Saddle Shopping: fun but not.

In theory you would think this should be fairly simple. I know exactly what saddle I need, what specs fit me, and what specs fit Henry. That’s like 99% of the battle when saddle shopping, right there. Plus my budget is plenty reasonable for a used saddle, another factor working in my favor. The particular model I’m looking for is probably the most popular eventing saddle, so they aren’t exactly rare. And I’m 100% ready to buy, like, rightnowrightnow. How much more simple can it get? Yet I inquired about 8 different saddles and got responses on exactly 2 of them.

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I got so far as making an offer on one of those 2 on Monday, but then never got a response back. I thought it was a pretty decent offer… 12.5% less than asking price, I’d pay shipping, and I would buy it outright with no trial. Alas, crickets. Not even a “no”. Sooo… alrighty then.

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Selling the CWD was probably the quickest and easiest saddle transaction ever, so I guess I should have known there was frustration coming. I just didn’t think it would be so difficult to give away a pretty big chunk of money. I naively assumed that when people listed their saddles for sale, it was because they wanted to, ya know,Β sell them.

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We’re not in the middle of show season or anything, so it’s not like being without a jump saddle is the end of the world right now. But I don’t want to flat Every Single Day, and hill work/hacking in the dressage saddle is not my favorite thing in the world.

On Tuesday (as I made the rounds through all 18 of my bookmarked saddle websites, because that’s normal) I saw that a particular site had dropped its prices on a couple of fairly identical saddles that fit my specs, putting them within my budget. The panel was ever so slightly different, but still sounded like it could work, and the rep was actually RESPONSIVE and HELPFUL when I inquired. Praise the lawd, someone that knows how to work their email! So after exchanging some pictures and a couple measurements, I ordered this one:


Which is currently on its way to me, expected to arrive on Monday. I get a 7 day trial, which is nice, and shipping was free. Can’t complain about that.

So fingers crossed that this one works for us, because trying to buy saddles is apparently much harder than I thought.

37 thoughts on “Saddle Shopping: fun but not.

  1. Encounter that problem ALL THE TIME trying to buy stuff. Oh, you posted something on Craigslist today that I’m looking for: let me email you. Wait, you’re out of town? You can’t show me the item for another week? WHY THE HELL DID YOU POST AN AD?! Email them when they supposedly said they were back in town. Crickets or “I already sold it”. FML.

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  2. Buying used is my own personal circle
    of Dantes Inferno. It’s not that I’m against the item being broken in already. It’s having to deal with the stupidity of people that makes me prefer stabbing myself in the eye with a hot fire poker. I hope this saddle works for you guys.

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  3. ha but i love the turmoil i get from you via texts and emails πŸ™‚ It is so much fun πŸ™‚ HA. I hope this one works out. will you dye the green??

    Fingers crossed!! which tack site was it??

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  4. Sadle shopping IS actually the worst then I have ever done. Specially because the saddle I want, which is newerish to the marker, I cannot afford new.
    Cue….2-3 saddle “fitters”. One had nothing but tried her darndest to find me something but literally nothing fit and made my mare pissy. The other one is who I bought from and tried to sell me a new “custom made” saddle with a different configuration then the demo that DID fit….I bought the demo since that fitter is notorious for ordering something different and it not fitting and then refusing to do anything about it!

    I now have 3 saddles….one of which fits. One of which is ugly as sin but totally functional and works well on a stockier horse and one of which isn’t even listed yet but is “off-brand” and will likely also be a difficult sell. I need me some monies!

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  5. I was casually saddle shopping a couple months ago and it was insane how terrible people were at getting back to me. My horse is a tricky (and picky) fit for English saddles (thanks QH shoulders). So things like tree width and gullet measurement are important to me. Many Facebook ads didn’t have what I would consider to be good information, then people would respond once, or not at all, or promise more pictures and weeks would go by any still nothing. If I want to sell something, I want to sell it like yesterday, so I’ll get measurements or pictures ASAP. But apparently not everyone selling something operates that way.

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  6. Something about the month of June and internet sellers…. I had to get downright mean with someone I just bought stirrups from after she kept saying she’d ship them and then didn’t…for FOUR WEEKS. I finally had to demand a refund and tell her how absurd it was…then she shipped them and sent me tracking. -_- I can’t fathom the debacle if it had been a saddle. The level of difficulty would have increased x30.

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  7. I know you were kind of “meh” about the CWD’s the fitter brought out, but CWD has their own Ebay page that may be worth browsing through? I bought mine that way and it came with a free cover plus CWD conditioner (like $120 value for both things new?) and they were awesome to work with! I hope the Devocoux works out though so we get another post about saddle dyeing πŸ˜‰

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  8. ugh. shopping for used high – end items is basically the worst. i didn’t have it too too bad while saddle shopping bc i mostly was looking mid-to-low range and used retail outlets instead of private individuals…. but used trailer or truck shopping was … bleh… terrible. there are soo many scammers too. like i’d almost bet that some of those folks you reached out to who didn’t respond were maybe not totally legit. idk tho. good luck with the trial.

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  9. I totally feel you. I’m helping my mom sell her saddle and it’s a super deal. I was always very on time with getting pictures to people and they would just stop talking to me. So frustrating! But even when I was buying something I was always timely with responses that I wanted it and was ready to buy. And yeah, you’d think people would want thousands of dollars. Apparently not.

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  10. Good luck. Saddle shopping is the only thing I hate more than horse shopping.

    I tried a saddle the other day whose specs are exactly what I wanted, being sold by someone I know IN MY BARN. Sat in it and hated it.

    Why. Why me.

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  11. Saddle shopping Kristi style, oh you have a saddle you might want to sell, I don’t really need another one as my current saddle to sound horse ratio is 1:1, but whatever. Can I try it? Oh thanks. Where do I send the money? And now I have more saddles than I have sound horses but I managed to justify the new purchase to husband (who doesn’t always notice new things) by telling him I would try to sell two of the others.

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  12. I’ve encountered the same thing when shopping for anything horse related, including an actual horse. I get that answering email after email and all the questions can be annoying, but that’s why you save a canned response you can slightly edit as needed. The fact that you didn’t get a response after making an offer is amazing and mind boggling. Apparently people don’t need to sell their shit that badly…

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  13. Hope this one works out!
    I have kind of the opposite dilemma. i don’t need a new saddle, but have been SORT OF considering upgrading to something more modern (mine is 15 years old). I rode in my trainer’s Voltaire Stuttgart and really liked it. And there’s the exact one I would need on ebay that’s almost reasonable and has a best offer option on it. But so much money for something I really don’t NEED. Can someone please tell me I’m being responsible by not buying it?

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  14. As a seller of new saddles with the investment of having to buy a minimum of 8 saddles to have enough variety for fitting most horses, my pet peeve is people saying oh yeah I need a new saddle, I explain price range and they say they are fine with the prices. We set a date for me to bring out saddles, two hours before, I get a text cancelling the appointment. No reset date. Seven different dates before we finally get to trying the saddles and I get “they are really nice and comfortable, but I want to look at such and such a brand because it is cheaper.”

    When I was looking for a saddle to fit my very hard to fit warmblood cross, I had more trouble with people saying the saddle was something it wasn’t. “Oh, it is 17.5″, medium wide dressage saddle”. I go look, and it is an 18.5″ narrow close contact saddle.

    It goes both ways. I currently have had a used saddle posted for sale for over eight months, not a single inquiry. I have had a phishing scheme try to buy one of my demo saddles which are not posted anywhere online, so I have no idea where he got my information or what brand of saddle I sell.

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  15. Tell me…then add living out back of the beyond where there are no barns to even beg to try some out, independent reps won’t come to you. At all. Even if you throw money at them. And if you tell a company you want to order custom, they still won’t send a rep out. That’s if they return emails once you tell them where you are. I don’t know what my horse needs – but apparently I’m fixing to spend a lot of time learning the in’s and outs of of purchase, ship, try, sell, ship, repeat.

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