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Western saddle brands?

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  • Western saddle brands?

    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?

  • #2
    You can try www.tacktrader.com

    or ask the folks at www.pleasurehorse.com You may be able to get more information on a good quality show saddle.
    MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"

    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


    • #3
      the NOT!! Spoiled!! Arabian Protectavest poster pony lives on in my heart


      • #4
        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....


        • Original Poster

          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.


          • #6
            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.


            • #7
              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.


              • #8
                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.
                Moving on doesn't mean you forget about things. It just means you have to accept what happended and continue living.


                • #9
                  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.


                  • #10
                    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.
                    Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.


                    • #11
                      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?
                      Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                      Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                      Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                      Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Luseride View Post
                        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.
                        GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


                        • #13
                          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.
                          I don't always feel up to arguing with your ignorance


                          • #14
                            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.
                            Cowboy up.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Monica67 View Post
                              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.
                              GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


                              • #16
                                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/


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by jetandmegs4 View Post
                                  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.
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat


                                  • #18
                                    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.


                                    • #19


                                      • #20
                                        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.
                                        "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White