It all depends on the maintenance of the saddle.
Good maintenance is a guarantee for the durability of the saddle
For a new saddle, leather, must be fed several times before its first use in order to acquire suppleness and comfort.Oils and greases are applied with a soft and clean brush. Some saddlers oil the saddless once or twice before delivering them to their owner. Lubrication also has the function of protecting the saddle from splashing of sand, high friction and avoiding excessive penetration of rain.
For routine maintenance, it is best to spray a sponge coated with glycerin soap after each use. This soap cleans the leather while nourishing it. Unserviced leather, regardless of its quality, becomes dry and crackles.
The lifetime of a used saddle ?
When buying a used saddle, regardless of the brand, you should pay attention to the condition of the tree, panels and linings, and girth straps.
It is necessary that the underside of the saddle has been well maintained. That is to say the panels that rest on the back of the horse. in the end, there will not be enough thickness between the tree and the back of the horse. The padded wool saddles are much easier to maintain. The saddle should be padded once a year, minimum. Depending on the frequency of use, the panels will collapse more or less quickly. A used saddle that has been maintained as well can last a very long time, if you continue to properly pad the pannels once a year..
When to stop using it?
When the safety parts are no longer in good condition : broken tree, broken knee pad...
A very good saddle, with good maintenance can last several decades. For example, a saddle Devoucoux or Antares, well maintained, holds a good twenty years or more.
For a well designed saddle, there is no maximum life as all parts can be changed as they wear. On the other hand, it can be said that the life of the saddle is over when the sum of the repairs to be made exceeds the replacement value.
See used saddles for sale here !