I am going to switch over to western riding because I plan to do a lot of trail riding and I think it would be more comfortable. So I was wondering what is a good quality inexpensive brand of western saddles?
Good quality & inexpensive don't usually go hand in hand unfortunately, though if you look for an older used quality saddle they can be fairly affordable. I don't remember which member it was but someone on here has a really nice vintage Hereford for sale. I think for $600.
I have a few favorite makers, Crates, Bona Allen (all will be used as they closed after a fire in the early 80s) Charles Crawley (sold to Crates years ago) older Billy Cook's (new ones are much poorer quality) Circle Y's are decent and older Tex-Tans (Hereford)
I've also heard good reviews on Corriente saddles but have never ridden one.
There are many good brands of saddles, but I'll have to agree with the Circle Y statement. My husband and I each have one. We bought them over 20 years ago and they are still great. New ones are expensive, but used ones might be attainable. If you have to have something dirt cheap, I have a Wintec western that is not too bad. It only weighs 15 pounds. It fits my horse nicely and is easy to throw around.
My favorite custom saddle maker told me she likes the quality of Corrientes. I ride in a Cowboy Tack saddle but they are hard to find as Dennis is not making them anymore. $$$ to buy even a used one if you can find one. My husband rides in a Rocking R and my daughter in a Double J Lynn McKenzie Special. Find a Billy Cook Maker used saddle or an older Circle Y, Hereford or Simco and you will have a great saddle at a decent price!
My favorite saddle (that I love so much I will probably be buried sitting on it! =) is a Sanchez. He worked side by side with Billy Cook, before he sold out, and his saddles are extreamly heavy duty and super comfortable. I paid $1400 for my roping saddle brand new, but you can get a trail saddle much cheaper.