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Chain type store to try western saddles?

690 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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My trainer is really pushing for a horned saddle though. I’ll discuss a bucking strap with her since she’ll be the one doing the initial backing.
Your "trainer" doesn't have a saddle to do the initial backing{s} with?
Most "trainers" who do first few backings have a few saddles they know the integrity of is solid and safe just in case...they often will not use something they not know.

To me there would/could be little that is more scary than have a saddle come apart when you need it most to support you...
Used and good name brands, stay away from the junk, cause "coming apart" could do some serious damage to not only the rider but the animal...
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