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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I own a wonderfully comfortable Down Under Aussie saddle. Unfortunately the horse I bought it for passed away and it really doesn't fit my new horse that well. It doesn't fit me that great anymore either.



So I've been borrowing a Western saddle and I really like it and think I'd like to go that route for my new horse.The one I'm borrowing has "Texas Saddle Co" stamped on the seat. Since I know it's comfortable and fits me and the horse I was going to look for a saddle from that brand but I can't seem to find any online presence for them. There is a website but it only shows one saddle and says "Sold Out". Meh.



The other brands I'm coming across are the cheap Indian ones (been there done that when I started out with an endurance saddle, don't want to go back there) or really nice $2,000 saddles. Are there any mid range, quality Western saddles out there? I'd like it to be made of leather but I'm not opposed to Cordura if necessary. I'd like to stay to $600-$800 and would prefer to buy used if I can find anything used. I just don't really know what I'm looking for! If anyone can recommend some brands I'd appreciate it. I just want something affordable without buying a piece of junk.

We trail ride. No barrel racing, no roping cows. :cowboy: < this is us a couple times a month.
 

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If you're looking for a reliable trail saddle there are quite a few used saddles of high quality brands out there. Especially if you have Facebook and can look at local buy-sell-trade pages, you shouldn't have much trouble finding a good used saddle. You trail ride, which means so long as you and your horse are comfortable with the saddle, it doesn't matter what discipline it's from. That makes your search so much easier. Good brands would be Billy Cook, Circle Y, Simco (not SimCo, which is a knockoff), Bighorn, ect. Some "unbranded" saddles turn out alright too, but I wouldn't buy one unless I could try it first. Good saddles hold their value very well. You could get a 20 year old saddle and put 20 more years into it as long as it's well taken care.

But, if you want to buy new, I'd advise a Wintec, though they're synthetic. They make western trail saddles though I've only had an English one. They're good quality in my experience and not super expensive at all. Bighorn also makes synthetics.
 

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I would advise against a Wintec Western. I'm a HUGE fan of Wintec English saddles but their Westerns are junk. Abetta or Bighorn would be better imo.

If you're stuck on leather, a good quality secondhand saddle will serve you a lot better than a cheap (and $600 to $800 IS cheap for leather) new one.
 

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You should pretty easily be able to find what you are looking for, in your budget, on the used market. Shop FB tack groups and Ebay. When buying online make sure that you:
  1. Pay with Paypal, NOT using Friends & Family
  2. INSIST that the seller ship through USPS and insure the package for it's replacement cost
  3. INSIST that the package is shipped with TRACKING
  4. And if possible...have Paypal set-up to pay through a credit card for additional buyer protection

I have never had a negative experience when buying and selling saddles on FB or Ebay, but it is still your responsibility to make sure that you are protected. If a seller insists that you use FB pay or use Paypal Friends & Family, RUN away.

I recommend buying through FB, search "Your State Tack for Sale" groups, or "Western Saddles for Sale", or similar. Join the group, and feast your eyes on the tens and hundreds of saddles for sale. Always ask for more pictures, and check daily for new deals. I personally don't worry too much about having to re-sell a saddle on FB if I get a deal and it doesn't end up fitting - I have received a saddle in the mail, found that it didn't fit, and had it sold the next day.

Circle Y, Big Horn, Billy Cook, Simco… If the seller is asking more than 50% the new price of a saddle, it's overpriced. Saddles are like cars, as soon as they leave the tack shop, they depreciate big time.

Expect to spend about $40-70 on shipping. When I negotiate on used saddles and the ad says shipping additional, but the asking price is fair, I offer that asking price + $50.
 
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Well this is what I did when I wanted a new show saddle, I wasn't going to compromise my decision, I wanted a Dale Chavez. I had ridden in one before and it was the best feeling ever. I kept showing in the Corriente I had, decent saddle for sure, and kept stalking all sales sites mostly eBay, for the saddle I wanted. I bid on many but the price was always over my range. My criteria was used, I hate breaking in saddles, very good shape, age did not matter as I don't show anything higher than provincials and under $2,000 including shipping and duty because I live in Canada. Took a few years, but I got it!
If I were you, I would look for a saddle that you really really wanted, and keep stalking until you get it.
This is what I got for under $1,500, including duty and exchange. Shipping was free within the US so I used a uShip service just across the border.
15916393801192396563888840820770.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You guys have shared so much good info, thank you!


It's so hard for me to figure out what I want. I am not attracted to the appearance of most western saddles and I have found the ones I do like the style of are brands I have been told to stay away from. King, Double T, Showman, those types. In fact, if I didn't know any better the saddle I would most want for myself is this one: https://www.statelinetack.com/item/king-trekker-saddle-with-horn/SLT901214/ just because I find it visually appealing. The first saddle I ever had was a cheap one and while it was very comfortable for me, it never seemed to fit any horse quite right. Contrast that with this Texas Saddle Co one and my Down Under, they have fit every horse I have put them on reasonably well. So I'm willing to pay what I can for a quality saddle but I also won't go into debt for one.



Has anyone ever heard of Texas Saddle Co? Do you know if that's a good brand or something I can still buy? I wish I could just buy the one I am borrowing since I know I like it LOL.
 

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I found many saddles similar to what you linked to by just doing a search...
Corner tooling on western saddles

I found saddles made by Crates with a very similar look to the saddle skirts and rigging.
A few from TW Saddlery, near identical but leather and custom made to your desires..
Ian Miller Saddles...so many to look at, to choose from.
Same with Circle Y, Big Horn, American Saddlery, Fabtron, High Horse and a bunch more.
I saw new also means many can be found used.
Only you know your budget, saddle sizing specifics to fit you and your animals.
Those saddles are out there and available in many styles, manufacturers and prices.
All these below are from horse.com website for visual pictures of some similar choices and yes, they also have the one you linked to and more again. They had 262 choices in seat size 15" & 16", no specific discipline.
Round skirt, square skirt, no skirt, in skirt rigging, dropped, saddle strings, roping tree, pleasure, endurance, cutting, reining... I saw a bunch of similar designs..



Choices, so many choices to have...how do you decide.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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I really love my Dakota barrel saddle. I bought mine in 2007 for just under $800, but I'm unsure of what they run for now. Very nice saddles for the price, and it's served me very well.

You can also look at some used saddles and get a pretty good bang for your buck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So a friend of a friend heard I was looking for a saddle and is letting me borrow hers to see if I like it. If I do and want to buy it she's offering it to me for a very inexpensive price. She says it's a Big Horn and it does look nearly identical to some of the Big Horns I've seen online. However, I don't see the name stamped anywhere on the saddle and the ones online all have "Big Horn" stamped on them. The saddle seems to be of a decent quality, it's leather with a roughout seat and the skirt as well as the fenders are cordura.



The leather tag toward the front of the saddle is just stamped "185". Does anyone know what that means? Is it possible this is actually a Big Horn saddle even though it's not stamped anywhere with that name?
 
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