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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to this site and I am getting a horse for my daughter and I need some ideas of what is some better lower end tack that someone that is just starting out would need? The horse is a rescued 13 yr. old spotted saddle that was used as a trail horse. We have nothing we are starting from scratch. Thanks you in advance for any help.
 

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Western or english? Because you said a trail horse, I am guessing western.

Abetta makes great stuff for just starting out, as far as saddles go. They are synthetic, but are lightweight, SUPER easy to keep clean, and are really comfy!
 

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It would be best to go used or synthetic. For western saddles, look for older Circle Y, Textan, Herford, Billy Cook, or anything that is "vintage" or "antique" that is in good shape still. If you want new, check out Abetta or Fabtron synthetic saddles. Both are good USA made brands, and will be light enough for your daughter to carry.
 

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I would defiantly check out
Saddles : Tackwholesale.com : Quality Tack & Equestrian Supplies
Abetta has Great synthetic saddles, I personally own a Abetta endurance saddle and have had it for over 5 years with no problems at all.
If you want to go with a leather saddle I would try the Tahoe Performance saddle from this site as well.
There are alot of great priced saddles on this site.
Be careful with this web site. While I have purchased a couple of good things from them, most of their "lesser known" brands are pretty cheaply made, usually imported from China or India. My husband got an aussie from them a while back (it's no longer on their site) and the stirrup bar BENT on his first time up in the saddle, and he used a mounting block!!! I bought a pair of thier paddock boots for my daughter and they barely lasted on riding season before falling apart.

You do get what you pay for, which I why I recommend going used when you're on a budget. You'll get a lot higher quality equipment for your money.
 

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If she rides English I'd suggest to look into Wintec, if western - into Abetta. It's if you want a NEW saddle. And you can always look into nice used leather saddle (whether english or western).

I don't like tackwholesale. I bought from there before and quality was bad. You ALWAYS get what you pay for (unless you are lucky to find a great deal on something used or hand-made).
 

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Generally speaking, buy the best quality tack that you can afford....be it stock or hunt seat.

If you are on a limited budget, I'd suggest going the route of name brand, used items vs. items of cheaper quality that may appear to be a better value as they typically are not.

Good luck with your new horse. :D
 

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I would also suggest going to a local horse and tack auction.
Take someone experienced that maybe has seen your horse to help you pick out a saddle that would best fit your horse as well as your daughter!
Right now with the economy being so bad, alot of good deals on tack are showing up at auctions!
If you choose to go to the auction, DO take someone with experience to make sure the tack you are buying is in safe condition!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ok guys thanks for all the great info and keep it coming.
when i go to buy i will have some one with good knowledge with me but on a side note if i find a saddle when I'm out alone what are some things i should look at to make sure its safe. obviously broken,cracked,and missing parts but is there some things that i should look at that a novice person would over look on used tack
 

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Broke tree...it's hard to tell by looking at a saddle if the tree is in good shape, but what I do is put my left hand on the rear of the seat braced against my body, grab the horn with my right hand and pull with all my might! There should be NO give at all!
If the leather is in good shape and the lining under the saddle seems fine... the tree should be too! I just like to tweak, bend and pull on a saddle to make sure there is no obvious breakage.
Broke trees are not common, Just be carefull of a saddle you think is too good of a deal! Top brand like new saddle $50.00....stay away! it's broke or stolen!
 

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I like to feel and smell the leather. If it reminds you of a $300+ purse or pair of shoes, a $200+ leather coat, or an expensive car interior, then it's probably good. If it looks painted on, feels really stiff, or smell "wierd", then it's probably a cheap Asian import. Look at a good brand of saddle, like Circle Y, Dale Chaves, or any other "high priced" American made saddle, so you can get the feel of a quality made saddle.

Cheap brands to steer clear of include "Circle S", Circle T, Double T, Royal King, King Series, and anything else that goes for under $500 "new" on eBay... Just the materials alone to make a quality new saddle in the USA cost $500 or more.
 

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Just remember that your daughters life depends on her tack being safe - new cheap tack is normally cheap for a reason.

I know of people getting into serious trouble because of tack failures , stirrup bars bending, reins breaking , stirrup leathers breaking - I even know of several bits breaking in half - some of these cases led to the rider having no control of their horse , and no ability to stop either.

As you are new to this take someone experienced along - as others have suggested

If you are on your own and you find some tack , check the leather. It should feel supple and not dry , be wary of oily second hand tack as oil is a quick way to make old brittle tack look and feel like new.

There are two sides to leather a shiny ( or grain ) side and a flesh side - if you bend the leather , flesh side meeting flesh side so the shiny side is out and the leather cracks , steer clear as this is a sign of poor quality or old leather that hasen't been looked after
 
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