I have been searching for months for a saddle that fits both my horse and I. She needs an extra wide. I have a long thigh and don't like a super deep seat or huge thigh/knee rolls. I found a used county competitor that was very reasonably priced and exactly what i was looking for. When I tried it today, it fit my mare very nicely and she went well in it. However, I noticed that the saddle has a slight hole next to the seam on the seat. It is very small and looks like it is from wear. On the other side, the leather is worn but not torn all the way through. I really loved the saddle so I don't know what to do. Will this hole get worse? Will the entire seat eventually need to be replaced? Is this something that could be stitched? Any advice anyone could give would be much appreciated. I'm heartbroken at the idea of sending the saddle back but don't want to keep it if it would be very expensive to fix.
tears in that area are actually pretty common especially if you ride in jeans. they can be patched pretty reasonable or you can have the seat replaced more pricey. the patches arent pretty but really can;t be seen when youn are in the saddle
Thanks for the feedback. I'm still on the fence about what to do. The tack shop is asking $995 for the saddle, which seems like a very good price. And I really like it. If I send it back and then get yet another one, I'm burning more money in shipping (and I've already tried several). I wonder if it is worth it to try to negotiate with the tack shop a little on the price, knowing I will have to get the seat replaced at some point. It's so hard to find a saddle!
How old is the saddle? older CC's have a narrower tree than newer versions of the CC (not sure when the change happened but a County rep should know) so write down the serial numbers & take some detailed photos in case you decide to look for another CC.
The price is much too high for a CC with that kind of damage - seat tears can become unrideable very quickly: you might contact the tack shop & ask them to repair the damage or offer them rather less money & have the seat replaced yourself.
Additionally if the tack shop didn't reveal the extent of the damage before sending the saddle out to you, I'd ask for a refund on the shipping costs.
Older CC's in good condition seem to run in the $600 - $1000 range.
Unfortunately, the tack shop didnt disclose the damage and none of the pictures of the saddle on their website showed it (the one of the seat was taken from the other side). It's really frustrating but I guess I will be sending it back unless they want to significantly reduce the price. I hate saddle shopping.
If they didn't disclose, then fight them on the shipping costs. Throw around some terms like "false advertising" or something.
And yeah, $1k is WAY too much for a saddle in need of a new seat. For $1700 (cost plus seat replacement), you could buy one in near-mint condition. Or a used saddle in a nicer brand that doesn't need the major work.
absolutely agree with Hampton ^^^ and I'd be incensed if a shop sent me a saddle that needed a repair like that, that is indeed false advertising.
I would ask for a significant price break on the saddle, like $650 rather than $900+. The wear at the seat will not affect the rideability, but it will get worse with time, eventually need to be repaired, and it does cost upwards of $500 to have it done correctly.
At least now you know exactly what model and size and shape saddle you want, so if they don't negotiate mightily with you and you do return the saddle (and hopefully get your shipping refunded too) you can start shopping for exactly what you want.