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Torn saddle- WWYD?

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  • Torn saddle- WWYD?

    I have an Albion Legend 5000 on trial that I really like. It's a 2001 model in over all good condition. There are two tears in the seat, on each side of the waist area. The seat needs to be completely replaced, which my saddle fitter has priced at $450.

    My trainer looked at the saddle and said it's a super fit for my TB, just needs minor flocking adjustments but the tree is correct. She thought I rode well in it. However, she doesn't think I should purchase based on the ripped seat. Feels like that means the saddle was used really hard and it's an "unknown" factor. She strongly advised me too keep looking. I love her to death, but she can afford several saddles (high end/custom types) and that is simply not in my budget.

    I really like the saddle for me and my horse (it's not easy finding a nice used saddle in narrow or narrow medium these days!). The tack store is asking $500, but said will accept offers. So even if I purchase at $500 and replace the seat I'm getting a saddle that fits me and my horse for $950. I don't think that's too shabby...

    WWYD? Would you consider purchasing a used saddle with a torn seat? If so, what do you think a reasonable offer would be? I was considering offering $350 just to see where they stand as I believe it's been on consignment for a while.

  • #2
    torn seat

    Yes, I would negotiate the purchase of this saddle if I knew of a saddler that I could take the saddle to for evaluation before I bought it.

    I've had the seat of a saddle replaced and the job was well done. This person is no longer doing this type of work. So make sure you have someone in mind and get his opinion on the job before purchasing the saddle.


    • #3
      There's no shame in negotiating it down to a price that is acceptable to you or the seller.
      "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
      "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
      Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!


      • #4
        Did the saddle fitter actually see the saddle or just give you a price over the phone? If he saw it and said it looked good I would go price a like saddle less the $450 repair and maybe a little more off due to your time to get it fixed.

        If the saddle fitter has not seen it I would have them look at it, see what she thinks and go from there.

        If the original rider wore jeans to ride that will sometimes prematurely wear out the leather- especially if they post low and kinda skim the saddle with the seams on the jeans.
        Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


        • #5
          I agree with SonnysMom and would get the saddle fitter's opinion before committing. A torn seat is not *necessarily* indicative of abuse, as said could have been ridden in jeans, etc.

          As much as you like and trust your trainer, I would get the fitter's opinion about the fit of the tree too, even if it has to be long distance with photos and email.

          If the saddle fitter gives the green flag too, then I'd tell the store the cost of the repair and negotiate, perhaps offer $400 and see what they counter. Or barter with $125 in store credit, etc. Never be embarrassed to negotiate.
          Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


          • #6
            I wouldn't hesitate to buy it. I recently had a seat replaced by Albion, just send the saddle to them, they do a great job for $500. It would be worth the extra 50 for me to have it done by the saddles maker. I would offer 400 for the saddle and see where that gets you.
            Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!


            • #7
              Buy the saddle and have it fixed - if it fits buy it.
              Now in Kentucky


              • #8
                Feels like that means the saddle was used really hard and it's an "unknown" factor.
                I wouldn't worry too much. I know someone who has worn out two saddles in the same area because she wears real leather full seat britches all the time and under her thighs, the rough suede leather has ripped the seat away at the seam. Otherwise her saddles look brand new. If the stitching and leather elsewhere are fine, just have the seat replaced. Its a common injury to an english saddle. Have the saddler check the tree while he's at it because that is really the only piece of the saddle that you can't tell easily if its NQR.

                I will say though, it sounds like a kind of "newbie" comment from your trainer. I would doubt she's ever repaired one herself or taken an old one apart, or she would know how silly that comment sounds to a saddler.

                Also, traditionally "in the old days" the seat was made from a sturdy stretchy leather, like pigskin, but nowadays most saddles have a thin "bridle" leather seat as it looks smoother and nicer, but also wears out much quicker. If it was me, I'd put a pigskin seat on as a replacement and it will probably outlast the saddle.

                Alternately, you can probably ride in it as it is, if your legs cover the rips. The attachment of the seat will not affect the integrity of the rest of the saddle.

                I am not sure of the current market value of Albions but they are a good make- if you can bargain down to $350 or $400, it sounds like a grand deal.
                If it ain't broke- TRAIN IT!


                • #9

                  Thanks for all the replies. I have a fitting scheduled next week so my saddle fitter can fully evaluate the fit on my TB as well as test the tree. If all goes well I am going to make an offer of $350 and cross my fingers.

                  Thanks again.


                  • #10
                    I think that's a great plan, price-wise and having the fitter evaluate.

                    A torn seat absolutely does not have to equal abuse. It could just equal lots of use. A lady at my barn who takes excellent care of her tack had a tear in the seat of one of her saddles.

                    The fact that it fits you and your horse well is outstanding (just search for all of the threads on here about people searching for months for a saddle that fits both them and their horse!) and if the fitter tells you it's otherwise in good shape then I think you've lucked out, actually!