Buying Second Hand Saddles
At Bonnetts we have an accredited and qualified saddler and saddle fitter who can inspect your potential new second hand saddle before you commit to it and will advise you with options and your potential cost investment. This service if free of charge but may require the saddle being left with us for up to 24 hours.
We have listed 10 points for you to consider so that you can make an informed saddle selection.
- With second hand saddles there is usually NO warranty on the saddle tree, all NEW saddles have a warranty from 2 to 10 years. Prestige saddles have a life time warranty on the saddle tree and all Bates, Arena and Wintec Saddles have a 10 year warranty.
- With second hand saddles there is usually NO warranty on the stitching and general saddle quality. All NEW saddles have at least a 12 month warranty.
- 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.
- Repair costs to second hand saddles are generally more expensive than new saddles. Before committing to purchasing a second hand saddle it is worth getting the saddle checked by an accredited and qualified saddler and a cost appraisal.
- With second hand saddles the saddle tree has NO flexibility with a fibreglass saddle tree and the laminated wood / spring steel trees usually have too much flex. Below is an image of an original laminated and spring steel tree.
- A major wear point on any saddle is the girth points and usually with second hand saddles these have to be replaced as they are usually unsafe. This can cost from $90 for PVC girth points to $240 for leather.
- 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 $130 for synthetic saddles and from $280 for leather saddles. The original packing in second 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. All Bates, Arena and most Wintec Saddles have the HART System
The technology that makes up HART has been proven to be transformative for horse and rider:
- Protective cushioning: CAIR Cushion System
- Precision custom fit: EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution
- Ergonomic flex: Elastiflex Tree
- Free movement: Performance panel technology
- Superior rider performance: Comfort seat technology
Only if a saddle has all of these features, is it worthy of the HART badge.
- 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.
Here is the link for the information about the AMS panels
- 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. Gullet plates are available from Bonnetts for all Bates, Arena, Wintec , Pessoa, PDS, Syd Hill, Trainer and Thorowgood saddles.
- 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.
- When purchasing a second 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 an accredited and qualified saddler and saddle fitter who can inspect your potential new second 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 $699, so do your homework before you commit to a second 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 over the years particularly with saddles and riding performance.