Well, it should be easy enough to find a "beater" secondhand barrel saddle for cheap to use in the contest classes and maybe also out on the trail. People like glam, but in the end, it's your time that wins the contest classes.
Then put the real money into a saddle that's suitable for WP and reining. Reining saddles and horsemanship saddles might be two different things. For reining you want your fenders to swing forward freely and your feet out in front. If you try to use a reining saddle for equitation, you might not be able to keep your leg back where it ought to be for good equitation position. For smaller shows, what some people do is get a roughout or roughout/basket stamp trainer saddle with some silver on it, like a Bandolero or a Steve Flick. Or maybe a top Billy Royal. Light oil is still the color you want for WP, and reining has leeway, so go light oil to be safe. I've heard rumors that there is going to be less silver on show saddles b/c of cost. So it just needs a little bling rather than cover it up.
I'm primarily an English rider, so I'm not the best person to advise you.
Last edited by Tack Collector; 01-11-2010 at 12:01 AM.