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Searching for a new saddle this season? Tips for success

Spring is finally upon us: riding season one. If you're on the lookout for a new saddle this year, here are some common questions and answers to help you sift through your options with greater confidence.

1. Should I shop differently if this saddle for my horse of a lifetime, a young horse, or a horse I am part-boarding or leasing whom I may ride for a year or two?

Remember that the a saddle that is fitted to the shape of your horse from the tree out is always the best option. Young horses require well-fitted saddles to ensure that they develop positive experiences under tack.

In all cases, it is wise to consider the resale value of any saddle; you are investing in the longevity of your equine partner(s). In general, the greater the quality, the greater the resale value over time. A saddle with wool flocking and an adjustable tree may allow your new saddle to serve you and your horse as he grows, or to move with you to a new equine partner. However, if the overall shape of the saddle's tree, despite adjustability, does not match your new partner, protecting your initial investment with basic care will go a long way to reinvesting in any saddle in your future riding career.

2. How can I tell if my saddle, or one that I'm trying is 'fitted to my horse from the tree out'?