So I have had a dilemma finding a saddle that fits my horse for some time now. When you have a oddly shaped horse things get a little difficult, unless you have $4,000 for a custom saddle. I wish I could afford something like that but to be honest that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
So I went to work looking for a saddle to fit Biscuit and like others I ended up going through a lot of them. There are some factory made saddles that are okay build wise but they are never going to fit your horse as they should unless you luck out and have a horse that is a “generic” size. Also you will end up with a saddle that isn’t built as well as one handmade.
I ended up going through 4 saddles and driving all across the state of Utah to try and find something that would work. Turns out that most saddle sellers don’t have anything that will fit a mutton withered horse. I met a lot of good folks selling decent saddles but it wasn’t until I started talking with saddle makers that I really started understanding why I was having such an issue.
I found a lot of knowledge on Rod Nikkel’s site about saddle trees and about saddle fit. After reading about trees on his site I knew that I needed to get a better saddle then what I had been looking at. The issue was the cash for me. I love Biscuit and riding but it’s not easy to drop around $4,000 on a saddle and wait 6 months to a year (sometimes longer) to have one built!
So I decided to start my search for saddle makers in my area and also those that are well known to see if I could get one without it costing so much. I didn’t find much at all to support my hunch that there was a way to get a good quality saddle without breaking the bank. So I thought maybe I wasn’t looking at the correct saddle companies, I started reaching out to people I knew had more knowledge than me and asking questions in forums. One of the places I was posting on was a Facebook page dedicated to following and helping people work Buck Brannaman’s methods for lack of a better term. Here I asked the question what people suggested for mutton withered horses for saddle fit and I got a reply back from Buck’s wife Mary, which I thought was way cool. She said that they used to have a mare that was built similarly to Biscuit and they had Kent Frecker of Frecker Saddlery build one for her so that it fit correctly. This had me set down the road to buy a custom saddle.
This is where all my searching turns out to be beneficial to you. I searched for close to a year before I found a place that would build a custom saddle for cheaper then I thought I would ever find. I came across a place called FX Saddle Company, I ended up talking with Gregg over there and he was very helpful and supportive. I sent him some measurements, pictures and after talking with him on the phone we came to a solution that has worked for me. With having a bunch of upgrades I still ended up paying less than $1,500 including shipping to get my custom saddle to me.
My saddle arrived in about 2.5 – 3 months and it is awesome, it fits much better than anything I have had in the past plus it will last for a very long time. It is very high quality and very sturdy, I would buy another custom saddle from Gregg in a heartbeat.
If you have found any great deals on tack or a custom saddle in the past I would love to hear what you have found. Let me know about them in the comments!