Best Saddle for $350
looking at King, Double T, Wintec western saddles under $350 for a 6 y/o Gaited Standardbred gelding. Any suggestions?
I got a Double T saddle at a tack auction last fall. It's nice looking and comfy, but I wouldn't expect it to last as long as a nicer brand. I just sold it, actually, because it didn't fit me or my mare (it was meant as a kid's saddle and my mare's a big girl). They don't cost much , so you're paying for what you get. It was comfy though.
Big Horn makes a Gaited horse trail saddle that is very nice. I have a regular Big Horn trail saddle, as I have QH's and it has held up well with a lot of hard riding, and is very comfy. A couple of sites have them listed for $359.
If you are curious just about synthetic I'd look into Big Horn or Fabtron personally (although you may want to go with the used one). Abetta would be another brand I could recommend (and it's in your price range I believe). I had a very bad luck with Wintec western: it broke while going downhill throwing me over the head of my horse.
I completely second the suggestion for the Big Horn saddle. You can try their gaited cordura saddle or their cordura barrel saddle, which isn't as long if your horse has a short back like some gaited horses but doesn't necessarily need a "gaited" saddle. The Big Horns are one of the comfiest saddles I've ever ridden in. I just bought my third Big Horn. Also, for some reason they seem to fit more horses more readily than some others. I can take it off my 16 hh Standardbred and put it on my 15 hand Missouri Foxtrotter gelding, and it also fit our old 14.2 hh quarter horse perfectly. Obviously, a horse requiring a narrower tree, like an Arabian, needs a smaller gullet, but it seems an easy fit.
Seriously - they're very comfortable, and they're well made, too! Try getting a used on on ebay or somewhere. I got mine for $225 used and it was (and is) in good shape.
Happy saddle hunting!
Abetta or used. I don't know of any other "new" saddle that is under $400 that is worth buying. Wintec westerns are okay, but IMO, Abetta is better. If you can find a Big Horn in your price range, they are great too.
Royal King, King Series, Double T, Hilason, and similar saddles are all junk that I wouldn't take if you gave to me... At best, they just look worn out fast. At worst, they can break while riding and sore your horse. The trees are fiberglass, which warp and crack with exposure to heat and cold. They are often warped out of the box, although only slightly so hard to tell unless you're really looking.
I've got a great Abetta for sale if you're interested! PM me!
Buy used. Gaited saddles are pricey and hard to come by used, but the quality will be 10 times better.
Get used!! New saddles under $350 won't be good and probably won't fit your horse. Check ebay :-)
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