Western Saddles Top 7 Buying Mistakes

Western Saddles Top 7 Buying Mistakes



Buying the wrong western saddle is​ a​ very common occurrence in​ the western riding world. It's also a​ very expensive learning experience. You can skip this painful lesson by avoiding the top seven western saddle buying mistakes.

1. Buying Pretty. While we'd all like a​ nice looking saddle, letting looks drive your buying decision is​ asking for trouble. The quality of​ the saddle materials and the construction are far more important than the look of​ a​ saddle. a​ poorly made saddle can look awfully pretty, especially to​ the uninitiated. Don't fall for this one.

2. Buying Image. Have dreams of​ riding the range and working the cattle drive? or​ maybe riding to​ an​ NFR championship buckle in​ barrel racing? While the cowboy and cowgirl dreams and imagery can be strong and enticing, don't let those images determine your saddle choice. Choose a​ saddle type that fits the actual type of​ riding that you'll be doing.

3. Buying Cheap. Cheap saddles are not a​ bargain. Poor quality materials and construction will shorten saddle life, and, more importantly, will cause discomfort and impair movement in​ your horse. if​ you can't afford at​ least a​ middle-of-the-road new saddle ($500 and up), then buying used is​ a​ great solution. Quality saddles last a​ long time, making buying a​ "pre-owned" saddle a​ smart buy.

4. Buying Dumb. You need to​ educate yourself on some saddle basics before buying. Ride in​ as​ many different saddles as​ you can. Talk to​ all the horse people you know about their saddles. Pick the brain of​ knowledgeable saddle folks. And, always, before purchasing a​ saddle, know the seller's tryout and return policies.

5. Buying Selfish. You found a​ saddle that's high quality, pretty, and fits you well. You're all set right? Wrong. You're forgetting one very important partner in​ this deal - your horse. if​ the saddle doesn't fit your horse well, than the rest doesn't matter. Make sure you understand the basics of​ horse fit and determine beforehand whether the saddle will be a​ good fit for your horse.

6. Buying One-Size-Fits-All. While you shouldn't need a​ different saddle for every horse you ride, one saddle will not fit every horse you run across. The best approach is​ to​ choose a​ saddle that will fit the basic physical type of​ horse that you'll ride. For instance, I ride Quarter Horses that are on the smaller size. I have a​ saddle that will fit most horses of​ this type. if​ you ride more than one type of​ horse, you'll need multiple saddles.

7. Buying Brand (or Endorsement). This one is​ a​ little trickier. Buying a​ well-established brand is​ not a​ bad idea. You just need to​ be aware that a​ number of​ saddle brands have been around a​ long time and the quality of​ their saddles have varied significantly over time. The quality can also vary over their current product lines. Never just blindly buy by brand without thoroughly inspecting the quality of​ the saddle in​ consideration. Additionally, celebrity endorsement can seem like a​ stamp of​ approval, but it​ really doesn't mean more than that the celebrity is​ receiving payment for use of​ his or​ her name. Very few celebrities have any input into the design and construction of​ the saddles bearing their name.

Many riders have a​ tack room full of​ saddles that didn't work out. Others are constantly buying and selling saddles in​ search of​ just the right one. it​ doesn't have to​ be this way. if​ you do your homework beforehand to​ truly understand your horse's and your own needs, you can purchase the one saddle that will be a​ match for you, your horse, and your riding activities.




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