When you ride horses, a horse saddle is a necessary expense, but how much is a horse saddle going to cost you?
Prices vary depending on the saddle type. Every rider needs a saddle that is the right fit for their horse’s body and their own. It should also suit the type of horse riding they’re doing.
Knowing what the different types of saddles are used for, will help you choose the right saddle for your needs.
Our horse saddle cost guide will teach you to identify different saddle types, and what you should pay for a good-quality saddle.
Horse Saddle Cost Guide
Horse saddle prices range from $200 to $1500, depending on the quality and type of saddle you need.
Designed for young children riding ponies, they are smaller and more lightweight than saddles used by adults. They have a handle at the front for children to hold.
You’ll usually pay anywhere from $200 to $1000 depending on how fancy you want to go.
General Purpose English Saddles
Usually used at riding schools, English saddles are suitable for basic jumping, dressage, or hunts in the countryside.
This saddle has forward-cut flaps, with no knee pads at the front.
An English saddle will cost upwards of $400.
An Australian Stock saddle is an adaptation of the English saddle, created for Australian stock handlers who spend many hours in a saddle.
The deeper seat, higher pommel, extra knee padding, and saddle pad ensure support and comfort. An over-girth strap over the saddle gives the rider more security.
Jockeys use horse racing saddles for racing thoroughbred horses.
They are small and lightweight, with a girth strap and very short stirrups. The flatter seat is not designed for sitting in, but for hovering over while crouching in the stirrups.
Steeplechase saddles have larger flaps than flat racing saddles. They give jockeys more leg security when jumping during events.
Racing saddles generally cost between $700 and $900. Lightweight synthetic options are available for training.
Sturdy and comfortable for cowboys who spend long hours on horseback.
Western saddles are made of brown leather, and often decorated with machine stamped designs and silver accents.
The horn at the front helps the rider to stay balanced, while his free hand holds the reins.
They typically cost $350 upwards.
Designed for fox-hunting in the English countryside, and comfortable even when jumping over large hedges with steep drops.
These durable leather riding saddles have a low cantle and pommel.
The rider’s weight gets pushed back in a hunting saddle, with feet forward in the stirrups. This is a safer position when landing over large hedges.
Hunting saddles can cost between $1500 and $3100.
Designed for advanced riders competing in flat-work competitions, they have a deeper seat for better balance.
These saddles have straight flaps and are made of lightweight material that enables closer leg contact with the horse.
Dressage saddles enhance the straight leg and upright torso dressage position.
A well-dressed saddle with all the bells and whistles costs between $2000 and $2500, but there are more affordable options for beginners in this sport.
With a flatter seat than dressage saddles, jumping saddles push the rider slightly forward into the two-point jumping position for jumping over fences in Olympic Equestrian events.
Bigger flaps with padding at the front lend more support and stability and protect the lower legs of the rider during jumps.
These specialized saddles fall into the same price range as dressage saddles, anywhere from $2000 to $2500.
This saddle is a meeting point between full-saddle and bareback. If you can’t get a saddle to fit your horse properly, or don’t like a full saddle, a treeless saddle is your best bet.
It’s made of leather with padding and features a smaller pommel and cantle of lightweight fiberglass.
More lightweight than other saddles, it allows greater freedom of movement and provides closer contact between rider and horse.
They cost around $400.
We recommended fitting a breastplate because it is less secure than most saddles.
Horse tack stores sell new saddles in all these styles, and many stores also sell custom saddles.
To create a custom saddle, a professional saddle maker takes casts of the rider and horse and adapts a Western saddle to their measurements.
Custom saddles can cost thousands of dollars. Unless necessary, stick with a standard saddle.
Good quality saddles of fine grain leather feel supple and smooth and have smaller pores than poor quality leather.
Don’t be tempted to buy a cheap saddle of lower quality to save money on your first saddle purchase. These are sometimes made of poor-quality synthetic material.
A good quality used saddle will be made of a more durable-based material, and will save you money without compromising on quality.
The leather will already be broken in and thus softer, giving you greater comfort while saving money. Used saddles can have dry rot so check the condition before buying.
Upfront Costs When Buying A Saddle
Ask your local professional saddle expert to measure your horse. This will help you to find a saddle that will fit your horse properly.
Tell them if you plan to take part in horse events like jumping, dressage, or hunting.
Irrespective of the saddle you choose, or what you use it for, maintenance of both new and used saddles is essential. Taking good care of your saddle will save you money in the long run.
Proper care and maintenance of a leather horse riding saddle will extend its life. Use leather-saddle-care products like the Leather Honey Leather Conditioner to keep it in tip-top condition.
A good-quality leather saddle can provide you with up to 40 years of comfortable and enjoyable horse riding. So start your horse riding career with the very best quality saddle you can afford.