How to Evaluate the Condition of a Used Saddle

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You can save yourself a lot of money by buying a used saddle, but you can also potentially end up with a saddle that isn’t as functional, or as safe, as you’d originally thought. When looking at used saddles for sale, keep these tips in mind to evaluate the saddle’s condition.

Always Check The Tree

There’s nothing worse than buying a used saddle only to discover that the tree is broken or otherwise damaged. Spend the time necessary to carefully check the saddle’s tree. Squeaking or extra movement in the saddle can indicate a broken or damaged tree. Inspect the saddle from both directly above and directly below. Is the saddle in alignment from front to back? Any sort of twist in the saddle can be caused by a warped or twisted tree.

Consider the Leather’s Condition

You’ll want to inspect the leather of the saddle. Leather that isn’t properly cared for won’t last long. Look for signs of water damage in the leather, and inspect the stitching for signs of rot.

Flex the leather. It should be soft and pliable. If there are cracks in the leather, this can indicate that the leather was allowed to dry out to a point where it was damaged. You’ll want to avoid buying a saddle with leather with anything more than superficial cracking.

Look for Flawed Areas

With saddles, there are some particular areas that tend to develop flaws or damage. When evaluating a western saddle, inspect the fleece underside and the integrity of the saddle horn.

If you’re looking at an English saddle, then you will want to check the billets for overall strength and security. Inspect the panels to make sure that they are still flexible and even. Some English saddles develop wear and even start to tear along the seams of the seat, so pay particular attention to the stitching and leather in those areas.

Double Check Fit

It’s worthwhile bringing along a measuring tape to double-check a saddle’s measurements on your own. You will find that people use different methods to measure a saddle, so you may think that you’re buying a saddle which is an entirely different size. Be sure to double check the tree and seat size to make sure that you know just what you’re getting.

When shopping for used saddles for sale, be sure to be diligent so that you can spot issues and know a great saddle when you see one.

a great saddle when you see one. TOPHORSE–browse horses for sale or place an ad to sell horses
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