The saddles below are for sale from several major online sellers, and are priced at $1.200.00 or less. A cheap saddle does not mean it has to be poorly made.
If you shop wisely and patiently for a saddle you can often find a saddle of reasonable quality – or above – at a discount price. For a few good thinks to think about before buying a cheap saddle please scroll down beneath the saddles for sale.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Cheap Saddle
Maybe the first thing to mention is that cheap saddles can be, well, cheap. As in poorly made. If a price on a saddle seems too good to be true, it’s wise to use caution. If you have continuing doubts, it’s probably best to pass on that saddle.
On the other hand, some cheap saddles are less expensive than other saddles but this doesn’t mean they are poorly made. To avoid a poorly made saddle, there are several things you can do.
- Look for saddles made in the USA. Saddles made in the USA are commonly made to higher quality standards than imported saddles. This isn’t always true, of course, but is one thing to look for.
- Look for saddles with synthetic materials. Synthetic materials are usually less expensive than leather. (As a bonus for a lot of folks, saddles with synthetic materials often weigh less, too.) However, if durability is a top priority, a synthetic saddle may not hold up to the rigors and punishment an all-leather saddle (made of good quality leather, of course) can handle.
- Try to find out what the saddle tree is made of, or what brand of tree it is. A saddle of good-to-reasonable quality, even if it has a cheap price tag, should have a durable, well-constructed saddle tree. If the seller, especially someone on eBay, does not mention the the type, brand, or construction of the saddle, tree, it’s a good idea to use caution. Some sellers on eBay simply don’t know much about saddle trees so they don’t mention it, while others stay quiet because they’re not going to mention a poorly quality tree.
Below: Good quality cheap saddles do exist, but so do bad quality ones. This was a brand new saddle with a cheap price tag (think: “too good to be true”). As you can see, its poor quality saddle tree broke in half. While high quality saddle trees can break under extreme conditions, a poor quality one is an accident, and financial waste, waiting to happen.
- A plain saddle can be a cheaper saddle. A saddle that lacks a lot of time-consuming tooling by a skilled craftsman will be cheaper than a plain saddle without all the tooling. However, “plain” can be beautiful, too, especially if the saddle is made from quality materials.
- Buy a trusted brand. If you’re interested in a saddle, be sure to find out who the maker is. If it’s a name you know you can trust, you’re that much better off. However, if it’s a saddle brand you have never heard of, research it! A cheap price tag on a saddle doesn’t have to mean it’s poor quality, but, on the other hand, a price that is too good to be true can definitely be a red flag.
- Buy a saddle from a trusted source. This can include an eBay seller with a lot of excellent feedback from previous buyers who takes the time and trouble to describe the saddle thoroughly and accurately, and show a lot of photos of it. This also includes HorseSaddleShop, a trusted saddle dealer located in Bremen, IN. While they have saddles in all price ranges, they never carry saddles they feel are poor quality. They have a trusted and respected name in the saddle industry with thousands of happy customers.
- Make sure you can return the saddle. If it arrives and you don’t like it for whatever reason, make sure you can return it! In addition, make sure you know who pays for the return shipping (hint: it’s usually you).
- HorseSaddleShop is one of the largest saddle dealers in the country. Almost every saddle they carry is in stock and ships the same day.
- Most of the saddles shown are new, but some might be used.
- Shipping is almost always included in the price for locations in the continental USA.
- Many (most?) of their saddles have customer reviews, which can provide helpful information when you’re shopping for a saddle.
When Buying Any Saddle On The Web Or Anywhere Else
Before buying a saddle (cheap or otherwise) on the Web or anywhere else, there are several good things to know before you buy.
- Is the saddle new or used?
- Are there several clear pictures of the saddle?
- If the seller claims the saddle is a certain brand or make, do the photos show a stamp or other mark on the saddle to back up their claim?
- Does anything come, or not come, with the saddle? For example, stirrups, latigos, billets, breast collars, back cinches, etc. may or may not be part of the sale. Read the description carefully so you know exactly what you are, and are not, getting.
- If the saddle is used, it is reasonable to assume that it may have some defects of some kind. The seller should clearly describe any scratches, scuffs, tears, stains, etc., and show them in the pictures if possible.
- What will the shipping charges be?
- What methods of payment does the seller accept?
- Does the seller accept returns? How long do you have to return the saddle? Who pays for the return shipping, you or the seller?
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