How much does a Saddle CostWhat does a saddle cost?
What does a custom saddle cost?
I reported about the new and used westernsaddle price minimums a few nights ago. At the end of this mail I got some feedback about what I thought you should be paying for a customized saddle. You will find that most handcrafted seats range from $2500 to $4500, with more sophisticated decorations or the best saddlers charging significantly more.
The majority of customized saddlers have a basic rate for a simple saddle and then calculate a surcharge for the added amenities and decorations that you are adding. There is a good explanation why you will see very similar prices among most saddle manufacturers. You will need approximately the same amount of manpower to construct the saddle and calculate approximately the same labour costs.
If the saddler has a better name, he can demand more for his work. Competence levels and reputations are usually responsible for price differentials. On the right is a calf saddle by Steve Mecum, one of the top saddlers working today.
If you are walking over saddlers who sell handcrafted calipers for significantly less than the fair value, it should be a scarlet color. Well they use either lower cost material or their ability levels do not allow them to boost the going rates for their work. Sometimes you find an aspiring young saddler still trying to get established and his saddle can be a good buy at these auctions.
However, you have to be an experienced tacker to make this difference, because more often the manufacturer with low price is a amateur who learns his trade on the saddle. The purchase of an individual saddle is a big one. See Purchasing a customized saddle and My saddle shopping experiences for more information.