Why Are Saddles So Expensive? Read this 6 Common Reasons!

By Zunnun Ahmed •  Updated: 08/25/22 •  8 min read

From the ancient period, making the saddle was art and creative engineering at the same time.

It’s related to many things to join together

Whether it’s your body balance or horse fitting or attaining a game, a quality saddle is mandatory in all cases.

And the most pressing concern for every rider is: Why are saddles so expensive?

I can’t fight with this.

But in reality, some craftsmanship separates the quality saddles from the poor ones. And in this article, we’ll go beyond pricing to professional saddle making and how you can choose the cheaper one as well.

Let’s begin here…

Why are saddles so expensive? The Untold Truth

As you can examine, many things together make the saddle expensive. It’s not because of the irresponsible brand or just the materials. It’s beyond that.

And indeed, not every single saddle is expensive. But what makes some saddles expensive?

Let’s discover along:

1. Design

The design structure is the first and most crucial element that makes almost every saddle expensive. The better design you want, the better performance you want, the more you have to pay, and there is no shortcut.

It works like this:

Who will use the saddle? Where will she use it?

How often and longer she will use it, and many more?

Think this way:

As there are many types of saddles on the market like English, Western, Australian, Stock, Barrel, Mexican, and Roping. Don’t you think all are different in some ways? Yes, it does.

So when you follow your needs and the comfort you want, you need the quality investment to enjoy a rock-solid ride every time.

Why are saddles so expensive? The Untold Truth

2. Materials

A good saddle is quite expensive because there is a reason behind it.

It takes many materials together to create a healthy and balanced one.

The raw materials saddle requires Leather, Tree, Stirrups, SSeat, Girths, Panels, and so on.

For the Girth Straps, Stirrup Leathers, and Flaps, craftsmen need animal skin.

They use skins like sheep, cattle, pigs, cowhide, and sometimes deer.

To make a saddle tree, you need beech wood, plastic, fiberglass, steel, laminated wood, iron, and aluminum in the same place.

As you can notice, the seats are generally made from wool, felt, and canvas. Finally, the panels are made from linen, rubber, and plastic foam.

So those all are the primary materials for the saddle.

Sometimes craftsmen use more and better versions for sports and advanced rides. And when you consider all the durable materials for the saddle, it costs a little higher.

saddles materials

3. Labor

As you are concerned about the cost, you’ll find it at different budgets from different brands.

It’s easy to get a brand new saddle, spending just $500.

Sometimes it costs just $100. You can check the online store.

But do you think it will meet your riding needs every? You know the answer. Especially if you are an advanced rider or join the game frequently.

Related: Are Simco Saddles Good? Discover Review Today!

Listen carefully:

A custom-made saddle made by expert craftsmen takes a consistent 40-50 hours on average.

To make it more worthwhile, stylish, luxurious, and flexible, take a few weeks to fully furnish the total functionality.

Do you think it’s possible to get the same saddle at $100?

It’s impossible to think this way.

See… when you want the best craftsman, best brand, and best material to join in. It will always charge more no matter what you dream about or the expectations you hold.

Related: How To Clean Leather Horse Riding Gloves?

4. Geographic location

Location always plays a non-arguable role in the saddle cost.

As most saddle requires many materials to add in, then the different part of the material costs differently from place to place because of the lack of supply.

Where the material supply is good enough, saddle cost is less.

On the other hand, where the saddle materials are absent, it costs higher. Because the craftsman needs to collect the material from outside.

So in most cases, it’s not about the price. It’s where the essential saddle materials are available or absent.

5. The rarity

It’s another most common scene you may find almost everywhere because no place on the planet has all leather, tree, tools, wool, and other materials.

Every country is rich in some ways where others are not.

So based on your place, sometime you may have to consider some tools that are not available in your area.

Countries like the USA, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and China have millions of horses. China is also rich in leather, but that doesn’t mean they have other materials.

Picture this:

If you want to try the English saddle, but your place is full of western saddle materials, you may find it a little challenging.

But now, online is making it more manageable.

You are getting almost every tool online today, even if it’s outside the country. The only thing you need is the shipping cost plus vat.

That’s why sometimes rarity can cost you a little more than you may not expect to.

Related: Deep Seat Saddle Vs Flat Seat

6. The brand:

The first concern for the most rider is the brand.

People trust this way.

You may notice there are dozens of brands making a great saddle.

Some brands have made it over the decade. Others more than hundreds of years. Where the true craftsmanship comes along.

People often wonder! Why some of the brands are more expensive than the horse price?

The answer is simple: You do not pay only for the name.

You pay for the experience. You pay for the sturdy material. You pay for the experience you want to ride along.

When a brand like Corriente Saddle Co., Tucker Saddlery, Dakota Saddlery, Genuine Billy Cook, or Cactus Saddlery costs you higher, they provide the value you need, not what you think first.

Because none of those come in cheap or for the kid’s trial, obviously, you can choose the brand for a trial like Simco, Wintec and Abetta. But they are not designed to meet your expert needs at all.

So if your intention is luxury, comfort ability, and balance ride every way, prominent brands are always the best friend on your journey.

horse saddles

Are cheap saddles bad for your horse?

I had this question for a long that why should I spend so much on the saddler?

What will it bring to me as a result of this?

So I started exploring this and see saddler is the backbone of every ride. Sometimes people have no choice but want to try a cheap saddler for a specific situation.

Listen closely;

There is nothing wrong with buying a cheap saddler if it fits your expectation.

But the problem is; A cheap saddle means the leather is poor. The tree is poor. The seat feels like cardboard.

The stitching is such a weak stay long.

And the security acts as close to death.

Have your any family member or kids ride it?

Then it’s a threat in many ways.

Related article: Do you know the difference between an Australian saddle and a western saddle? Let’s read the article for key differences.

Imagine a saddle where you can’t fit your leg, unable to sit comfortably, and your pelvic start surviving almost immediately.

Do you think it is possible to get the premium leather, boards, stitching, and experience at the lowest price?

I can’t guarantee if any brand can do that.

But I believe most that whatever the experience you demand from your saddle, you have to pay for it unless quality is never born from cheap or useless construction.

Let’s say you are a beginner rider who rides once a week; then, you can try the cheap one for a short period.

Remember, as you regularly use it for your essential needs, a quality saddle is never wasted.

It’s always saving.

It saves your health, saves your time, and saves your horse at the same deal.

As Charlotte Dujardin, the world’s most renowned horse rider, said, “You can’t do the same thing every day with the horse”.

And you must prepare for that every time.

Related: How To Make Saddle From Scratch?


Finally, it’s not about the cheap or expensive saddles.

It’s ALL about the situation.

If you are a beginner or giving a trail, or your kids will give it a shot. You never need to pay $1000 for this.

However, if you are an advanced rider or game is your goal, going cheap would be the worst-case movie you might ever watch again. That’s why some saddles are cheap when quality takes investment, and now you may understand why saddles are so expensive in all forms.

Zunnun Ahmed

We are a group of horse enthusiasts. We want to provide information and tips to help others learn more about horses, how to care for them, and how to enjoy them.

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