What to lookout for when buying 2nd hand saddles
There are many reasons why you should be very cautious when thinking of purchasing a second hand saddle.
We have listed 10 points for you to consider so that you can make an informed saddle selection.
1-With 2nd hand saddles there is usually NO warranty on the saddle tree, all NEW saddles have a warranty from 2 to 5 years.Prestige saddles have a life time warranty on the saddle tree.
2-With 2nd hand saddles there is usually NO warranty on the stitching and general saddle quality. All NEW saddles have at least a 12 month warranty.
3-If something happens to the saddle like a broken tree or broken girth point, then you the purchaser will need to spend more money on the saddle and sometimes it is not cost effective or even able to be done at all. A Saddle safety check by an ACCREDITED and QUALIFIED saddler is essential. Bonnetts offer this service for you and the sheet is shown below for you.
4-Repair costs to 2nd hand saddles are generally more extensive than new saddles. Before committing to purchasing a 2nd hand saddle it is worth getting the saddle checked by an ACCREDITED and QUALIFIED saddler and a cost appraisal.
5-With 2nd hand saddles the saddle tree has NO flexibility with a fibreglass saddle tree and with the laminated wood and spring steel trees they usually have too much flex.Below is an image of a modern Du Pont Synthetic tree used in the Pessoa saddles on the leftand on the rigth we have a traditional style tree being constructed from laminated wood and spring steel.
6-A major wear point on any saddle is the girth points and usually with 2nd hand saddles these have to be replaced as they are usually unsafe. This can cost from $60 for PVC girth points to $160 for leather.
7-Another major wear area is the saddle panels which will need to be repacked to suit your horse or pony's back shape which can cost from $70 for synthetic saddles up to $180 for leather saddles. The original packing in 2nd hand saddles has been packed down over many years of riding and has imprinted in to another horse or pony's back shape which can lead to sore backs,unsafe riding behaviour and potentially more money to be spent through other equine professionals like physios and chiropractors.
New saddles have AMS panels that are Advanced Movement System panels that move with the horse or pony's back to allow more freedom and comfort and enjoyment.
8-Gullet plates are made from steel and over time they are likely to be stretched or even lose their strength which can lead to the saddle tree spreading when girthed up and sitting down on the horse or pony's wither. Here are some different types fo gullet plates, these are used in the Thorowgood saddles.
9-Does the saddle have an easy change gullet system? Can the gullet be changed to suit your horse or pony wither shape. Saddles with Easy change gullets give the purchaser more flexibility to ensure a better fit for your horse or pony.
10-When purchasing a 2nd hand saddle you should ask if the saddle has been inspected by an ACCREDITED and QUALIFIED SADDLER to ensure it passes the safety check.
At BONNETTS we have ACCREDITED and QUALIFIED saddlers who can inspect your potential new 2nd hand saddle before you commit to it and will advise you with options and your potential cost investment.
New saddles with a 10 year warranty start from only $279.95, so do your homework before you commit to a 2nd hand saddle that potentially costs you more than you expect and also has an inferior performance and safety for you and your horse or pony. Technology has improved dramatically in the equestrian industry in the last 5 years particularly with saddles and riding performance.