Barding acquisition

Is barding meant to be intentionally difficult to come by? I get that you can easily have a group without any animal companions, but you can also very easily get your hands a ton of them, and having little to no capacity to make them better able to defend themselves, especially at higher levels, where they come in a level 1, is rough at best.

Iirc you can get bardings easier in cha 3+
To be honest, I’m not actually using most of them anyways, I prefer using the Mage Armor spell or Bracers of Armor.