Saddle quality info? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 08-04-2020, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Question Saddle quality info?

So I have come across some saddles (both western and english)
They look good in the pictures, but I don't know how good they'd be in reality...


What I know about them:
They have a wood tree
They are made with American Leather DD (I don't know what that means)
Made with brass fittings
Made in India


You can get them with or without a matching tack set...
They aren't super cheap... A western saddle is about $600 without a tack set and $700 with a tack set


Opinions?

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post #2 of 21 Old 08-04-2020, 10:17 AM
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Wood trees, by themselves, are not very safe. Good trees are rawhide covered wood.
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post #3 of 21 Old 08-04-2020, 10:23 AM
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A brand new saddle for $600 is very likely junk.

"Made in India" is a very good warning sign of a bad saddle company.

"American Leather" seems like a gimmick to suggest quality. Googling it results the "American Leather" Furniture Company, and then saddle ads from Hilason - a commonly known junk saddle company.


A used $600 saddle will always be better than a new $600 saddle.

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post #4 of 21 Old 08-04-2020, 10:30 AM
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I'm not sure what American leather DD is either... a dye process??

Are these new?
Used?
I want to see a link to or picture of the saddle in question when you write of American leather but constructed in India...makes me very, very leery.
Not everything that comes from India is inferior but much can be.
The cost of $600 also actually concerns me if you are referring to your cost new for a saddle...
Materials cost money, labor costs money but cheap labor overseas, shipping raw materials and returning finished goods....eehhhhh....
Mark-up of the products concerning horse tack use to be huge...
So, the materials and labor cost maybe $300, the rest is markup and profit is what I have been told to figure in the past from my friends who owned a tack shop.
So on a saddle costing $600 new, a very fine-tooth comb would be used to check it out.
I'm also not sure a all-wood tree is common today either and wood today is not the same as wood of 30 - 40 years ago either.
Most wood trees in western saddles are wrapped with rawhide or resin to give added strength to areas that normally are weakened or stressed over time.
I don't know of any English saddles that have wood trees anymore either.

You did not mention any warranty on the saddles but quality saddles have warranty on tree of 10 years and often 5 years on all other parts of the saddle.
If the saddle is not from a company with physical location in the US {I live in USA} then I'm not going there as heaven forbid a problem how do you get resolution and fixed?
PO Boxes don't work...
BBB checking is called for in this and so are tack reviews of product before purchase..

At one time saddles constructed in Argentina were stigmatized as inferior...then Pessoa came along and blew that to bits..
I don't know though of any company, named or anonymous, that imports much quality "saddles" from India yet...do tread very carefully.
JT International is a huge importer from India and I believe Korea, Vietnam today...
I have some tack from them, mostly bridles and they were cheap...serviceable but there is a difference in quality finishing, tanning and just how long they are going to last with average to less than average use I already see.
I got hooked on a picture and what came was not what it appeared as in the picture...do be cautious.
...

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Last edited by horselovinguy; 08-04-2020 at 10:36 AM.
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post #5 of 21 Old 08-04-2020, 11:20 AM
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DD leather is pull up leather which is a specific process where oils and wax combinations with dyes are added in the tanning process.



India has a devoted textile trade that produces some really nice leathers for good prices - those are mostly exported or purchased by companies that then use labor in that country to produce those leather goods. Saddle manufacturers are hit and miss and typically use the poorer and most cheaply made leather products to cover inferior trees. While you could end up with something worth while you need to research the company and their saddle making process. Most will be junk. Why - because cheap sells and all they are doing is copying what is already out there and cutting all the corners they can - like a wood tree... if not wrapped then will break and sooner rather than later.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #6 of 21 Old 08-04-2020, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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This is the saddle I've been looking at: Western Saddle: WS-2845


And maybe some others on their website...

Tears may get you sympathy, But sweat will get you results. > Clinton Anderson
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post #7 of 21 Old 08-04-2020, 12:27 PM
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Have you reached out to them about warranty of their product and what specifically it is?


I love leather, but to me...this does not resemble good quality leather. It looks like hard cardboard, unbending.

I want to know about that warranty...
I tried to find information through social media...interesting there was no feedback on their products that was easily seen...still searching!



...

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post #8 of 21 Old 08-04-2020, 12:29 PM
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It has a wood tree. Don't risk it.
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post #9 of 21 Old 08-04-2020, 12:31 PM
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I wouldn't buy any saddle made in India, period. I would limit myself to Western saddles made in the US and Canada, and English saddles made in the US, Canada, or Europe. Aussie saddles made in Australia.

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post #10 of 21 Old 08-04-2020, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horse Training Cowgirl View Post
This is the saddle I've been looking at: Western Saddle: WS-2845


And maybe some others on their website...
Nope, wouldn't risk it.

Think of a well-known saddle brand, Circle Y, and think of what they would charge for a saddle that is decked out like the saddle you linked is. No way would it cost only $600 - corners were cut someplace.

Wooden tree = corner cut

Pressed detailing into the leather instead of hand-tooled = corner cut

Now imagine what other corners were likely cut to be able to afford dyed purple parts, upgraded conchos, etc...Certainly not a saddle I would put on my horses.

He's Ultimately Fine - Toofine - 1998 Half Arabian
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