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Chain type store to try western saddles?

688 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  horselovinguy
I live in a kind of wasteland when it comes to western/trail saddles. Consignment stores won’t even accept them. However, my 2yo will be needing a saddle and I want it to have a horn as an emergency handle when he starts being backed (not now). I’m a dressage rider and know very little about western/trail saddles. I figure I might as well start genuinely searching now because:

I also don’t like purchasing saddles from random people on the internet like FB as it’s so easy to get scammed. So I want to use a store of some kind with a return policy. But, because I have so little experience with them, I’m wondering where would be a good place/what would be a good way to sit in a few to figure out what I like? I’m worried about things like the twist being too wide or the seat pitching me forward/backward.

Since he’ll just be beginning his working career and he’ll outgrow whatever I buy, I’m looking for inexpensive but comfortable. So I’ve been eyeing things like Wintec or Dura-tech (Schneider’s brand?). I’ve ridden in a Wintec long ago and I don’t have bad memories of it but I doubt that exact saddle is being made, even if I knew the name of the model, and my bones are a bit older these days lol. Abetta’s were also comfortable.

Is there a chain out there like Dover that sells western saddles I can sit in?? I’m in the South/Midwest, depends who you ask, so I might be close enough to someplace…Or just a site that someone could recommend as being easy to work with over saddles? I found a site that sells lots of used saddles but they charge a restocking fee so that’s a no.
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I know Chicks Saddlery has them.. I don’t know their return policy but I’ve ordered from them before.
Stateline has some, they have a good return policy. TSC has them online but not in store.
Horzeloverz has western saddles.. but they are kinda like a cheap store and never ordered from there, I know others who have and they said it’s decent.
Smart pak has them too.
Personally I don’t like wintec but it’s fine for a short term kid type situation
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