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If you're in the market for a new saddle, keep in mind that you will not find many leather English saddles that run less than $800. And, the higher-end ones will cost several thousand dollars. As you can see, saddles can be pricey so don't buy one on a whim—determine exactly what you need ahead of time. Then, purchase your saddle online or from a tack shop.
It's in your better interest not to purchase cheap saddle packages that have a price tag of only a few hundred dollars—keep in mind that you'll get what you pay for. You will end up with warped saddletrees and poorly flocked panels that will injure your horse. If you're on a tight budget, you're better off buying a quality used saddle that a cheapo new one.
Before dropping any cash on a saddle, decide which event you'll be using it in the most. Keep in mind that jumping saddles have short stirrups, and the seat is specially created to hold the rider forward and off of the horse to assist in jumping. On the other hand, dressage saddles are equipped with deeper seats that keep the rider close to the animal's back—this way the rider will have a good feel of what the horse is up to.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|