As the UK’s largest distributor of used saddles, we check every saddle before we find it a new home. Especially when we don't know all the saddles history, so you can shop with peace of mind knowing every saddle you buy from us has been vetted and checked by our SMS qualified in-house saddle fitters.

We know that people still buy saddles elsewhere, especially if you need something very niche, so we have come up with 6 points to watch out for when buying a used saddle which could cause you, and your wallet, some distress! Some are not always as obvious as others but it is always a good idea to check all points before purchasing a saddle, if possible!

1. Seat Rips or Tears

These can seem small and insignificant but do not be fooled! Re-seating a saddle is a long costly job and can sometimes incur charges of up to around £150-£200! Be wary of that tiny tear it may grow to a big burst!!

2. Broken/Squeaky Tree

This one will get your attention, for obvious reasons, however a tree doesn’t need to fold in half to be faulty! There can be small inner faults such as loose rivets, broken rivets, loose webbs, broken webbs, broken points, dented springs the list goes on. All these can, usually, be fixed without major outlay (avg £50-£100) not to bad, better than a new saddle eh!

On the other hand if your horse has gone over a XC fence head first and rolled down a hill in your favorite saddle and it now flexes in ways saddles shouldn’t. It may be time to accept defeat that the saddle is heading to the grave as on average the cost of a new tree (if the tree for that saddle is still available – different issue altogether!) can be anywhere from £250-£350. Its like stripping a car down and putting in a new chassis!

Always give the saddle a squeeze and see if it flexes more than in should through the waist and across the head and any groaning may mean something nasty lurks inside!

3. Old, Hard or Lumpy Flocking

May seem like a trivial matter but just imagine buying a pair of shoes with the in sole worn out, not comfortable! Some flocking can be adjusted by any Qualified Saddler/Fitter such as your lumpy flocking and be all fine and dandy with a minor fee e.g. £30-50.

On the other hand if the flocking has had its day and requires a full strip out and start again this can cost anywhere from  £100-150. Give it a good feel!!

4. Split/Ripped/Stretched Girth Straps

Not a massive issue we agree but its all added £££ to the asking price. Good to inquire with your local Saddler on what the cost of replacing girth straps may be before buying as all needs taking into consideration

5. Worn-away Girth Strap Stitching

This is one that gets overlooked so often and the outcome may be detrimental! If the stitching has worn away on the straps, in effect there is nothing but grease holding that strap on…which is holding the saddle your sat on to the horse….eee

6. Panel Lacing Coming Undone

This can look like a scary problem, basically like the saddle is falling in half! But fear not its a simple repair which can be done by any Saddler/Fitter for a minor fee.

We hope this helps you shop carefully, and hasn't put you off! We just wanted to share some of the common things we see, and because these are hidden, most of the time the saddle owners don't even know.

We have over 600+ second-hand used saddles available that have all been checked and vetted by our expert saddle consultants. We get more used saddles in every day, so even if we don't have what you're looking for today, it's worth reaching out and we might be able to source one for you. Leave a message on our live chat or call our office team to speak to one of our helpful team.