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Ok, new question...Martin Saddlery

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  • Ok, new question...Martin Saddlery

    I sat in a saddle today that just sold itself in the first second my butt hit the seat! Unfortunately it was WAY over my budget.

    It was the ranch cutter by Martin Saddlery and so level, with such great balance and feel, and the perfect "sweet spot" with a narrow closer contact feel in the twist and a deep seat, high swells, with roughout leather on the seat, fenders, ahh, just loved it. Was surprised b/c I hadn't felt that "comfy" (really sitting IN the horse, not on top, feeling secure yet really able to move with the motion if necessary, felt great with my leg length and height, etc.) since riding in that old Colorado Saddlery saddle.

    So, did some research. Seems Martin might be a more expensive brand. Is that a safe assumption? A pricier brand? I called the local tack shops to see if there were any used but nobody had any in my size (16) under $2400.

    What are some good sites to check for used Martins? Or is that unusual to find? How popular is roughout leather? Does that usually add to the price or detract? B/c I LOVED it.

    I found another that was a Cactus trail saddle with a flex tree (I think) that felt similar but was padded, no roughout, lots of tooling. It was in my budget but I don't like the tooling and don't like padded seats. I am going to call the store back tomorrow after they've had a chance to call Cactus for a quote on the same saddle, roughout, no tooling. I'm hoping its less expensive and that sitting in that saddle with roughout will be the thing that tips the scales towards it vs the Martin.

    That said, I still didn't LOVE it like I loved that Martin saddle.
    That said, I can't afford the Martin for a couple more months and even then, it'd wipe out my account. I'm not sure I can really swallow that kind of price for my FIRST western saddle. When I grew up eventing, I had a generic close contact, then a Pessoa, then a Courbette, then a semi-custom Custom Saddlery with buffalo hide, moving up a bit with each new saddle. That said, I am now a lot older and appreciate quality leather a lot more than I did as a kid...and plan on keeping it a lifetime.

    Another question: are there any benefits over the flex tree vs a 7" gullet (Martin) that would make it the better saddle for a variety of horses (I'll be riding a few different ones, different types) that make it worth looking more into a roughout Cactus than going with the Martin? With a 7" I thought I'd be able to use it on a wide range and just pad it up on the narrower horses.

    Thoughts?? So glad COTH has a western forum now!
    True Bearing Equestrian
    St. Helena Island, SC

  • #2
    I have a Martin trail saddle that I love. It's gorgeous, it's comfy, it's just quality. I rarely ride in it....because it's so heavy! I have a flex tree Circle Y that's my go-to saddle these days. It's just okay, but there's probably a ten pound difference, and that's a biggie for me these days.

    That said, if I were you I'd check tacktrader every day and look for a used Martin if that's what your heart desires. As I said, I love mine..but not enough to use it three times a week. So it sits in the tack room, protected from dust, but rarely used.

    Comment


    • #3
      In the long run you are money ahead buying what you want to begin with. A good cuttin saddle is almost impossible to find for less than $1,500 used and you have to really search for that.

      Keep searching ebay and craigslist. There are also several internet sites which sell used saddles. Teskeys is one.

      Martin Saddlery is not the absolute top of the line but it is reputable and a safe first buy.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thank you!

        Yes, that is my thought: buy what you want the first time.

        The weight doesn't get me as of yet, but I know what you mean, it was a pretty heavy saddle. That said, it was SO well balanced that I felt it would probably still be a better ride for most horses than the lighter flex tree. It was beautiful, honestly.

        I have access to saddles I'm not crazy about-makes sense to just keep waiting to buy the "one" and just keep tolerating these others. Why buy one I tolerate than just keep riding in ones I tolerate, to buy the one I really want? Duh. I apparently needed to type out two long posts on COTH to decide this on my own.

        So, tacktrader, ebay, craigslist, teskeys? Any others? Will go check them now!!
        True Bearing Equestrian
        St. Helena Island, SC

        Comment


        • #5
          If you try posting a wanted add on craigslist or post it in your local feed store for what you want one may surface. Also keep an open mind to other brands. My trainer and others that I greatly respect poo-poo the flex trees and lighter trees. They say buy a nice well made wooden tree saddle and it will last you for life.

          Comment


          • #6
            "Another question: are there any benefits over the flex tree vs a 7" gullet (Martin) that would make it the better saddle for a variety of horses "

            Flex Trees are not designed to allow fitting a variety of Horses, they do not Flex in that direction.......

            You cannot pad up any western saddle that is too wide, it is not just the gullet width, the angles of the bars are different, flex tree or not, padding up is a myth.... if the bar angle is incorrect padding does nothing more than wearing 3 pair of socks in bad fitting shoes......

            .

            Comment


            • #7
              You can keep an eye on cow dog saddles, too. http://www.cowdogsaddles.com/saddles-tn.php

              I don't think they have used Martins very often. They mostly are a little higher end, but they're very helpful, so if you send them an email letting them know what you're looking for, they might know where to get it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Also keep an eye on www.ranchworldads.com there are usually a Martin or two on there along with some great handmade saddles. Teskey's has a used saddle section on their website. You can try it for 7 days and sendit back if it does not work. I tried a used saddle from them, which did not work, and they were great to do business with. I ended up returning it and getting a new Cactus Saddle, which I LOVE!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Martin saddles are wonderful.

                  Wow, just in time. I have a really wide little mare, wider than my fjordieX I sold last fall. She was really lean when I got her a year ago and now is fit and muscled. My FQHB reiner doesn't fit anymore, neither does my Paul's custom cowhorse that fit the fjordieX.

                  I am working with Coolhorse.com in Texas and they are working with Martin. We have come to the conclusion this little tank needs their new 8" gullet Axis tree. I have looked at the All Arounds, and love their Lite Roper. Right now I am trying a demo Martin Cervi C barrel saddle on for size so we can dial in exactly which tree fits her and can order a saddle. This was the only 8" gullet available to to test ride in.

                  In the mean time, I do not have a western saddle that fits this mare...out of 5 western saddles only one is somewhat comfy for her and that is my 40 year old Sears JC Higgins youth roper. And it is little for me, I got it when I was 12.

                  Right now I just want a saddle that fits us both, and so far Martin is it. Even an old Circle Y arab saddle was wide enough but sat down too far on her without tons of padding, her wither is too long for it and it has too much rocker to it and it came with a broken tree. Long story, saddle was bought on Ebay trying to find a wide tree. Besides wide shoulders, long wither she is really straight in her back. My County Competitor dressage saddle fits, and it is a WXW and actually measures an 8" gullet, too.

                  So far, the customer service with Martin and Coolhorse.com rocks. Thanks Stacey.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by spirithorse22 View Post
                    How popular is roughout leather? Does that usually add to the price or detract?
                    I have a rough out wade saddle and I love it BUT, it is a PITA to keep clean. It takes me about 3x as long to really to a good deep cleaning of it which consists of alot of stiff brushing and air blasting as you cannot use water/liquid on it. For my 2nd saddle for cowhorse shows I got a custom Todd Jey ranch cutter saddle - I love it! I opted NOT to get rough out (one is definitely enough). You might check his stuff out - it's pretty affordable for a custom saddle.


                    Brighton Saddlery also has a used saddle section, but right now, they only have two wade saddles (one by the saddle maker who made my rough out, Robert Chavez!) listed which are not cheap!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kewpalace View Post
                      I have a rough out wade saddle and I love it BUT, it is a PITA to keep clean. It takes me about 3x as long to really to a good deep cleaning of it which consists of alot of stiff brushing and air blasting as you cannot use water/liquid on it. For my 2nd saddle for cowhorse shows I got a custom Todd Jey ranch cutter saddle - I love it! I opted NOT to get rough out (one is definitely enough). You might check his stuff out - it's pretty affordable for a custom saddle.


                      Brighton Saddlery also has a used saddle section, but right now, they only have two wade saddles (one by the saddle maker who made my rough out, Robert Chavez!) listed which are not cheap!
                      Now I don't have that problem with my roughout saddle. I brush it off, it was deep oiled when I got it so I clean and condition the tooled parts and someday will have the roughout oiled. I have oiled my roughout breast collar and it hasn't changed the roughout at all. Really soft and pliable and the best part is not slippery.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by craz4crtrs View Post
                        Now I don't have that problem with my roughout saddle. I brush it off, it was deep oiled when I got it so I clean and condition the tooled parts and someday will have the roughout oiled. I have oiled my roughout breast collar and it hasn't changed the roughout at all. Really soft and pliable and the best part is not slippery.
                        Mine is full rough out - no tooling at all. I do oil/clean the underside and the saddle is soft. But after years of use, the seat is no longer "rough" but pretty smooth although I still would not put any liquid on it. I tried that at one point on part of the saddle .... BAD call on my part. Had to get a wire brush to bring it back up, and it does not look the same as it did. No one can really tell but me, but I still feel sick about it. Glad yours is easier to clean.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I own 4 Dale Martin saddles- 2 ranch cutters and 2 regular cutters. I have ridden in about every brand of cutting saddle out there and have never liked any other as much as my Dale Martins. I bought mine new 8-9 years ago and paid at least $2500 a piece for them.

                          They are holding up really well and I anticipate riding in them for the rest of my life. I looked at them as an investment and have never been sorry I bought them!

                          Check out Ebay for used Dale Martin saddles- I see them there occassionally!
                          "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hmmm... A nice Reiner/cutter just sold on eBay in the $800 range and it was in great shape
                            It's a lot like nuts and bolts - if the rider's nuts, the horse bolts! ~Nicholas Evans

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm not much help but I LOVE Martin saddles. I had one about 10 years ago, pretty much custom ordered it right before they started getting to be a big deal. I worked at a tack store, so got a great deal on it, had to wait about 4 months for it. When people started ordering after that, the wait was 7-9 months!
                              I loved that saddle. Had to sell it cause it didn't fit my Haflinger.. and I'm really sad about it. In hindsight, I should have kept it!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Have you looked at the Cashel Outfitter saddles? They're made by Martin on the Axis tree and I have heard really good things about them, but have no personal experience. They're around $1300-$1500.

                                Avoid the Circle Y flex trees. Bad, bad idea, finally getting called out on it. I have been seeing the older, non-flex versions selling higher on eBay. I have had both. The Flex sored my horse and I ditched it fast.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I have a Martin reiner and I LOVE it When I went to buy one I looked for used saddles first but only found 1 and it was dark leather. I ended up custom ordering my saddle and I have no regrets even the $3k it cost me
                                  RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                                  May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                                  RIP San Lena Peppy
                                  May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

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