Buying Preloved Saddles 101

Buying Preloved Saddles 101

When it comes to buying a saddle, second-hand certainly doesn’t mean ‘second best’. With the right deal, opting for a used saddle can often mean getting a higher quality saddle for a lot less.  Here’s what you need to know to make sure you get the most out of your pre-loved saddle:

Know what you are looking for:

There are a lot of preloved saddles out there. Having a good idea of what you need is always a good idea when you begin looking. For a start, make sure you know what size and style of saddle you are looking for. Do you need a jumping saddle, dressage saddle or a GP? Do you want genuine leather, or do you prefer a synthetic saddle? A black saddle or a brown saddle?  Knowing a specific make and model which works for your horse can be a big bonus, but even just getting clear on these basic details up front can get you to your perfect saddle much faster.

Keep an eye on the condition:

Once you know what type of saddle you want, and in which size, you can start looking at individual saddles. You may need to try a few saddles to find the perfect fit for your horse, but aside from that, there are a few key things that you should check before you choose a saddle.

1. Visually check the outside of the saddle. Is the material in reasonable condition – light scratches or wear marks are typical with used saddles but be wary of bigger issues like large scratches, deeply wrinkled seats or water damage. These kinds of details can give you potential insight into the structural condition of the saddle, for example, that there may be damage to the tree. OUR TIP Even if there is no internal damage, saddles with bad external condition are often more negotiable on price.

2. Take a closer look at the details: Is the stitching in good condition? Are there any nails or sharp edges sticking out from the saddle? Is the flocking smooth, or is it lumpy?

3. Make sure all the necessary fittings are in place and in good condition. The last thing you want is for your girth to snap off on an outride the week after you buy your saddle! Check that the leather straps and fittings, such as girth billets, are not stretched out or badly worn. Check that the stirrup bar, stirrup leather holders and dee rings are all secure and in place.

Make sure you get your saddle fitted and checked by a professional:

Once you have decided on a saddle (or saddles) that you want to try, make sure that you have a reputable saddle fitter check the fit on your horse. Every horse and saddle are different, and a professional eye is essential for ensuring a safe and comfortable fit for you and your horse. If you have found a good fit, ask your saddle fitter to check the integrity of the tree as a final precaution.

Our preloved saddles:

We keep a wide range of pre-loved saddles available both in store and online. Our priority is ensuring that you can buy a high-quality preloved saddle with complete peace of mind, so every saddle is thoroughly checked over for damage and condition by our own qualified fitter before being put up for sale. This means that you can rest assured that any saddle you get from us is safe for you and your horse, and all you need to do is make sure it fits.  

So, how does buying a saddle work if you need to fit it first?

Once you’ve found the saddle you are looking for, and would like to try it, the process is simple, depending on where you are:

If you live nearby our store: Simply pop in and pick up the saddle that you would like to try, and return it by the end of the business day. We will only ask for surety in the form of an ID, drivers license or credit card. Feel free to use your own preferred fitter, or if you don’t have a fitter, feel free to arrange an appointment with our qualified in store fitter at 066 185 0063.


If you live far from our store: You will need to purchase the saddle and have it shipped to your location. You can do this through our online store, or by simply emailing us with a. purchase request at If you would like help finding a reputable fitter, we are always happy to refer you to someone in your area.

Once you have purchased a saddle, in store or online, you have a 14 day ‘cool off period’ to test the saddle and check the fit is in fact ‘just right’. The saddle can be returned at any time during this period provided it is in the same condition it was purchased in (no alterations, flocking or machine adjustments and with the same gullet in as was sold).

If you decide you’ve found the perfect saddle and we don’t see you after 14 days, you can expect a follow up call. We are just checking in to see that everything is to your liking and that you and your horse are 100% happy!