Unlimited access >

ISO Western Saddle

Hey guys

So I used to ride western a couple years ago (and my horse was trained western), but in March 2015 I switched permanently to English and since then have only been riding my horse English (I got help with training her to more English-style riding). I’m boarding at an eventing barn but that’s not really what I need anymore, so I’m switching barns and the one I’m going to is more western-based. I’m still planning on mainly riding my horse English, but I know that sometimes I’m gonna want to ride western and have some fun with her old gaming training. She’s 6 years old so I’m not worrying about confusing her too much.

I’m just looking for a more inexpensive western saddle brand that would hold up to that without being too hard on my horse? I know that there’s some that are cheap and you do get what you pay for, and they fall apart and hurt the horse, etc. and I’d like to avoid that. I really strongly prefer leather over synthetic so I want to avoid Wintec/Abetta/Fabtron but if it comes down to that and any of you have good experience with one of those brands, I’d definitely be okay with overlooking that, and I’ve heard great things about leather Circle Y saddles so I’d probably be willing to try one of their synthetics if anyone here says good things about them.

As for price, I’m a senior in high school working a minimum wage job (around $250 a paycheck twice a month) and I make $225 car payments every month. I know it’s unrealistic to be like “I want a great saddle that I can buy for $200” so I’d be okay with waiting a couple months and saving up a few paychecks to get it.

OH, also lol, I’d prefer more of a barrel-style saddle but again, I can overlook that if I have to.

TIA :slight_smile:

I would advise you to look for a USED name-brand saddle. If you want a barrel saddle, there are plenty of old (but taken care of) saddles on the market such as Circle Y, Tex Tan, Hereford, Billy Cook, and the like. Those older saddles were really well made. (like most things were) And you can usually get them for a very fair price.

If you are patient and keep an eye out, you can usually find one online or at a nearby tack store. I too am not a fan of synthetic saddles.

Of course, whatever you end up with isn’t a guarantee it will fit your horse. The most important aspect is that is DOES fit your horse.

If you’re on Facebook, there are a lot of Western tack groups you can haunt. I’ve seen some pretty good deals through there - I once picked up an older Circle Y roper for $325 CDN. You’ll see a lot of older saddles that maybe aren’t in style anymore (apparently, certain tooling isn’t trendy anymore). Plain saddles without silver sell for a good price. If you need a common seat size (like 15"), you’ll have a lot of saddles to consider.

Definitely save up and wait for a good used saddle to come up. Synthetics are junk (says the resident leather snob). Fitting to your horse is important, but you could be lucky and have one of those horses with the holy grail back - my mare fits almost anything, it seems. As long as it measures between 7-8" concho to concho, it’ll fit well.

If you have pawn shops around you, go take a look. I’ve found some NICE western saddles at local pawn shops here and they were practically giving them away. $175 for a older show saddle with a lot of silver. I still regret not picking that one up.