I spotted mine on Craigslist. Was exactly the seat and bars size I had been looking for. It hadn't been used on a horse, yet, as the woman decided she wanted a different saddle for her gaited horse. However, she wouldn't budge on the price, so I let it go. My DH then surprised me with it for Christmas (even talked her down on price)...thought it was pretty gutsy of him to buy it without my approval. Anyway, it's exactly what I was wanting...in fact, as simply a spare saddle, it's almost TOO fancy and pristine for daily use!
Is it me or do 99.9% of cowboys just look better with their hats on?
Snatched mine off of Ebay, never having sat in one, after reading rave reviews of the brand/model here on COTH. It had 4 minutes left in the auction when I clicked onto it--total speed buy! (I had been saddle shopping, but was not looking with any purpose.) I figured if I didn't like it or it didn't fit my horse, I'd just relist it. It came, I love it, fits almost everybody I've tried it on, and it was cheap. Nobody who sees it or rides in it believes me on how much I paid for it. I'm now a proud member of the "You'll have to pry my Zaldi Star out of my cold, dead hands" clique.
At a small schooling show. I was shopping in the rolling tack shop when a lady walked in wanting to consign an old Kiefer dressage saddle. I wanted to try it. I slapped it on Chippy, found it to be the cat's pajamas, bartered a bit and wrote her a check. Done. Saw her again a few months later at same venue, smiles all around:my check cleared, and her saddle fit me
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. (Steven Wright)
My last saddle was bought for my hard to fit WB. I sent his measurements to Turnbull tack shop. They didn't have anything suitable in the used department, but recommended some brands to consider. I went with Frank Baines, but opted to order through a Canadian company as the exchange rate between the UK and the US, and then again from the US to Canada would have greatly increased the cost of the saddle. I chose the Canadian company due them being a dealer and their proximity to me.
Saddle was new and was custom. I was not able to see or test ride their brand as at the time it was not sold in my province. I had never seen one of their saddles before, but reviews were good so I took the chance and haven't been dissappointed.
I voted "other". I purchased my saddle from a woman who I met on a horse related internet forum who happened to be my neighbor who eventually became a good friend who is a distributor for Nickers Saddlery and a saddlefitter. I had met her previously briefly and had wanted to further a friendship with her (she's not psycho, rides and lives close by, thought she'd make a good riding buddy) I had been researching treeless saddles and posted a comment on a related group regarding the brand I was researching, she responded that she is a rep for that brand and I could come demo her saddles in person at her home (the saddles are usually mailed to a client for demo and consultation done over the phone or by e-mail). Been great friends ever since. I've had my saddle for over a year now and am still in love with it. My Sensation Hybrid is the best piece of tack I've EVER purchased....most expensive too
"My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."
I found my current saddle on Ebay. It's a barely used Crates reining saddle. The only negative thing is that it's a trophy saddle with lettering on one fender but what the heck I just pleasure ride and got it for a great price! Super comfy saddle.
I'm a bit of a saddle collector: I love finding bargains on ebay. I buy them and if they don't fit or I don't like them I resell. Rarely make money, it's more of an addiction . But I've been good the last few years. Although I need a dressage saddle...
I bought my online. It was a used saddle from Rick's Heritage Saddlery (saddlesource.com) I knew exactly what I wanted, so I checked several websites until the perfect one finally came up for sale. They did have a trial program (which I preferred just so I could make sure the saddle was in the condition I wanted). It was a very good experience.
Both of my saddles were basically custom jobs and purchased through a local tack store. Except for the occasional emergency purchase at show grounds, I shop exclusively at my local tack store(s) or buy from friends who might be selling something I covet.
Started reining, ranch saddle was not really suitable, trainer said get a Bob's lady reiner.
If I didn't like it, he has seen them sell slightly used for more than new.
Bob's had one ready, told me they send it and if I didn't like it send it back.
Bought it, with special junior fenders, was a perfect fit and the rest is history.
Those saddles are good for most any other riding also but heavy roping.
They fit most horses, from colts to old horses.
For myself, I'm all over the map! I think I've found saddles or sold them using almost all of the options above.
Now that I'm starting to think about selling one of my older saddles again and buying a new one, I was curious as to where everyone else has been finding and selling their saddles. Thanks so far everyone, details are very welcome!
My current saddles:
Collegiate Connoisseur CC - bought from a tack store
Ainsley Chester XC - found at a tack sale
County Stabilizer CC - bought from a friend
Schleese Custom Dressage - found on warmbloods-for-sale.com
Some of my old saddles:
Courbette CC - bought from trainer, sold to a friend
Crosby Mark VII CC - from trainer, sold to a friend
Bates Caprilli Dressage - tack sale, sold to a friend
Bates Caprilli CC - tack store, sold with online ad
Wintec Isabelle Dressage - from online ad, sold with Craigslist
Courbette Bernina Dressage - from online ad, sold with tacktrader.com
Current saddle was my old trainers saddle. I went to the barn for lessons, there was a serious lack of school saddles since the lesson program had just gotten started that year, so she let me use her personal saddle. Ended up really liking it, so when she quit and moved offered it to me for super cheap. I snatched it up, of course! So far it has fit most horses I've ridden except my current one (of course) so I am now on the hunt for a new one. Will probably go the new, semi custom route through a rep.
Found my Gen-X on Tack Trader. It was used - maybe 3 times. And about $400 less than buying new. She was local, so let me keep the saddle overnight for my trainer to check out fit on me and my horse. Loooove my saddle. :-)
I knew exactly what saddle (Miller Klimke dressage) I wanted and found it on consignment at Farm House Tack. Tried it, loved it, fits my horse. It was slightly used, got a great deal, couldn't be happier.
I was traveling to Ireland and knew what I wanted in a saddle & who was going to be making it, so just picked it up while I was there! I’m going again in a month or so and this time plan to bring a dressage version from the same maker back with me.