Posted 04 May 2011 - 03:28 PM
Welcome to English Riding! It looks like an "All Purpose" saddle. Without a brand or marking to identify it, my initial thought is that the saddle may not be of the best quality, so you probably paid what the saddle is worth. These type of saddles are usually made using very low quality leather on a production line. The upside is the price, the downside is that it may put you in the incorrect position (perching forward or leaning back) and will probably cause discomfort to your horse (too narrow or too wide). As far as sizing goes, based on your description it sounds like it fits you. Looking at the billet straps I can see that the saddle was used quite a bit, but the stitching appears to be in good shape.
Ideally, you want to look for a brand name, older model, used English Saddle as a starter and have a saddle fitter help you find one that fits both you and your horse. You really can find a good saddle for $100-$200 if you look carefully.
I would have your riding instructor evaluate the saddle to see if it is safe and will "pass" for a few starter lessons. Perhaps they even have one or two you could try. You can also take a look online for English Saddle Fitting Guidelines.
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