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Horse Saddle Reviews

Used Billy Cook Saddles – Great Saddle, Fraction of the Price

Used Billy Cook saddles. Hmmm… why would you want a used horse saddle?  Well, if you’re an avid rider, you know that your saddle is one of the most important pieces of equipment you own. Used Billy Cook saddles are one of the ways you can lower the cost of a saddle investment without foregoing quality.

You and your horse deserve the best saddle options on the market, which is where used Billy Cook saddles come in. The name alone speaks to quality craftsmanship and long-lasting investment.

But what can you do to cut down on the cost of buying a brand new saddle? Used Billy Cook saddles are an excellent alternative to buying new.

And it’s important to know how much you can save before you go shopping. This knowledge will allow you to hit the trail with a little bit of money left over for the important things in life.

Used Billy Cook Saddles – What are the Benefits to Buying Used?

If used goods makes you think exclusively of thrift shops and flea markets, you shouldn’t view a pre-owned saddle in the same light. Oftentimes, saddles are returned simply because the rider didn’t have any use for them.

Maybe they decided horse riding wasn’t their thing.

Or, maybe they had an accident, and they don’t wish to participate in the sport anymore.  So, there isn’t any defect in workmanship or much wear and tear to the item itself.

Used Billy Cook Saddles – Benefits of a Broken-In Saddle

Conversely, purchasing a saddle that’s already broken-in can make for a much more comfortable ride.  It’ll save you the time of having to break the tough leather into your specifications.

Beyond that, you are looking at a considerable cost reduction, and who couldn’t stand to save a little bit of cash where they can?

Used Billy Cook Saddles – What Saddle Styles Can You Find?

Not all saddles are created alike.  The type you choose correlates directly with the style of riding you’re going to do. Used Billy Cook saddles can be found in the following styles:

  • Barrel
  • Roping
  • Trail
  • Cutting
  • Show
  • Ranch
  • Reining
  • Training

Barrel racing saddles are designed with features to shave seconds off your time while racing in cloverleaf patterns around barrels.  They’re also designed to keep you comfortable (and winning).

Used Billy Cook Saddles – What to Look For in a Used Barrel Saddle

What should you look for in a used barrel saddle?  Actually, you should look for these features in a new or used saddle.What you should look for is a saddle made with a high cantle with a deep pocket suede seat to hold you in, with a hip hugger ridge around the back seat.

The saddle should also have a higher horn to hang on to. Lastly, your barrel saddle should have shorter skirts, simple in-skirt rigging to make for a lighter and less bulky saddle.

Used Billy Cook Saddles – What to Look For in a Used Roping Saddle

Since roping requires a lot of stop and start and then tying a calf to the horn with a rope, you’re going to need a really heavy-duty saddle.What should you look for when buying a used roping saddle? You should look for a very sturdy wood tree and reinforced rigging which is attached to the tree.

How do you know if the tree is sturdy? The quality of the tree is determined by what material is used.  Wooden trees covered in rawhide and bull hide are the strongest materials for trees.

They also last a lifetime.  Lastly, your roper saddle should have a padded suede seat with a pocket for good positioning.


Used Billy Cook Saddles – What To Look For in a Used Show Saddle

Show saddles are made to look great while your horse is strutting its stuff for horse show judges.  Still, your equitation seat should be balanced with a pocket to keep you in the proper position.

In addition, look for close contact saddles with low pommel and low horn for better horse-rider cues and better rein control. 

Used Billy Cook Saddles – What to Look For in a Used Ranch Saddle

What should you look for when buying a used ranch saddle?  As you know, ranchers are sitting in the saddle all day long doing strenuous work.  So you should look for a saddle that’s big and heavy – made from a sturdy tree.

Skip the fiberglass trees. Go for the rawhide or bull hide covered trees. The seat should be hard and slick and plate rigging, which makes for a very comfortable saddle.

 What to Look for in a Used Reining Saddle

What should you look for in a used reining saddle?

Since reining is a Western competition which involves the rider guiding the horse through a precise pattern of circles, spins and stops, it’s important that the communication between rider and horse is clear to the horse, but subtle to the judges and onlookers.

So you need a saddle with close contact skirts.  The saddle should have low horn and low pommel for unhindered movement of the reins.  The seat should be flatter to provide freedom for hip movement.

Since you’ll be on display and judged (after all, it is a competition), it should have some bling or fancy tooling. 

Used Billy Cook Saddles – What to Look for in a Used Training Saddle

What should you look for in a training saddle?  Whether you’re a child or an adult learning how to ride a horse, you need to learn correct posture and give the horse cues that it will listen to.

So this saddle is going to have similar features as the reining saddle.  Look for a reining saddle type tree. It should have low pommels with cut out skirts for close contact with the horse.

It should have many Dees and rings so you can attach your training devices and aids.  It should also have padded suede seats to keep you in your seat, and the fenders and jockeys should be roughout leather for better grip. 

Used Billy Cook Saddles – What to Look For in a Used Trail Saddle

What should you look for in a trail saddle? Because trail saddles are built for leisurely riding in mild weather, autumn leaves, crisp breezes and spring weather, I’d say look for a saddle built from a tree that’s lightweight.

Try to find used saddles made from Ralide, Steele, or Cordura.  Cordura trail saddles are made from a material that you can easily wipe down with a wet cloth.

Used Billy Cook Saddles – What to Look For in a Used Cutting Saddle

What should you look for in a used cutting saddle?  You want to look for a saddle with a low cantle, high pommel, and high horn.  The seats are usually flatter with a raise to the pommel.

Because your horse will be making sharp cuts on the ranch, your seat should be made of suede for good grip along with roughout jockeys and fenders, which will keep you grounded in your seat.

Lastly, you should look for reinforced rigging and leather wear straps on skirts.

Used Billy Cook Saddles – So How Much Savings Are We Talking?

It’s always wonderful to find the perfect item for less than its regular retail price.  And when you’re shopping for a new saddle, it’s an even more welcome surprise.

Used Billy Cook saddles can sometimes save you as much as $580 off regular retail. And those discounts are nothing to sneeze at! Another great tip to consider when scouring the web for your next saddle is to look for free shipping.

Big Savings

After all, the only thing better than getting a high-quality, used saddle is getting free delivery on your gear.

Billy Cook designs saddles that riders across the country are delighted to own.  They’re made for optimal comfort for both the horse and the rider alike.

The company’s attention to detail and durable designs ensure your saddle is built to last – even if they’re used Billy Cook saddles.

With the savings and value you get from buying used, why shop any other way? Don’t like used Billy Cook saddles? Buy used Tucker saddles.

Was this post helpful to you?  If so, please leave your comments or questions below.  


  • Hello,

    What a great article .I was raised with horses as a child and that has been many moons ago .
    It is fascinating to read about these needed details to decide exactly what one needs .
    You removed the guess work .
    I will share with others. Looking forward to more of your articles .

    Elaine and Scarlett

  • Furkan says:

    Hi, there are a lot of details here. With that, I am just a beginner and I am really passionate about this. So should I buy this one?

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Furkan. To which are you referring? You really need to make a decision based on your discipline, then take your horse’s needs into account, then take your needs into account.

  • andrew says:

    You have hit the nail on the head! Purchasing a used saddle is ideal in terms of cost efficiency. Broken in saddles often are better for the EXACT reasons you mentioned- they are broken in and more durable. I would much rather have a used saddle than a new one as I would be comfortable from the start! Great article!

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Andrew. Thanks for commenting. I agree. A broken-in saddle, for me, is better than a brand new one.

  • Megan says:

    Another great article. Personally, if I were in the market for a saddle I would probably go for a broken in one. I hate breaking in new work shoes so can only imagine how uncomfortable a new saddle would be!

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Megan! LOL. Yes, the shoe analogy gets everyone, every time. People can so relate. I too prefer used saddles so that I don’t have to break them in.

  • Nate says:

    Very informative article on saddles Shalisha! I believe my sister still owns a horse and my brother-in-law did, also rodeos and such. Haven’t done much riding in a while, but it sure is damn good fun.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Thank you Nate! Horse riding sure can be fun. How long ago did you ride? What kind of discipline did you partake in and what’s your favorite? I hope your sister is treating the horses well. Again, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  • Igor says:

    Hi Shalisha!
    I am not riding a horse. Either, have a clue about the topics related to riding and saddles.
    Thus, your site and your posts are a great info point for myself when speaking about such topics.
    Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work!
    Best regards!

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi there Igor! I’m glad my site will be a great reference point for you if you should ever decide to take up the discipline. Again, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  • Stratos says:

    A lot of years ago I was very much into horse riding and I know how important it is to have the right saddle. Great article with lots of info and will definitely help those that are on the lookout for one. Thank you for the detailed info.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi there! Thanks for commenting. Just curious, what made you stop horse riding? I’m so glad you understand the importance of the correct saddle fit.

  • Matts Mom says:

    Lots of great information here. I can see that purchasing a used saddle may have several benefits. For a first time or novice rider, this seems like the best way to go! I know my friend always buys the best…and new…but then she barrel races professionally. Personally, I would think that if a saddle is already broken in, that would make the riding so much easier. Am I right?

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi there. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, as a novice rider, I think buying a used saddle is the best way to go as you don’t want to waste money not knowing what kind of saddle to buy. Saddles are super expensive! If you’re a professional barrel racer (or engaged in any professional equine event), it definitely pays to buy a new saddle.

  • catherine says:

    Hi, I really enjoyed reading your post. I have ridden horses in the past and am aware of how exspensive this hobby can be. I really like the idea of purchasing second hand items. Not only will it save you money but it is also beneficial to the planet to have a reuse lifestyle.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Catherine. Thanks for stopping and commenting! Yes, horse riding is an expensive hobby. It’s one of those hobbies that people with disposable income participate in. Purchasing second-hand saddles is a great idea, especially if you don’t have the cash for a new one, or if you’re a beginner. I don’t think beginners need a new saddle at all.

  • serafija says:

    Hi Shalisha,

    Awesome article. I use to ride horses when younger. I’m sure my uncle can use some of the tips you have given when buying new gear.

    Good luck

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi there! Thanks for commenting. You said you used to ride when you were younger. What made you stop riding? What kind of horse riding does your uncle do? I’d love to be able to help him pick out the right saddle. Enjoy your day.

  • Brianne says:

    I never knew that there were so many saddles, and the time you took to break down the costs is amazing. Thank you for sharing this, I will be passing this article along to my friends that ride horses!

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Brianne. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Yes, I thought it was important for me to break down the different types of saddles and their functions because so often people don’t understand that they need to buy a saddle for the type of riding they’re doing. And even if they do buy the correct type of saddle, they don’t know what to look for specifically in the used saddle to suit their needs specifically.

  • My daughter loves horses. Unfortunately we are unable to own one at this time. However, this information is very helpful for the future. I never realized there were that many different saddles! Very informative, thanks!

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Johnathan. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’m glad your daughter loves horses. Horses are such beautiful creatures. You don’t need to own a horse though to go horseback riding. There are many stables you can use. Of course, it costs money, but most are very affordable. I would suggest picking a stable, let your daughter start practicing horse riding. Once she’s consistent and finds she likes a particular discipline, buy her a used saddle. Again, thanks for stopping by.

  • Brid says:

    This is great information! Thank you. I’m bookmarking your page in case I ever need a new saddle 🙂

  • Amy says:

    This is a really interesting article and you clearly know your stuff. I appreciated the breakdown on the types of saddle and was impressed by how much can be saved buying a used Billy Cook saddle instead of new. Are there any pitfalls to watch out for with used saddles?

  • lisha42 says:

    @Khalfish: Thank you.

  • lisha42 says:

    @Paul: Thank you for commenting. Yes, there are even more saddles than I posted. These are just Western saddles. But there are a variety of English saddles as well.

  • Paul says:

    Great post. I never knew there were that many different horse saddles. Learned a lot from reading your post!

  • Really good information on used horse saddles, and saddles in general. I was not aware of the degree of specialization that these saddles go into. It does make sense though that the type of riding that is to be done would require a custom saddle to optimize the experience. These Billy Cook saddles seem to be well made, and a good value for the money. Buying a used saddle makes more sense than buying new.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      @Tom: Thank you for your comment. Yes, all saddles are created specifically for the event in mind. And Billy Cook saddles are very well made, so buying a used one is a great investment.

  • Eden says:

    You have gone into great detail about used billy cook roping saddles and it should help out people a lot, who are looking for saddles and to save quite a bit of money. There are so many saddles, it is interesting to read about them.

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