Cheap Saddle for OTTB?

I’m getting a thoroughbred soon and I want to do western pleasure and trail riding with him. He’s currently being ridden in a treeless Hilason and doing extremely well in it, but I can’t find a used one near me and I can’t afford a new one. Does anyone here have any ideas for saddles I can try? I have a thoroughbred now who I have in a western saddle but I don’t like how that saddle would look in pleasure classes.

I’m confused - hadn’t heard of Hilason before so I looked them up and they’re fairly inexpensive, basic saddles.

You have a western saddle… but don’t like how it would look in a pleasure class. What about it makes you think it wouldn’t be appropriate? If we know more of what you aren’t looking for, maybe we can help direct - but for local shows, as long as the saddle is clean and fits the horse and rider - I don’t think anyone will much care.

It’s got teal on it as it’s technically a barrel saddle, and it’s very cheaply made. I also don’t think it’ll fit my new thoroughbred properly as he has higher withers than the tb I was using the saddle on. I don’t have the money to buy a brand new Hilason because of the money I’m spending on getting the new horse and the money I had to spend for the vet last week. The money I used for the vet last week was intended to be put towards a new saddle, but things didn’t quite work out that way unfortunately. I’d also rather buy used because the thoroughbred I’m getting can be very hot and antsy when you’re mounting and I don’t think I’d be able to get my feet in the stirrups with how stiff the leather on brand new saddles tends to be. My original post/question definitely could’ve gone into more detail but I was kind of in a panic because the new horse is going to be coming to me sooner than anticipated lol

I would scout your local Facebook groups or eBay - however, I rarely see quality western saddles listed for <$500. Maybe a synthetic would work until funds can be replenished?

If you’re about to get a second horse and you already can’t afford a $500 saddle that fits it properly, …why are you about to get a second horse?

Meanwhile you “don’t like” how the saddle you do have “would look in pleasure classes” so horse shows we have money for but proper tack and equipment we don’t?



It sounds like it may be a while before your new thoroughbred is ready to compete in western pleasure at any show. So while you’re spending time on basics (like ground manners) you won’t be showing, which means you can save any extra dollars for a decent saddle.

In the meantime, if your current saddle with the teal coloring really won’t fit the new horse, perhaps you can borrow one that does? Or shop for a used synthetic saddle. I have a couple of friends who trail ride in them and love them. If it’s in decent shape, you can ride in it at small, local shows. No one will notice. You’ll just be introducing your horse to shows, anyway, for a while, so no one will care.

All of Craigslist (

Don’t know where you are, but there are several “search craigslist” links you can find using Google.