Thoughts on This No-Name Western Saddle - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-16-2020, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on This No-Name Western Saddle

I don't have any experience with western saddles, lots of experience with english, but this is out of my know-how. I am needing a westeen saddle for the summer and found this for sale close by and it came with cinches and a breast collar. The person selling it wasn't a horse person, and I had the hope of getting something "decent" and flipping it to use and then re-sell it.

So far I know that :1) the tree is sound, no cracking or twisting, 2) It is a Ralide 1500 model tree 3)It had 2-prong buckle stirrup leathers, the buckles were super rusted and the leathers were a weird width (less then 2 inches). I found the pair of fenders you see on it - it was cheaper to just buy these fenders instead of going and replacing the buckles and leathers. Plus, I wanted blevins buckles. Pretty pleased with how that turned out, actually.

I would love an estimate on how old it might be? And/or the actual brand? The leather actually feels quite good. After some oiling and working the leather, its pretty pliable and it takes oil well. It's not calfskin... but I know full well its no $1000 saddle. The girl I bought it believed she had it for 4-5 years and she purchased it used, she didn't get to use it much. And finally has anyone used a saddle like this one and have thoughts on it? I think the seat jockey is interesting.... looks like the vast majority if saddles don't have seat jockeys that are separate pieces like that. I am learning a lot if things that I just didn't know to look for, or just didn't think anything of at first.

*conchos were pulled off and I took the screws out because they were rusty and for cleaning. It had star conchos on the saddle strings.
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-16-2020, 09:00 AM
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So your leather is not calfskin but cowhide.

Cowhide is thicker, stronger and lasting it was though tanned in the old-fashioned method and that is why it absorbs cleaning/conditioning products and "came back to life" as you describe.

By your description though, the saddle falls into a cheap saddle category.
Tooling makes many think "quality & expensive" but there is tooling and then there is tooling.
You have factory stamped by how it appears on skirt corners.
Your comment about all the rusted pieces on buckles and conchos speaks cheap...
A ralide tree...well depending upon who made it, when it was made can mean many different things.
Ralide is a fancy name for molded plastic.
If you said it was a wrapped ralide tree it would mean a lot more favorable to me.
I'm not knocking your saddle, please...far from it but being honest.
It is a cute entry level saddle that because it appears older is probably a bit better quality in leather and workmanship than much of the new junk on the market today.
The leather appears from a distance {your pictures are not close-ups} to have a nice patina and sheen that comes from someone at one time caring about it, and you doing some hard-work too.
It has some nice attributes to it but it is not high quality and you already know that.
What you have done with it is great and when wanted should be able to sell it as a first-time saddle for around $100 - $150 dollars.
Because it does not match it will detract from the price.
Those conchos are a manufacturers emblem, put a picture up of them and someone will probably be able to identify who made the saddle.

Get those conchos back on if they had screw backs, they are not just decoration as is also true of those screws.
Replace them carefully as they do hold the saddle together and do not use till all are back in place and snug held in their respective spots.
I think you recognize the limitations the saddle has because it is what it is...
In the meantime, watch carefully and check it daily before and after a ride and if during a ride it suddenly feels "different" investigate immediately so no adverse reaction happens as the horse carries you and that saddle upon his back.
...
jmo...
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-18-2020, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your input, I bought it hoping that I could clean it up and re-sell it, it's been a learning experience and I'm bummed to think that I might have put more into it then I will get out... but I have learned from it, so I supposed it wasn't all for naught.

I would love yours or anyone else's honest opinions, concerning the fenders, though. For my own information and maybe for future reference if I ever get the crazy idea to try and do this again. Those new fenders feel pretty nice, the leather was not stiff out of the packaging and the leathers are lined with nylon. I attached a picture of the original fenders before I cleaned them, those stirrup leathers were weirdly narrow and I didn't like those buckles. The leathers had some wear too, and although they were probably safe, the whole thing just looked odd to me. Replacing the leathers with something wider that would fit Blevins buckles might look strange with how narrow those rivet holes were. And new leathers alone would have cost just barely less than these fenders (I snagged them on sale.) And while the fenders are also stamped tooling, they just look better to me than the original fenders. But, I also understand that to many people the fact that the tooling doesn't match is a big deal.

All that in consideration, was replacing the fenders a good call for resale? (Again, just looking for opinions. I am sure most people wouldn't have even bothered with the saddle in the first place, but again, its been a learning experience. I have a whole new understanding of what to look for and how much stuff costs to replace. I guess I would rather ruin/depreciate this little saddle then something I bought for much more.)
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File Type: jpg BeforeInsideFenders.jpg (68.9 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Before 2.jpg (71.2 KB, 6 views)
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-19-2020, 02:38 AM
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I had a saddle made by Easy Rider......of Alabama I believe, that looked VERY similar, minus the tooling. Mine was plain. I think I paid $50 for it (A STEAL where I live for any usable saddle) and keep it many years, even re-fleecing it with real sheepskin (because I planned on keeping it at the time) but eventually sold it for about $200. It was a perfectly good saddle, just not fancy or high-end. I only sold it because it was a 15" seat and my bottom needs at least a 16." It also had a Ralide tree. So I don't know if yours is the same brand, but it wouldn't surprise me. The bottom skirts were cobbled together in the same way. The funny stirrup adjustment buckles were the same too.

I actually really love the fenders you put on there. They make the whole saddle look nice.


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post #5 of 6 Old 05-19-2020, 06:36 AM
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I don't think you have ruined nor depreciated this saddle a bit...actually you saved it from certain death and thrown away.
I think replacing the fenders as you did was the smart move and makes the saddle as nice as it is now.
The "original" fenders were beat, period.
Very old style of saddle the buckles are what were used before Blevins came into being.
The riveting though turns me off and looks cheap and actually looks like it was broken before and that was how it was quickly fixed.
You have a functioning saddle.
Today people are more into looks and aesthetics than function as it was years ago.
By me, I don't think you would get more than $100 - $150 for the saddle but you can always ask with a OBO attached.
Its a decent saddle, a good first saddle and introduction to riding saddle that probably will outlast todays new garbage costing thousands.
But because of its age and not knowing how it had been cared for caution is needed to make sure it stays a a safe saddle to use...that's all.
Ride in it, have a great time with it and when ready trade it for something else or sell it on to the next person.
Amazing how many really old, as in years ago manufactured saddles are still around, going strong, work better and last longer than the specific fine-tuned ones today made for discipline specific careers...
The all-around trail style like yours resembles are oldies but goodies..
The only part of yours I really see that hurts it is the matching is slightly off tooling that you really need to look closely at to notice.
But do clean and put back those conchos/screws before using as they indeed serve a purpose and are needed. Not sure if you clean them up, wire brush and paint/clear coat seal them if it would look better nor do I know what they looked like before they rusted to replicate...
If you really wanted you could replace them with new from a rosette company either matching what you have or mixing it up to something totally different again.
...
jmo...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-19-2020, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you both so much for your time and input! And not to worry, I am definitely replacing the screws and conchos before I use it. 🙂
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