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(Another) Saddle Topic!

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  • (Another) Saddle Topic!

    Hey there!
    What do you think is the cheapest, best quality saddle? In a perfect world I'd LOVE an Antares or County however even used their a bit out of my price range (sadly)..I do keep my eye out for them. I'm looking for a wider tree (I ride a variety of horses and they're all wide) and comfortable for me/the horse.

  • #2
    Go with a used saddle, you'll get better quality for the price. Try everything you can that's with in your price range. The best saddle is the one that fits you. I happen to love old Hermes saddles, but they run narrow, so it wouldn't do for you. (I got mine for $500 on eBay)


    • #3

      Stubbens are sooo overlooked nowadays, and have been around a lot longer than all these new brands. Even new they are really reasonably priced. For fit to both horse and rider, they are the best I have ever run across in 36 years. They also last forever.


      • #4
        I agree that Stubbens are great value for the money and mine is still beautiful after 40 years.


        • #5
          What price range are you looking in? As others suggested Stubbens might be an option and you never know what you might find used on some of the non horse oriented web sites like craigslist, etc. as sometimes people don't know what they have. However be sure to check the tree on anything used that you buy direct from someone as the tree may be an issue.

          Good luck.


          • #6
            I loooooove my BdH! dover has them brand new on closeout sometimes for$800 (thats when I got mine)...normally about $1200 i believe but the quality is close to Butets and the like....i get compliments on it all the time!
            Dacharia = best mare in the world



            • #7
              depends on your price range. Used is definitely the best value.

              Black Country has reasonable prices for a custom saddle, but its still not cheap.


              • #8
                stubbens don't fit that wide imho, even their wide 32cm tree is rather like a mw in what I've seen. excellent used saddles for the $$ though.

                best cheap great saddle that fits lots of horses including wide ones I've seen is tad coffin version crosby equillibrium, excellent ride and nice wide channel and panels for wider backed horses, short points for versatile fitting. just simple and great in every way.
                Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                • #9
                  If you ride a variety of horses one of the saddles that have exchange gullets may be for you, but you will be surprised at the number of horses that will fit in a medium.
                  If you are looking at a less expensive saddle than the Butets, Antares etc, you still need ( and can get ) a saddle that is a brand name and has a warranty on it and a company that will stand behind it.


                  • #10
                    This comes with the usual preface that the BEST saddle is the one that fits the horse and rider, and the CHEAPEST saddle is not always the best in terms of longevity, balance, etc.

                    If you're asking "What is the best bang for the buck", my vote goes to the Black Country saddles. At $2500, they are fully customized from the tree upward.

                    But if you're asking "What is a cheap saddle that is likely to fit a fairly wide variety of horses, many of whom take a wide tree and/or don't have hugely huge withers, and is going to balance well for the rider?" My answer would be the Wintec Close Contact (around $400), or its leather cousin the Bates Caprilli Close Contact (available used for about $800-$1100). The Bates balances beautifully and the leather quality is good for the price point; I know many pro riders who love that saddle. And the Wintec Close Contact is a synthetic replica of the Bates Caprilli CC, meaning the same tree as the Bates just rendered in plastic instead of wood and the same outer construction rendered in a durable synthetic material instead of leather. IMO the Wintec CC is the best saddle bargain on the market in the sub-$500 price range.

                    A wise shopper would also budget for some basic correctional padding. A sheepskin or quilted correctional half pad, of the variety that can be shimmed up, would be a great investment to complement your saddle. Not only would it allow you to shim the saddle as necessary, but a sheepskin pad would have the bulk to lift a saddle up and off some horse's withers (thereby allowing your saddle to acccommodate more horses).

                    I do love Stubbens, but they tend not to be very wide. They would be my choice for a horseless rider who rode primarily shark-withered TB's with curvy toplines and rarely rode "wide load" horses.
                    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/