second. Crates is a bit up there but make a nice saddle.

For finding a price range, I like to use ebay to my advantage. Here is a search for a used reining saddle. Reining saddle items - Get great deals on Sporting Goods, cutting saddle items on!

I also love cross checking my information with tack review sites. Reining Saddles

I personally like a high cantle and a narrow front. I hate roping saddles.

A knack for horses 01-27-2011 11:12 PM


Originally Posted by corinowalk (Post 906965)
2. I like reining saddles but I think a good all arounder will work well also. For the kind of work you are going to be doing, you want a good, tough saddle...pretty is nice but it isn't going to save you.

What would an all arounder look like?

I would love to get a saddle with silver plating on it, but functionability will come before that. I just need it to be "presentable" in public, so I don't have to ride a nappy saddle in the rodeos.


Originally Posted by corinowalk (Post 906965)
I hate roping saddles.

Me too! I don't like the look of them. And they are sooo heavy.

corinowalk 01-27-2011 11:18 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Not to get all sexist here but most roping saddles are designed for men. They just don't fit us ladies right.

Here is my Bighorn pleasure saddle. I love this style saddle so much, I sold my former bighorn and bought the same model in a larger seat.

Nothing sexy. 4" cantle, deep comfortable seat that keeps you in a good position. Easily cleaned up and all day comfortable.

The other thing I really dislike on a saddle is a bear trap pommel. Hate. It. Especially for training or riding something a little fresh. One buck and those bruises will be on your thighs for weeks.

smrobs 01-27-2011 11:27 PM

I would also like to throw in another shameless plug for the Corriente Saddle Co.

Their saddles are very affordable but still good working quality. I got mine custom made for less than $700. My brother has had one just like mine for about 6 or 7 years and it has undergone very heavy work every day, had thousands of cattle roped off of it, been on dozens of horses, and it still looks good.

I always go for something with a heavy duty tree in it, not just because I rope, but because the tree is the most important part and with one that's sturdy, having it break or warp is much less likely.

Anyway, that's my plug for my fave company. :D

corinowalk 01-27-2011 11:31 PM

I love the Corriente's! I think they make a very good working saddle.

kitten_Val 01-27-2011 11:37 PM

What do you plan to do? Reining? Cutting? Just trail riding?

One thing I personally consider to be important in a search is how heavy the saddle is. If you can't really move the heavy stuff (and some of us can't) you may want to look for something lighter. :wink:

I agree with both suggestions - Big Horn and Corriente. I gonna add Alamo and Bill Cook (and TexTan and Circle Y, but those are more expensive). :-)

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