My trail ride last week, where I rode bareback and my dad rode in my only saddle that fits my fat horses, set me to wanting a new saddle. So I've been doing some looking, and HOLY COW! New saddles are expensive! I was hoping I could find something really nice used in order to not spend as much, but so far I have not been having much luck. So, I started wondering how many people out there actually buy brand new saddles of the good brands...you know, the really pricey ones!
I actually bought a new pricey saddle several years back. And I love it. It was my very first saddle purchase ever. My previous saddle was one that we'd had since I was a kid and it didn't fit Cody correctly so I decided to get a new one that would. However, now it doesn't fit my fat horses. It fit them the summer I bought it, when Cody was only 4 and Chico was 3, but the next year, it was giving Cody dry spots on her withers. I can't remember when it started not working for Chico...that might have not been until after I moved to WI and he really filled out (got fat). It does fit Catlow, and when I get to that point, it should fit Griffin and Kachina.
It is a Circle Y Flagstaff. It is so comfortable. I love the deep seat and the soft fenders that don't pull at your knees. It felt like it was made for me the day I bought it. I just wish it was made for my horses!
When I discovered that my Circle Y didn't fit my fat horses anymore, but I couldn't afford to buy another new saddle, I really spent a lot of time on ebay searching the used saddles. I finally found one I liked and I am so glad I bought it.
It is an old Simco (made in 1964!) and when I bought it, it needed some work, but I gotta say it was worth every penny! I paid about $175 for it, and then spent about the same amount getting the underside refleeced and getting a few rings added to it. It is a quality saddle. The leather is thick and sturdy and all I did was give it a good saddle soaping and oiled it up really well to get it to look this gorgeous. I love old saddles, especially when you can make them look new.
The only real damage that it had that I'm still working on (beside the patchy fleece) is that it looks like the rear of the saddle had been pushed up against the rack or a wall for a long time. The rear skirt is a little buckled and bent up, but it is not broken and oiling it and storing it properly has really done a lot for it. I don't think anyone would notice it unless I pointed it out. In this picture you can also see that I had the saddlemaker add a D-ring in the rear to attach a breeching to for riding in the mountains.
I also had him add a D-ring here for my breastcollar to attach to (the other spot it is supposed to attach is kinda weak).
It really does look brand new with the new fleece underneath.
And I wanted to mention that all my cinches are Weaver SmartCinches. I love the roly buckles. It makes it so easy to tighten up the girth without using much strength. And all my cinches have the padding around the buckle too. I don't like any of the metal parts against their skin, especially in the girth area.