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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I got the idea to make a thread where we can talk about our favorite and least favorite saddles and other tack that we have used. I’m gonna talk about saddles specifically. You can do whatever kind of tack ya want!

My least favorite was this Buffalo Saddlery “roping” saddle. I think it wouldn’t hold up for a roper really, but the person I ended up trading it with gave it to her roping friend after, so I guess it does. Anyway, it was ok on the comfort aspect I guess but I can’t imagine what horse this thing was made to fit. And I hated those dang stirrups. They never failed to fall off the horn while I was tightening the cinch and hit me square upside the head.

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I traded that one for another one I am not crazy about. It isn’t the most comfortable and it doesn’t fit any of my horses, but overall it actually isn’t a bad saddle. It just needs a new home and new belvins buckle slides. New home is looking bleak. Lol so far I am stuck with it
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As for my favorite saddle... so far that would probably be this one that I got around Christmas time for Mav. It actually doesn’t fit Dixie too bad either and works on Pistol as well with a special pad. I got it at The Cowboy Shop in Roopville GA, new, made by Valley Head Saddlery. It’s comfortable, now it’s a bit more broken in, and it looks nice, and I like that it has flat plate, in skirt rigging, and it has actual rigging in the back too and not just a stupid slot (I hate the slots). I honestly think that I may start only buying in skirt rigging in the future. I have another with in skirt and I like it too, just not as much as this one.
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Great thread!

I am pretty much a tack fanatic, so it's hard for me to pick just one favorite!

My favorite English saddle is my Courbette Husar. It is an older saddle, but very high quality, has been a decent, workable fit on multiple horses (I've just had to use different padding on a couple of school horses), and fits me like a glove (and is very comfortable). I've used this saddle for hunters, trails, and overall pleasure riding.

My favorite Western saddle is my Dakota barrel saddle. It's a nice quality saddle for the price point, has been pretty versatile in fit as well, and is a comfortable saddle. I used it when I tried to learn barrels (unfortunately never really got the chance to learn), as well as for trails and pleasure riding. I haven't ridden Western in a long time, but still have it around because I know I like to change things up every once in awhile and will use it again, plus my guests love riding in it.

I have a huge bridle problem and would be hard pressed to pick just one favorite. I will say though, that a select few of my favorites are my older Crosbys and older Bevals (for English), and my Cactus Saddlery, Martin, and Weaver for Western. All are high quality and very durable, plus beautiful to boot!

I also love Myler bits. I've ridden a lot of horses that seem very happy in the SS 3 Comfort Snaffle (I have it in the D-ring), and think it was well worth the money. For reasonably priced non-specialized bits, I like Korsteel and Metalab. Good quality and last forever.

My least favorite saddles have been no-name or fly-by-night brand imports. I have also never ridden in a synthetic Western saddle I was crazy about (and have never ridden in an English one, but am overall not a big fan of synthetic tack). Cheap saddles never fit the horse quite right, can even be unsafe due to the poor construction, and never really break in. They also tend to put the rider in a weird position.

I don't care for my Wintec English bridle because it is very stiff, but I bought it to use as a spare I don't care about for when I send horses in for training (I've unfortunately had very nice tack damaged in the past, so never send horses with anything I care about anymore), so it works for that. I don't care for any of the cheapie bridles, and there are also a lot of mid-priced and even high end brands I'm not too impressed with or think are way overpriced for the quality. I've seen a lot of inconsistent quality with Vespucci, have not been pleased with a lot of HDR's bridles over the past 10 or so years (I just don't like the plasticky, painted on finish), and am not a super big fan of most of the popular French tack for the price. It doesn't seem to be super durable and I don't think it lives up to the hype, personally. As for Western bridles, I don't like anything Tough-1 (I've actually never come across a single Tough-1 product I thought was even acceptable quality; even the free hoof pick sucked) or anything similarly cheap.

As for bits, I absolutely cannot STAND chrome plated bits of any kind. I have to watch which Weaver bits I buy because some are fine and some are chrome plated (and the chrome plated bits are probably the only Weaver products I don't like). Chrome plated bits do not last at all, as they begin flaking very shortly after you begin using them, and I've seen them cause sores from where they cut and rubbed horses' mouths. To me, it makes no sense to keep spending money replacing junk chrome plated bits that might cause discomfort for your horse when you can just buy a ~$30 (or even less if you buy used) stainless steel bit that will last you forever and will be much more comfortable for the horse.
 

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My two favorite saddles:

$400 new Abetta basic trail saddle. 17 lbs, durable, comfortable. I've got a $2000 saddle and it is a good saddle, but this is the one I use 95% of the time.
DownUnder Campdraft saddle. Love the Aussie-style saddles. Unhappily, getting one reflocked in Arizona is darn near impossible.

Also unhappily, both DownUnder and Abetta are out of business.
 

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My two favorite saddles:

$400 new Abetta basic trail saddle. 17 lbs, durable, comfortable. I've got a $2000 saddle and it is a good saddle, but this is the one I use 95% of the time.
DownUnder Campdraft saddle. Love the Aussie-style saddles. Unhappily, getting one reflocked in Arizona is darn near impossible.

Also unhappily, both DownUnder and Abetta are out of business.
Abetta is now out of business? I did not know that. I received an awesome lime green Western pad of theirs for my 16th birthday many years ago and it's still one of my favorites!
 

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Least favorite: Those nasty saddle packages that are under $600 new.

My current favorite is my wade that I picked up barely used for a good price. It's heavy, and some of the cosmetic work on it isn't the cleanest, but it is built well, has a comfortable seat and fits horses good so that is what's important.
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Love reading about y’all’s saddles! Me and a friend were talking earlier about our appreciation for older saddles, that there’s something sentimental about them being old, and in my opinion it makes them feel more reliable to know they’ve been around so long and are still holding up. So here’s a pic of this saddle, unknown brand, that I was very kindly given when I got Pistol. I use it on Dixie now. The stirrup fenders are quite stiff and wear my calves out keeping my feet in them, but I still like it. It’s a little beaten and bruised in some spots but I think that’s the beauty of older ones. I am sure compared to some maybe it isn’t that “old” but I think the guy that gave it to me had had it a long time.
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