When you first start riding, every piece of equipment that you will need for the horse will usually be provided to you. You won't have to think about finding the correct reins or saddle for that animal. But, if the ear tags for that horse now indicate that you have purchased it than you will need to start outfitting it with its own equipment. The most important piece will be the saddle. Here are some tips that should help you choose the right one.
First, you will need to think about what sort of riding you do and if you need a saddle to complete in any particular events down the road. Someone who just enjoys the pleasure of riding out in the country with their horse will have the choice between whether they prefer an English or a Western saddle. Someone who is hoping to join one of the events in the Calgary Stampede or become a polo player will need to be more selective.
Next, you will want to look at your budget for buying a saddle. There are models that are available in tack shops that sell supplies and do manure management for less than five hundred dollars. But you will find that the leather and fittings on these styles is much lower quality than you will likely want for yours and your horse's comfort. If you're looking to save some money than it will likely be smarter to go with a used quality saddle than a new lower model.
A saddle should be fit to both you and your horse. You will not want to buy one that you have not tried out beforehand. This is another reason why you might want to start with a secondhand saddle and move up to a new one once you are more comfortable with what style is best. You will find many people living in the Midwest to those out west who are selling saddles and would allow you to try them out before deciding whether or not to buy.
If you're new to the concept of buying tackle for your horse than you will want to bring someone with you who knows that they are doing. If you're currently riding at a horse barn you might ask your teacher or the owner of the barn to give you some tips regarding your horse. Saddles can go up in price to being in the thousands of dollars. If you don't know what you're looking for exactly than you might end up paying much more than you need to. And buying the basics is expensive enough when you are outfitting your first horse.
Used Saddle Buying Guide