Saddles where to start... I am getting a headache - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-26-2008, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Saddles where to start... I am getting a headache

When I bought my horse 10 years ago. Knowing nothing about saddles I bought the one at TSC that was on sale. A synthetic saddle made in the USA. My grandmother gave me another saddle we use on my husbands horse, old and small.

Well the girl that came to ride our horses tied to get up in the saddle and it kept slipping she said in the back. She never could get up in it. I don't have a problem but maybe I have gotten use to the way I have always done things. The synthetic saddle.

I realize they are both small I should go measure the seats. I think I have just gotten use to them and never had a problem with them.

No I am thinking I should go looking for 2 good comfortable saddles my husband thinks it's silly he doesn't like to spend money on horse stuff.

I don't have extra money sitting around so I going to have to save up for that. And look for a good used one.

I don't know where to start. What brands, what size, what style. Western is what I want I know. No wonder I have never bought a different saddle. It's to much headache.

Here is a saddle I can afford. (picture attached) But how do I know if it is good or not and if it will fit my horse when I get back home. I also have 2 different horses a TB thin with high withers and a Paint that wider and not as quite as high of withers. But he has TB in him too so he is not a flat round QH style either.

boonesar is offline  
post #2 of 9 Old 06-26-2008, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Greenville area / SC
Posts: 13,165
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Boy oh boy I can relate to getting a headache concerning saddles. I can pick a horse in very little time or make a business decision on the spot but I agonize over saddles.

First of all we need to know your price range. A good used saddle can be had for somewhere in the $500 range or maybe a little less if you get very lucky. Anything under that - and especially if it is new - I would avoid like the plague.

Some brands to look at would be (this pertains to older saddles): Tex Tan, Circle Y, Billy Cook, or Simco, I know there are others but that is a good place to start.

It is impossible to know about the saddle you have a picture of without seeing a close up and knowing the maker. If it is a no name saddle, I would avoid it.

Based on the description of your horses I would look at saddles that say "semi-quarter horse bars" and try one out before buying it. There are good articles about fit if you use google. Here is one that I like:

Let us know how you are making out.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
iridehorses is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 06-26-2008, 02:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sundre, Alberta, Canada
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Ahh Saddle Shopping, fun, fun, fun! NOT! :)

Okay first of all, stay away from that saddle, it's a very cheap make and it's not made to fit horses at all and will hurt their backs!

Look on Ebay for these brands

Billy Cook
Rocking R
Circle Y
Tex Tan
Western Rawhide-A good saddle for a cheap price, as long as your horse doesn't need anything with a gullet more than 6 3/4" I own 2 of these saddles and they are great for the younger horses, they are too narrow for the big guys. A good comfy saddle for a reasonable price. I think I paid $800 new for mine. It's Canadian made so you might not be able to find it in the states.

Not sure what your budget it but right now there is a brand new Rocking R saddle on Ebay for 800-900! Good bargain.
FGRanch is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 06-26-2008, 08:02 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
Posts: 23,909
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When I was shopping for saddles (and it was SHOPPING: I tried 7 different stores and about 30 if not more saddles including TexTan, Tucker, Circle Y, Alamo, Bill Cook, Abetta, Big Horn, and some others) I found only 2, which would fit my high withers narrow back paint: one was Alamo pleasure saddle (I tried several models and only one I really liked) and Billy Cook saddle, and would feel comfortable for my bum :) . They both have high pommel with enough clearance for the withers. I ended up with Alamo and it works on my paint as well as my wider qh.

Also I know people with high withers/narrow back ottb who found Big Horn (which is cheaper I believe than Alamo or Bill Cook) to fit him.

What I really do NOT recommend is getting those flex-tree ones. They didn't fit my horse for sure ending up on top of the withers (even though the salesperson said it's OK, I personally don't believe so).

Frankly, if you really want to get comfy saddle you better look around in different stores and try them first on "dummy" horse and then may be borrow and try on your horse. We all have different tastes, so, for example, I may recommend you something you won't like. :P

kitten_Val is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 07-06-2008, 03:54 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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I don't know about fitting Western saddles, but from my experience with English types, getting the right fit is absolutely necessary. If you are not sure a saddle fits, see if you can find a trainer or riding instructor or saddle repair person. They should be able to help you make the right choice. A massage therapist can also sometimes point out problems with saddle fit, as well as your vet. If the saddle isn't right, the horse is uncomfortable, and it puts you in the wrong seat position also.
See if the brands of saddle you like have a website and keep studying their info. Call a sales rep if one is available if you have other questions. Talk to the tack shop personnel too.
Fox Hollow Deb is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 07-07-2008, 02:37 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 344
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Definitely been there. Hooves and I went through five different saddles before we found one that fit. I like getting used saddles, since they're usually a little softened up and comfy. Plus, you get them for a lower price.

A good saddle shop should give you up to a week to throw the saddle on your horse and try it, before you commit.

For high whithers, Big Horn makes a very nice suede and cordura saddle if you're looking synthetic. It only weighs 17 lbs, is a nice comfy seat. You can also get one for about 350 new, and 200ish used. The only thing I'd recommend is getting different stirrups, as it comes with these irritating plastic ones. I swapped mine out for some nice steel, on my previous saddle.

Unfortunately, it's a very hit or miss process...I'll be rooting for you.

(Also, iride...I picked up my used Longhorn for $150. Leather, almost like new, nice spot tooling, but I think I get lucky because my horse is such an odd fit, other people can't use it! :P )

"Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high. Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky. And live like you ain't afraid to die...don't be scared, jut enjoy the ride." - Chris LeDoux
HooverH is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 07-07-2008, 07:37 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SE Kansas
Posts: 10,624
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I'm with everyone else on buying a used better quality rather than a new lesser quality. Check local tack stores some do consignment saddles. See if you have a saddle maker in your area they sometimes sell used trade ins.
Good luck and know you arent alone. Saddle fit has to be one of the most frustrating things about horses. I went through 3 before I found one that Vida wouldn't start to tremble when I put it on her back.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
Vidaloco is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 07-08-2008, 01:54 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,716
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Here is a really great site about saddle fitting:

On the same site - once you figure out the size for the horse you can use this to search for different saddles:
Solon is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 07-15-2008, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 143 E. Shirley Ave, Warrenton, VA 20186
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We get some very nice saddles in on consignment almost every day. Great used, Billy Cooks, Circle Y's, Tucker, Dakota, etc...
GallopingGrape is offline  

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