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Hi everyone :)
I'm new in the barrel racing world, I rode western the past 7 years. So here is my question; What are the best barrel racing saddle brands? I saw Double T saddle that looks good but I heard they weren't really good quality...
Thank you :)
 

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Stay far far away from double t's please. There's way better options out there. If you search on here you'll see lots of threads about this exact subject.
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I don't know what kind of budget you've got going, but new saddles aren't cheap and if they are...then they are not good.

I can attest to the quality of Corriente saddles, and they are customizable...though they only come in FQHB with a 7" gullet.

I've also heard from several respectable members on here that KO Trading has really good custom barrel saddles.
 

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The good ones are Martin, Double J, Coats, Circle Y, Triple Creek, Stoney, Cactus.

Stay away from the cheap saddles...save your money and spend it on a good saddle that won't sore up your horse.
 
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Basically steer clear of the packages that include the bridle, the breast collar and the saddle for $399 or $299 etc. Anything made in India is not up to the abuse that barrel racing puts on a saddle. I didn't see Tex Tan mentioned yet. That's what I ride in and I love it. I do have to say that I got a wonderful bargain from a saddle maker who only sells his saddles to the public on Ebay. You will find him under Riders Choice saddles. He hand makes his saddles in Alabama and includes the shipping in his prices within the US anyway. I got myself a backup barrel saddle from him for $425 and it really is a nice quality rough out leather barrel saddle. I actually talked to him by phone and gave him my height and weight and we decided on a size together. Nothing fancy, but nice thick leather, good stitching, fits well and he guarantees his trees for 5 or 10 years depending what you buy. If you find one of his saddles on Ebay and click on his store, you'll find a ton of choices, and several of them he actually makes to order so it'll take a couple of weeks to get it. But if you're just starting out and/or on a budget and you want new, this is one to consider. Otherwise, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a good used name brand saddle mentioned in these previous posts. Good luck!
 

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I have the Circle Y/High Horse Proven Splendora barrel saddle. Granted I got mine at a local tack shop, but paid around the same price. I absolutely love it!
Stay away from the Double T's unless you want and can afford to replace it every couple years.


High Horse - Saddles, Barrel
 

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I haven't met a saddlemaker who can make a saddle for $425. The leather and tree cost that alone. Saddlemakers do custom work as a rule and not for ebay sales. Why give away 15%. A custom saddle is worth $3000 and up and a hefty deposit to cover the materials is reguired up front.
 

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Check him out if you want to. He just started his own website as well. His name is Jerry Payne. He and his family have been making saddles since the '70s and started out making them for distributors and wholesalers. Now they sell to the public and used Ebay to get their saddles out there. I'm not saying he makes $3000 custom built saddles. I'm well aware of what's involved there. But for the little guy like me and most on here, he allows you to own a decent American made saddle that won't fall apart on you after 2 or 3 rides. Here's a link to his website.

http://www.riderschoicesaddle.com/store/index.php?route=common/home

Here's a link to one of his saddles on Ebay. If you click on the ME symbol on there, you can read more about his saddlery.

16" GW Crate Bear Trap Barrel Racing Saddle Custom American Made Free SHIP New | eBay

Below is a link to the one I bought. He actually did make mine to order (or one his saddle makers did) because I needed a 14" which is a size he didn't have in stock at the time. No it's not one that takes 6 months to a year to make. He keeps the cost down by skipping the hours of fancy tooling and the many more hours it sometimes takes to oil the leather to a specific color. His better saddles use Steele Equifit trees and the lower priced ones use Ralide trees. Both are decent trees with warranty. And he uses 13-15oz leather so again, pretty decent.

Riders Choice 16" Barrel Saddle American Made Racer Free SHIP Leather Trail New | eBay


Like I said, I bought this one as a back up to use on my greenie. He started out as a bucker before I got a hold of him and I didn't want to ruin my Tex Tan if something crazy happened. But it's a decent little saddle and not the trash you find made in India. Again, I'm not saying it compares to a $3000 custom made saddle but you know what, most Circle Y, Tex Tan, Billy Cook, etc. don't either. They are all made in a similar fashion. Mass produced by American saddle makers that know how to crank them out there. Not trying to sell anything. Just a penny pinching Texas girl sharing my experience after 26 years of owning saddles. :wink:
 

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I have a Tex Tan Hereford barrel saddle at the moment. It's nothing fancy but it really is a comfortable saddle that holds me in when Selena has her "moments" of really firing out of a barrel. This is probably a good choice to get a used one of these, since a lot of them are cheaper used but good quality.

Also, Billy Cook. LOVE their saddles. Circle Y and Double J are my other favorites as well.
 

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If you've got the money, get up with Elite Custom Saddlery. Better than any double j, circle y, triple creek or anything in my opinion. I'd still have mine if it wasn't too big for me. I just ordered a custom Corriente and they are very nice to work with and I've heard great things about their saddles.
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I recently purchased a GW Crate Bear Trap Barrel saddle from Jerry. Like most, I was concerned about the lower price than most saddles. All my other saddles are Circle Y and cost me in the range of $1.600 +. I contacted a few individuals who purchased a GW Crate via ebay to check their feedback on the quality of the workmanship,etc. Hands down they were very enthusiastic and positive about their purchase. Based on their feedback I ordered a custom barrel saddle from Jerry and waited the 5-6 weeks for it to be built. When it arrived via UPS, I was very pleased with my decision....great stitching, quality leather...on and on. Can't beat the price!
 

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Textans are nice, crates are awesome. Some billy cooks are good. I love mine but you have to be careful, they have great ones and not so great ones. Circle Y's are awesome. I would rather spend my money on a nice used one then a new not so nice one. You can get more for your money. Plus i like it when seats are broken in and stirrups are already turned.
 

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I love Circle Y and Billy Cook saddles. My coach has a Circle Y barrel saddle and it is a dream to ride in. I personally have a Billy Cook barrel saddle which I absolutely love. I own a Billy Cook from Sulpher OK as I've been told that they are the best quality. Apparently the other Billy Cooks are made out of Texas and aren't very good quality at all, so I would look into the saddle carefully before purchase. Judging by the quality of mine and my friends Sulphur OK Billy Cook barrel saddles, they are fabulous. None of us have ever had a single problem with our saddles, they seem to be easily maintainable and hold their value incase you decide to sell. Good luck finding a saddle :)
 

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I've heard martins are great. I personally have owned a triple creek (by far my absolute favorite), a Dakota, and a circle y. My circle y, which was a proven by circle y, I liked for a while, but it doesn't fit my horse well anymore. My Dakota is nice, it's actually a trophy saddle, and I've never had problems with it. It fits most well. My triple creek though, it's awesome. Fits all my wider horses and it really sits me deep and allows me to position my feet where needed. :)
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I would look for a good used QUALITY barrel saddle before I would buy a new, low quality one. I've had a slew of different ones through the years - I am one that makes sure my saddle fit the horse - so in changing horses & those horses maturing & changing, I've done some switching. Top ones are Martins, Crates (not the GW ones), Caldwells, Coats, some Cactus, Double J. Midrange I would say are Textan (I don't like them - everyone I've ever seen - no matter what the width of the gullet - is tight where the conchos are in front - & pinch.), Circle Y, Triple Creek, Billy Cooks. I've had Billy Cooks in years past but hated the way it sat me, plus did not fit current horse. I loved my Triple Creek, but my mare outgrew their FQHB tree. Have had Crates - loved the Meleta Brown model, but again, - mare out grew it. I have had Kent Logan (from Kendallville IN) make saddles for me & they are very nice, well made saddles. He is reasonable for custom - not the cheap ones, but not the high high dollar ones). My current saddles are the last Logan he made for me (- measured my mare, had the tree made by hand by a tree maker down south & then fitted to her again - then he built the saddle) & a Martin Crown C. I do LOVE that saddle!! I had to order it since no one had any for sale used in the width I got (9 1/2"). That one will go to my younger mare & will be ordering another CC with an even wider gullet for the older mare. They sit you NICE.
 
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