Now we have a saddle for every dicipline from side-saddle to endurance, from roping to reining. And options for every type of horse from Tennessee Walkers to Iclandics. The only limitation is your pocket book!
Of course that is a BIG limitation especially in these tough times.
But I remind you once again that one needs to look for quality before price and there are deals out there to be found. So you have to 'choose your poison' so to speak. A cheap saddle is always cheap,but a well made saddle might not be inexpensive.
For short backed, tall withered or mutton backed horses I think that the Ortho Flex saddles are great. They can be considered expensive when purchased brand new with all the bells and whistles and fitted to your horses back and your very own bu-toxx (but the prices of a new custom made saddle will run two or three large anyway!). By googling Ortho-Flex you can bring up their website which has loads of information about fitting a saddle to your type of horse AND of course Ortho Flex saddles that are for sale.
This is a used Patriot. Dosen't it look comfy? New it would be about $3000, selling on e-Bay for $1000.
An Ortho Flex Endurance saddle- on e-bay right now with an opening bid of $400.
Another option for a short backed horse might be a buckaroo type saddle on a Wade tree.
This here is a real nice one.It has a flat plate rigging which means it will lie flat under your leg, not as bulky as some. ( You can see the rigging lying under the jockey) This saddle has a shorter skirt and it is rounded. I like the deep seat and wrapped three inch post horn and the long strings for tying things on. Bidding for this is beginning at $400.
For the more adventourous- a side saddle in an English style. Obviously this one is vintage and may need a little repair before being used every day, but a solid investment at $100 I think. And you can find new ones, English and Western styles!
You are still looking for tight stitching, supple leather and quality workmanship. Keep in mind what kind of riding you want to do- you don't want a jumping saddle if you are going to ride Dressage and vise versa.
An all purpose can still be used to trail ride in if you aren't going too far (like in endurance riding).
Here are a few all purpose hunter type saddles that look pretty good.
A Collegiate all purpose- has a little leather wear, but in overall good condition.
A Passoa Gen X . You can just tell that the leather is soft and buttery! It has been well cared for, the jockeys are lying flat and the fenders are not bent. With a new cinch,leathers and irons, you'd be set. It's nice enough to go out and show in tomorrow! Starting bid, $790
This Stubben is in fair shape with some bending of the bottom of the fenders. The leathers are not original and are a different color, but they would be easy enough to change out. This saddle also does not have knee rolls, but it is a solid working saddle. And it comes with irons, and some other stuff too!
Most important for the internet buyer is to ask questions before you buy or bid. Ask for lots of photos, and measurements like gullet width and skirt length. Also ask about a return policy. When you buy from a private seller ( not an internet buisness) you may not get a return policy because of the cost to ship the saddle.
I have bought and sold saddles on the internet and I have had good luck.
But that is just me...
So good luck with any saddle shopping you may be doing! I'll be watching!