Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: middle of nowhere
The saddle looks decently-made--- probably not top-of-the-line but certainly not all that bad. I'm guessing it might be by Colorado Saddlery. They make a lot of saddles that look like that, and some aren't marked. The hard seat is something you don't find much in cheap saddles; the cheap western saddle brands find it too much work to do that correctly, and it takes up more leather. If it's not Colorado, there are a number of makers in the northwest who turn out saddles like that for outfitters/pack companies. Most aren't marked with a name, but they tend to be decent using saddles that fit a lot of horses and a lot of people well. The seat size is usually stamped on the latigo keeper, as yours seems to be. We had some at a ranch I used to work at that were 30 years old, used for 12 hours a day 6 months a year, and still looked good, didn't sore the horses, and fit nearly everything. Most sell in the range of about $850 new to the outfitters, marked or not. Is the underside of yours real fleece or artificial? Lift up the seat jockey and look at the tree-- is it raw wood or plastic, or does it seem somewhat translucent-- if so, it's probably rawhide-wrapped wood, which is bull strong and lasts forever. If the fleece is real, it's nearly always a high end saddle. If it's not, is it smooth and even? If so, probably mid-range. If the tree is raw wood, it's cheap. Synthetic, cheap or mid. Rawhide-wrapped wood is an expensive tree, and not in a cheapo saddle.
That's dropped D rigging/plate rigging on the OP's saddle. Not uncommon in ranch and roping saddles. Not every roping saddle is a full-double as you describe, Rawhide. Most ranch saddles aren't-- the full double has a tendency to make the horse's shoulders sore if ridden all day. It's really made for arena roping an hour or two here and there. A dropped-D plate or D rigging keeps bulk out from under the rider's thigh, and helps distribute the pull of the cinch more evenly across the tree. I wouldn't consider the rigging a red flag at all, especially since this is a ranch/trail saddle and not an arena roping saddle.
My custom ranch saddle with dropped D in-skirt plate rigging-- not a cheapo at all:
Last edited by SilverMaple; 06-05-2019 at 12:18 PM.