I ride, and I figure if you're visiting our website, you must ride too. And, if you ride regular for work, for pleasure or competitively, you will understand full well the importance of your saddle. For comfort and fit. Even if you are new to horses, read on a little as I share some knowledge gained from experience that you just might want to use.
I bought my first horse at age 14 with money I had saved. I rode that mare every day on a saddle my friend's dad gave me. When I got a few bucks ahead, I traded that $50 saddle in on a brand new roping saddle, just like the ones the cowboys in Western Horseman magazine were riding. It was made to fit a big, thick, bulldog type quarter horse, of which I had none, and rode like there was a 2x4 running across the seat.
After a few months of soreness and that saddle slipping around the horse, I found a brand new, genuine hereford balanced ride saddle. I pulled together all my resources, traded in my nearly new roper and bought it before someone else did! The year was 1971, and that saddle cost around $700, an incredible investment for me at that time. Yet, I never thought twice about putting down all the money I had in the world on that saddle and have never regretted it!
My career, moving around, and raising a family of three children, made it difficult to maintain horses for a number of years. Now, 30 years later, the children are grown and, my son Matt moved to Montana to work as a guide. To make a long story short, I have visited him out West several times. The first time I rode on a very expensive name brand saddle and developed saddle sores for the first time in my life! Couldn't really sit to drive home, so I visited some western shops. Sure got me thinking about about saddles, and the difference in 'em.
On my second trip, we rode again. Bet you can guess what saddle I was on. That's right, my own saddle, the balanced ride hereford I bought over 30 years ago!
Saddles are an important part of riding, in as much as the wrong saddle will keep you from reaching your potential as a rider. A lot of saddles will work, and different jobs require subtle changes in the saddle to make the job easier, or sometimes even possible. I realized I was too old by now to make a living riding, but saddles were something I knew about, could do, and would like to do. Also, they don't eat, die, or require a lot of vet work. So about five years ago I began in earnest to build my saddle collection in the hopes of one day opening my own shop. I've found saddles everywhere.
Fast forward to today. I've opened a saddle shop to hopefully help address your needs in finding the right saddle. I deal mostly in used, cause a new saddle is like a new car. When you carry it out of the store it loses value, the first scar, it loses value, and until it becomes old enough to be a collector (and if its been kept well) it loses value.
That's where I come in. The saddles I carry are high quality saddles that I would ride myself, often far superior to new ones that aren't made with the same care and quality of materials anymore, and for far less than new price. You can try out a used saddle, so if it just doesn't fit you or your horse, you can bring it back. So, hey, browse around, see if we've got something that catches your eye!
Gary Lumley, owner