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jetandmegs4
Feb. 27, 2012, 08:08 PM
Can anyone recommend quality but affordable brands of western show saddles and also work saddles. Horse needs semi-qh bars. Also, any good places to buy from online?

Huntertwo
Feb. 27, 2012, 09:06 PM
You can try www.tacktrader.com (http://www.tacktrader.com)

or ask the folks at www.pleasurehorse.com (http://www.pleasurehorse.com) You may be able to get more information on a good quality show saddle.

macmtn
Feb. 27, 2012, 09:42 PM
www.cowboy.com

saddleup
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:32 AM
Define affordable. Also, what level of showing will you be doing? Local? Open? Breed shows on the world level?

Tacktrader's an excellent resource for good used saddles in several price points. And as Huntertwo said, the people at the pleasure horse forum will give you lots of opinions and suggestions. There are always saddles listed on their forum for sale as well.

A new Harris or Blue Ribbon saddle that's dripping with the latest silver pattern will easily cost $12-20,000. You can find used ones that are a few years old but barely used for around $4-6,500. Unless you're seriously hitting the breed circuit almost any used saddle with a touch of silver plate will be just fine, and those are readily available if you search online.

But I've never seen a rider pin higher just because of their saddle. A great ride and a nice horse will trump a fancier turnout with a bad ride..most of the time. To me, it's more about looking appropriate. And it can help you feel more confident if you look like you belong in the ring alongside others who might have fancier outfits and tack. Just as in the english world, some have Butet saddles, others have saddles costing thousands less. I choose to believe the judges don't care. Call me crazy....

jetandmegs4
Feb. 28, 2012, 06:40 AM
I'm just finishing my master's degree so I'm ideally looking under $1000, under $800 would be even better. We show local shows mostly.

Luseride
Feb. 28, 2012, 06:40 AM
Billy Cook Sulpher OK, must be stamped that way, are good. I have a reining saddle that I love!

$500 - $800 range my choice would be Dakota. Mine is fourteen years old, ride in it almost daily and it is still in excellent shape.

My Two Cents
Feb. 28, 2012, 08:56 AM
I got a Dakota. I have back and knee issues and I can actually ride in it for several hours. I can't in my other two Simco's.

Ridinwyoming
Feb. 28, 2012, 09:13 AM
I have a Crates reining saddle that I use for pleasure and trail riding. Found it on Tack Trader for $600 barely used.

I've owned lots of western saddles and IMO the Crates is built more for a woman's shape i.e. the twist is narrower.

Bluey
Feb. 28, 2012, 09:18 AM
If you are training and intent to show, do you have a trainer?
I would wait to buy a saddle until you know what you are doing, as western saddles are geared for different western disciplines.
You don't want a barrel racing or roping saddle if you will be showing in trail or reining classes.

Best to work with a trainer and you will find that many trainers also have saddles they loan you to show and eventually find you the right saddle to buy, that will fit your discipline, your horse and yourself.

Better than buying some saddle now and hoping you hit the saddle lottery and it is what you really need later, once you are showing.

bugsynskeeter
Feb. 28, 2012, 09:54 AM
Are you showing pleasure? Because a pleasure saddle will seat you much differently from a reining saddle, which is still different from a barrel saddle, which is still different from a trail saddle.

Are you wanting something that will still have resale value? That will also change what type of saddle you want.

I have a 1987 Harris saddle I'm selling that I have priced at $1600. And its in just about the best shape a saddle that age can be in.

I ride reiners and ride in a Piland. What I love in my saddle, others will hate. Just because one person like X brand, does not mean that you will like it. Its best to sit in many different saddles to see what works best for you.

Grataan
Feb. 28, 2012, 10:13 AM
How fancy do you want the show saddle to be? You can get a pretty nice Circle Y fairly cheap (especially nicer if you go used) that is fine for say local shows and the A circuit but may not be the fanciest if you show up at Regionals or Nationals (you should be able to squeak by in an AOTR or ATR/JTR class but probably not in an open class)

I have a couple of older Circle Ys that I use for schooling and trail riding, as well as a Crates and for some reason I can't think of the other brands off the top of my head (DH rides as well) These I all bought used (the Crates was a semi custom order I bought from my tech for $600 after it had two rides in it! I tried to pay her more but she wouldn't have it!)

What disciplines are you looking for? Trail, Mountain Trail, Pleasure, Reining, or timed events?

goneriding24
Feb. 28, 2012, 10:25 AM
Billy Cook Sulpher OK, must be stamped that way, are good. I have a reining saddle that I love!

$500 - $800 range my choice would be Dakota. Mine is fourteen years old, ride in it almost daily and it is still in excellent shape.

I have a Billy Cook but from Greenville. I know, I know. Still it's a walloping good ride and has been in several wrecks, on the ground, general use and still a looker and comfy as all get out. Been toying with selling it due to weight (I am getting, *ahem*, older...) but can't quite bring myself to let it go.

As for fancy-schmancy in the show ring. I'm with the poster who said silver may not make that much difference. I was never as fancy as some other riders and still managed to beat the snot out of them. To me, less is more. Call me crazy, too. :yes:

Monica67
Feb. 28, 2012, 10:51 AM
I agree with the less is more.

You do need to somewhat saddle shop for your discipline. I use my super comfy Dakota roping saddle for trail riding. However, it would not be a good saddle for barrel racing.

allicolls Aefvue Farms Deep South
Feb. 28, 2012, 11:13 AM
Were I to be getting back into the western ring right now (pleasure, western riding, horsemanship, trail, etc.), if I had the pick of the litter, I'd go with a plain basketweave Blue Ribbon with no silver. Good quality saddle, good quality leather, puts you in the correct position for those events, looks nice in the ring, but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. My eternal thanks to Caroline Gunn for winning the World Show horsemanship in one a few years ago, and starting the trend.

goneriding24
Feb. 28, 2012, 11:14 AM
You do need to somewhat saddle shop for your discipline. I use my super comfy Dakota roping saddle for trail riding. However, it would not be a good saddle for barrel racing.

True dat.

OveroHunter
Feb. 28, 2012, 11:42 AM
I love my Corriente Association saddle! If I remember correctly, it was only around $650 new. It fits my horse great, is well made, and super comfortable. https://corrientesaddleco.com/

mvp
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:44 PM
I'm just finishing my master's degree so I'm ideally looking under $1000, under $800 would be even better. We show local shows mostly.

It can be had.

Western saddles are really the place to buy a top brand in a used version. Their life span is incredibly long. You can also do a great job of halting the aging process with some leather care. Many western folks don't to that the way we English folks do, so you have an ace up your sleeve if you buy an older saddle that's at the top of your budget and want to enjoy it for the rest of your life.

I'm a fan of the old bucket equitation saddles of the 1980s. Man, those things are comfortable and well balanced..... and pretty.

I like my MacPherson. I'd take a Broken Horn, nice Circle Y or Blue Ribbon. I think Champion is a step down from Blue Ribbon, but I have liked the old skool ones I have seen.

Senszuri
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:51 PM
I no longer ride western, but I did prevoiusly own a Crates saddle. They were the closest I could find to custom without spending TONS of $$. I had the equi-fit tree and the saddle fit many horses very well. You can find them lightly used in your price range. IMO - saddle fit is more important than anything, and this brand will provide an excellent fit for both you and the horse, in my experience. They are available on tacktrader, ebay, etc. and are fairly common. Even one dressed with silver can run $1300 compared to thousands.

paintlady
Feb. 28, 2012, 01:42 PM
http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/

cutter99
Feb. 28, 2012, 01:58 PM
I would look for an older Circle Y or Dale Martin saddle suited for your discipline. I've seen great prices on Ebay recently, although it is nice to be able to sit in it before you buy it.

Angelico
Feb. 28, 2012, 02:01 PM
Circle Y's are very good, Martins are awesome but pricey...

WarDance
Feb. 28, 2012, 02:11 PM
I would say shop around locally. Look in local tack shops, search craigs list, look at the feed store bulletin boards. I bet you could find a deal locally and be able to try out the saddle before you buy. I've never bought a saddle without riding in it first. I either buy one that the seller will let me try or I find someone with the same saddle and ask them to borrow it for a ride. I think that makes all the difference.

Burbank
Feb. 28, 2012, 02:26 PM
I have been keeping an eye out for Crates, Victor, Broken Horn, Champion, Billy Royal, Harris and Chavez but the used Saddlesmith I have seen look pretty decent

would love to find a nice used Victor that would not cost an arm or a leg (read I am broke) b/c they are supposed to fit arabs well

jetandmegs4
Feb. 28, 2012, 02:38 PM
We do western pleasure, and I occasionally do the adult western equitation medal. All local shows primarily. I do have a used simco (older) saddle that fits him very well. I use it to school at home, but would like something a bit fancier for shows.

leilatigress
Feb. 28, 2012, 03:10 PM
Hit your local horse auction and pick one up there. I prefer Circle Y, Billy Cooks and if possible and affordable MLLetty. If the saddle has tooling it will be fine for local level. Higher than that and you will need silver, you can actually put you own silver on rather cheaply or have it done.
I would never ever buy a new saddle if I could get my hands on a used one.