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Discussion Starter #1
How many of you have purchased saddles at auctions?

I don't know much about choosing a western saddle and have lots of relatives (who don't own horses-lol) telling me I will get a better deal on a saddle if I go to an auction.

I will be doing mostly pleasure riding around our fairly large property, so don't need anything too fancy.

I would like to know if it's easy to tell by looking whether a saddle is considered quarterhorse size, full quarterhorse, etc. Or is it stamped somewhere on the saddle?

My horse won't be coming home till near the end of April, and the lady I bought her from said her sizes are very standard so she's easy to fit. I'm assuming that means she'd need a quarterhorse size. So, what do I need to look for? Is there some place on the saddle that the size information is usually found? Or, can you just tell by looking at the tree?

Does anyone have any tips for me that they'd like to pass on? I know I won't get the same information buying one at a sale rather than at a saddle shop, so any advice you can give me will help.
 

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You can get a good deal on anything from an Auction. However if you do not know what to look for in a saddle I would be Leary. Do you know who to look and see if the tree is solid. What it is made of. What type of saddle it is. What type of tree it has and will it fit your horse?? Will it fit you????

These are all things you need to know before buying a saddle. If you feel comfortable doing in looking for and at these things then go for it. If not buy from someone or place that you can get a lot of info and even try it out.
 

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While it is true that you can get a good deal on a saddle at an auction, it is not something I would suggest to someone who does not know a lot about saddles.

Most of the regular sellers gear their new tack to the very low end market with brands such as Buffalo and others. They are basically junk saddles that sell in the $300 - $350 range. You can get some good deals on used saddles but you really have to know what you are looking at and what size you and your horse needs. Obviously there are no returns and no way to try it out.

As for sizes being marked on a saddle, many times the seat size will be marked which helps you but not your horse. You can go by gullet width but that is only a starting point since different bar sizes are up to the individual saddle maker. That means a FQH bar on one maker's saddle may not be the same on another maker.

Hope that helps a little.
 

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I personally wouldn't buy a saddle at an auction. Most people take their old junk tack with broken trees and rotting leather just to be rid of them. It is possible to get a good deal but more likely to get gypped. A lot of tack stores will allow you to try the saddle on the horse to ensure a fit. You might try that out and once you find something that fits both you and your horse, look for the same saddle on the internet because it can be gotten a lot cheaper from the manufacturer than from a local tack store.
 

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I personally wouldn't buy a saddle at an auction. Most people take their old junk tack with broken trees and rotting leather just to be rid of them. It is possible to get a good deal but more likely to get gypped. A lot of tack stores will allow you to try the saddle on the horse to ensure a fit. You might try that out and once you find something that fits both you and your horse, look for the same saddle on the internet because it can be gotten a lot cheaper from the manufacturer than from a local tack store.
I agree with this about 95%. If you have a tack store close and they will let you try a saddle and it fits. BUY IT THERE. Keep in mind that while you might save a few bucks over the net you still have shipping and if everyone looks there and buy on the net. Soon that tack store will not longer be in business. Plus most tack stores will work deals if you ask. Now I will say that if the mark it is a lot then go for it on the net but when it comes down to it a few hundred it not that much in the grand skeam of things.
 

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A lot of it depends on what type of auction it is. Do you have a specific auction that you are planning to attend? Is the auction a consignment auction where do the consignments come from? (dealers or public) Is the merchandise new or used? I bought my first saddle at an auction, and within a week had decided it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. There were a lot of other saddles I wish I would have purchased at that auction that were premium quality and didn't go for that much more. I learned a lot from that purchase. My reccomendations would be; do all the research you can, read on the internet about what makes a good saddle, which type of saddle you would most like. Visit a tack store, tell them you are in the market for a western saddle and pick their brains, have them educate you. Look used, try out as many different saddles as you can. The saddle that I bought wasn't necessarily a poorly made saddle I just found that their are certain things I like more than I thought (ie. roughout seat and fenders) and learned that I needed to do my research to determine what I needed and wanted before I put the money on the table per se.
 

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I like being able to ride in my trainers saddles. He has about 20 of them. All for the most part reining saddles but some a hand made custom saddles some are trophy saddles and so on. They are all a bit different so I get a good feel for what I like so when I went and got a different saddle I had a good idea of what type of tree and rigging I wanted and so on.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, so I will go to a local tack shop first, and see how much information I can get from them, for starters.
I'm just starting this search so I will also do some internet research because so far all I've done is just admire the saddles. LOL
I've asked different people questions about their saddles and what I found out is that they have no idea what they have, which hasn't helped me much.

I am going to be taking some lessons soon, so maybe I will get more information from the instructor, too.

The auctions that are around here are usually just local horse auctions that also have tack up for sale as well, so I guess I have a lot of reasearch to do before I attempt to buy there.
 

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First what is it you want to do with your horse?? Trail ride or do you want to show?? If you want to show then in what discipline?? This can help too as each discipline have its own saddle type.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I mentioned that I just wanted to pleasure ride around our property. I guess that would mean mostly trail riding. Sorry, I guess I should've said that.
No showing or anything, just me and my horse meandering around together. :)
 

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I think that talking with your instructor would be a very good idea. Maybe they would even be willing to go with you to the tack store just as a second opinion. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone for your comments. Turns out I might be getting a saddle from the lady I bought the horse from. She has one that fits my horse well. Can't get much easier than that. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Went looking at saddles yesterday, as I still haven't made up my mind. Hubby and I did lots of sitting to see what I'd/we'd like.

Notice, I said hubby was sitting too? LOL
He didn't even want me to get a horse, now he wants to see if the saddle I get will feel comfortable for him too.

Anyway, I LOVE the Western Rawhide Wilder saddle made here in Canada. It's nice and comfortable, it will be a great trail/pleasure riding saddle. Hubby and I both agreed that a 17 inch would be best for both of us. So, I think unless, the used saddle that the woman I'm getting the horse from is a really, really good deal, I'm going to go for the WR Wilder.

Now, all I have to do is get him his own horse. LOL
 

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LOL.....another way of looking for saddles is the "wire coat hanger" method.....take an old wire hanger, flatten it out, and then mold it around your horses withers where the saddle would generally sit. Make sure the wire doesn't cut in to the horses back anywhere, and then take the wire and lay it out on a piece of cardboard. Trace the wire and cut it out of the cardboard, and you have something that you can take on any saddle shopping excursion and do a test fit right there in the shop or where ever else. There should ideally be about three fingers width between the top of the cardboard and the pommel of the saddle, and enough space between the sides of the saddle and the cardboard cut out for a saddle pad to fit in.

Hope that helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yep, if I don't buy the saddle that the lady selling me the horse has, that's what I'll do.
Thanks
 
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