My first saddle

This topic contains 14 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  djcarol 2 years, 1 month ago.

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  • equestrian_girly Original Poster equestrian_girly
    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 0

    I’ve been riding for almost 7 years and my parents have decided to get me a saddle. I was wondering what good quality saddle brands there are for about $500?

    panache
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 29

    you could go on craigslist and other websites like that and see what they have to offer, you should worry more about the comfort and the way the saddle fits you before brands, and often they will have many good brands for cheap like pessoa

    Life is not about waiting for the clouds to pass, its about learning to ride in the rain

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    Purpose and fit for both horse and rider definitely take priourity over brand. Might do well to take Mom and Dad to a tack shop to try out a few types, get a price range, size, general knowledge. THEN go shopping : ) If you are riding more than one horse, it will help to know ahead of time what sizes the horses you ride are in to (narrow/medium/wide) or at least the range so that you actually get to use your new saddle once in a while: saddle has to fit horse as well as it fits you and less or more saddle pads aren’t typically the answer for the difference.
    Getting your first saddle is a big deal! Enjoy this journey, learn as much as you can, shop smart, ride on ; )

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    What breed of horse & what kind of riding do you plan to do? English? Western? Hunt Seat? Dressage? I asked about breed because that gives some idea of what tree you will need in an English saddle. For example, Arabians are typically small horses, running 14-2 to 15-2, but because they typically have little to no wither, they need a medium/wide or a wide tree in an English saddle because without much wither, the front of the saddle will sit on a part of the horse that is surprisingly wide. If the tree is too narrow, it will perch on top of the horse like a too small hat. Used saddles are often a good choice, but make sure you can try the saddle out on the horse and actually ride in it, and ride in it on the your horse. The saddle needs to fit the horse, the rider, and the combination of that horse & rider. A saddle that fits the rider nicely on one horse can be a disastrous fit for that rider on a different horse, even though the saddle appears to fit the horse correctly. You also need to figure out what seat size for English saddles. Depending on the depth of the seat, you can typically go up or down 1/2 inch in seat size, with deep seated saddles needing to be a 1/2″ larger than flatter saddles because the deep seat leaves less available room for the rider’s derriere. But seat size is also partially determined by the rider’s leg length – – longer legs will require a larger seat so that the leg position falls naturally into the correct angle. Synthetic saddles are usually less expensive than leather ones, and can be a good choice, and are also easier to care for. Watch out for adjustable tree saddles, as they do not all open the same way. The Wintec mechanism is well made, but also well known for not necessarily opening correctly to fit some of the wider horses.

    Happy saddle hunting.

    rhonda_hettinger
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 8

    Before you check saddle brands and prices–you don’t mention whether you generally ride the same horse, or at least horses of similar build/conformation. It will be easy enough to fit a saddle to YOU, but it needs to fit the horse equally well to facilitate good performance from both of you. Don’t count on saddle pads to “correct” poor fit: a too-narrow saddle will only be tighter with pads added, and a too-wide saddle will tend to slip or rock with large amounts of padding underneath. So get input from your instructor (who, I assume, owns the horse) as to tree size and shape needed.

    As to your original question–your price limit gives you some good, realistic choices. Check with several tack shops–most are understanding about “just looking,” and will be honest (or they won’t stay in business!) about the quality of low- and mid-range priced saddles, as to which will give good service and which will not. There are some quite good “starter” or “school” saddles out there, with good resale value if and when you decide to move up.

    Many shops also have used saddles either on consignment or taken as trade-ins. Be sure to check those, as well as looking for used-tack sales (many 4-H and Pony Club groups host these; our own hunt club generally has a tack sale at any hunter paces, etc., that we run). You can often get an excellent used saddle (with the leather already nicely broken in) at a fraction of what you’d pay for the same saddle brand new. Just be sure you know how to check for a sound tree (gently but firmly flex the tree points, and push pommel and cantle towards each other–there should not be much give, especially the latter–and no grinding or cracking sounds). Also check the stitching, and the soundness of the billets (or rigging/latigos for western)–these can easily be fixed or replaced by a saddler, but do factor that into the overall cost.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    What brand and style have you been using? Are you comfortable in that saddle? Are you riding your own horse, or a variety of horses? Not asking for answers, but offering some questions you need to ask yourself. A new saddle will not feel the same as a used one, even if it is the same make and model. Some places will permit the return of a saddle if it turns out it does not fit the horse, some may not – another thing to take into consideration. I would suggest that you get the very best saddle you can afford (not just make and model, but also fit and comfort), and it should last a lifetime. My Stubben is 45 years old, and my neighbor’s favorite saddle is 80.

    It is never the horse's fault

    IrishMelody IrishMelody
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 27

    If you are looking for a good English saddle, I recommend shopping for a Collegiate convertible Diploma. Your pic is of jumping so I just assumed English. I own two of them because I loved my first so much. They were both priced at less than $600 with shipping so it might be a little more than your $500 range, but they are worth it. Convertible gullet and plates go from narrow to extra wide, so you can ride all sizes of horses. If you get an older one, they are wool flocked, which is very comfortable for horses. And if it has been kept up, oiled and whatnot, the leather is sooo buttery soft. Not sure about how newer ones are, I have had mine for 3 and 1 years, bought them well used so I estimate they are probably 10+ years old. Very comfy on my butt, medium deep seat always feels secure.

    Regardless of what you buy, make sure that you perform a few quick tests to make sure you get your money’s worth. You can put the cantle against your thigh and hand on the pommel and give it a little twist. This tests if the tree is broken (it will CREAK and twist if broken). Check the stitching and condition of the billets; it’s no good if they break. As for fitting to the horse, saddle trees have different twists. For horses with very sensitive backs, this can be a problem when fitting. Saddle could fit perfect, but because the twist makes the rider position and weight distribution different, it can make them act up. These tests are true of English and Western saddles. There are really great articles out there about checking saddle fit on horses if you get to test ride your saddle, just Google.

    Happy shopping!

    Dressurreiter
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    For about $500, WINTEC would be a good choice as a first saddle. I have a WINTEC synthetic dressage saddle, for which I paid $423.00, including sales tax. I like the synthetic saddle because it is versatile and easy to care for. WINTEC also makes all-purpose saddles (suitable for jumping) in the $500 range. I am certain that such a saddle would be a fine 1st saddle which will last you many years.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    To clarify my first answer, the best saddle you can afford is not necessarily going to be the most expensive saddle. I meant fit and quality and suitability to your needs.

    It is never the horse's fault

    pflady
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 25

    No matter the brand, you will get the most bang for your bucks with a used saddle. Many local tack stores will include used saddles in their inventories. You can increase your selection by going online. I bought a nice Keiffer saddle from Bucks County Saddlery online. They shipped it to me to try on my horse before I bought it. Always try it before you buy it!

    RedWillow
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    Well I can give a few good brands but it’s not about the brand , it’s about if you fit in it well , if you like the comfort of it , and if it fits your horse or the horses you ride . Some good not so expensive brands are Pessoa and Henri D rival . But if your looking for a very confortable saddle try to find a good used Pj of a CWD !! But remember it’s not about what brand it is , it’s about how you like the saddle and if it’s fits comfortable to you !!

    Happy saddle hunting !!

    AMC AMC
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Saddle fitting can be frustrating! I recently bought my first English saddle as well.

    Because I live far from the nearest professional saddle fitting experts, I did lots of research online concerning saddle fitting and which brands tend to fit a certain horse’s build. Stubben has lots of great info on their site. I ended up buying an older Stubben Parzival close-contact jumping saddle on eBay for $300 that fits my high withered Paint gelding well. Just make sure if you decide on an older saddle that the billets are in good shape or in the case of my saddle, have been recently replaced. Best of luck! 😊

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    Another vote for used saddles. But new or used, do some research on saddle fitting, and don’t buy anything, new or used, that you cannot try out on the horse which you will be using the saddle on. You need to familiarize yourself with concepts like tree widths so you can eliminate saddles the are too wide or too narrow for your horse. Fitting western saddles is less complicated, but if there are new & used tack sales in your area, go and talk to people selling saddles. And ride in the saddle for at least 2 – 3 times for a reasonable length of time. Pay attention to whether the horse seems comfortable with the saddle at the beginning and end of each ride, and whether his back is touchy the next day. Try to determine whether you want to ride English or Western, and if English, do you want to trail ride, ride hunter jumper or dressage, or just pleasure ride. If you want to show, you should also take that into consideration, even if it is a first saddle.

    barrel_racer15 barrel_racer15
    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 7

    Depending on what discipline you ride in and if you compete or not changes what saddles you need. I ride western and do barrel racing so I bought a custom barrel saddle from Monturas Saddlery whom I found on Facebook. Or if your on facebook there are a lot of new and used saddle groups that you can join. I’ve been told to stay away from Circle Y and Circle C western saddle brands. Goodluck!

    djcarol
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    Thorowgood, Wintec, and even the Kincades are good first saddles. Some online saddle retailers will let you tryout the saddles before you buy. After you find what fits you and your horse then look on eBay or Craig’s List… You could find a very nice Crosby on Craig’s list…I know I did and I only paid $300 for an Olympic Gold Crosby that was barely used.
    Saddle placement is extremely important when fitting a horse to a saddle.

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