Wish I had known! I just practically gave away a Circle S barrel saddle, 10 inch, because it has been sitting in our shop since the kids outgrew it about 10 years ago. We hardly used it, but I have the adult size Circle S and will never sell my saddle, I just love it!
daughter got rid of hers years ago cant say these days there a few ol guys around here that make them thats where we got hers after the one we got with the horse got worn prety bad .local guy dont make em real fancy but they are well made an last aint no fancy name but are good ones .wished i could help ya but we havent bought a saddle in 10 years the ones we got still comfy !
$500-800, will get in several used saddles that are decent. Billy Cook (Made in Oklahome, not Texas, (some) Ammerman, (some) Courts, and (some) cactus.
A barrel saddle doesn't see the abuse, that a ropin saddle does, but you still need to stay away from the $500 new saddles. There a hot mess, by the time they see 2 years of use, and you just about have to give them away when you sell them. Stick with a middle of the road name brand used. Keep it oiled, and you should be able to get your money back still in a few years.
As others have said, stay away from no names, or off the beaten paths names. Stick with Circle Y, Crates, and my all-time favorite, Billy Cook. You may have to really look to find a good one in your price range, but it can be done.
I agree with all the above. About the only saddle I have ridden that was in your price range new are the corriente saddles...I have a roping saddle from them that I have roped on since 2005 and it's still in good shape. I think I paid $600 for it, and they are about the same now, and barrel saddles are less than that.
Other than them, a good used saddle is all I would recommend.