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Handtooled Saddle I
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A saddle should be selected for its intended use, pleasure riding, roping, show, bronc riding or barrel racing. Unless you are an expert, the best approach is to deal with a reputable saddle dealer or saddle maker. A saddle should be selected to fit your seat and, just as important, the horse. Take your horse saddle shopping with you if you can. A saddle should never touch the horse’s spine or put undue pressure on the withers. The bars of the saddle tree should lay flat on the horses back, just behind the shoulder blades. The gullet should clear the horses back by one inch when the rider is mounted.

Saddles are made for many specific or specialized uses.  Before purchasing your next saddle determine your primary use.

Ranch Trail Riding Saddle.  The primary purpose of a trail riding saddle is comfort for the rider and horse.  Trail riding can extend over a long period of time.  A padded seat and flexible tree contribute to comfort.  The rider’s safety is also important in a trail saddle.  Due to unknown terrain spook potential is high.  A tree tapered to the center keeps the rider and horse more relaxed, reduces stress and increases comfort. (narrow twist)  A trail saddle’s higher cantle and pommel contribute to comfort.   Open skirts and tapered tree increase the riders contact and feel for the horse.

The stirrup tread is wide for both stability and long-distance comfort.  More on Ranch Saddle

Barrel Racing SaddleRacing means speed and as little weight as possible.  As a result this is the lightest and smallest of all western saddles, under thirty pounds. 

Another feature is a flat seat allowing the rider easy positioning to help balance the horse in turns.  The fenders are free swinging to provide additional balance.  The cantle and pommel are high to provide the rider a secure ride.  The horn is tall for a rapid dismount.

Stirrups have a narrow tread for a more secure grip on the boot and rawhide trim that increases durability when in contact with the barrel.  See buying barrel saddles.

Roping Saddle.  This saddle has a deep seat to allow the roper security and balance while throwing the rope.  The saddle requires strength to withstand the pressures applied by the event.  The horn and tree must be extra strong to withstand the pull.  The seat is designed to grip and hold the rider.

Cutting Saddle.  The cutting saddle is designed to keep the rider in contact with the horse and on top and in position as the horse makes quick moves.  The seat is flat and the pommel is high.  Since the riders legs are not used to direct the horse the fenders are free.  These saddles feature narrow stirrups and a tall thin horn. 

A Penning saddle is similar with a strong tree and horn and built slightly higher.  More

Reigning Saddle.  The saddle is designed for close contact between the horse and rider.  Skirts have cutouts, the tree is modified for closer contact, and the fenders are hung from the center of the tree.

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Texas Saddles
Buy From

Big Bend Saddlery
P.O. Box 38
Alpine, Texas 79831

  • Bobbie Jo’s Saddlery
    Rt. 1 Box 417
    San Antonio, Texas 78257
  • Liebman’s
    San Antonio, Texas
  • Bruce Cheaney Bits, Spurs and Saddles
    3200 Hwy 82 E.
    P.O. Box 1425
    Gainesville, Texas 76241
  • Jack Cheaney’s Saddle Shop
    211 W Elm
    Gainesville, Texas
    Roping and cutting horse saddles.
  • Circle Y of Yoakum, Inc.
    P.O. Box 797
    Yoakum, Texas 77995
  • Coats Saddlery, Inc.
    P.O. Box 62931
    San Angelo, Texas 76906
  • Courts Saddlery Co.
    403 N. Main
    Bryan, Texas 77803
    Sharon Camarillo (Barrel) by Courts.
  • R.E. Donaho Concho Saddles
    Rector Story
    8 E. Concho Street
    P.O. Box 2321
    San Angelo, TX
    905-655-3270, 800-809-3270
    The best hand made saddles anywhere made by Rector Story since 1938.
  • Ed Galemba Saddle Shop
    Rt. 2 Box 318E
    Stephenville, Texas 76401
  • J.M. Saddler Co., Inc.
    12100 Crown Point #115
    San Antonio, Texas 78233
  • Joey Jemison Saddles
    1700 Sandy Lane
    Weatherford, Texas 76088
  • Laster Saddle Shop
    P.O. Box 641
    Manohaca, Texas 78652
  • Leon’s Saddle Tree Co.
    103 Ave. E
    Hereford, Texas 75045
  • Bob Marrs Saddle Shop
    101 Rancho Trail
    Amarillo, Texas 79108
  • Price McLaughlin Saddle Shop
    P.O. Box 199
    Boyo, Texas 76023
  • Nettles Stirrups Etc.
    Rt. 1 Box 224
    Madisonville, Texas 77864
  • Pernokas Saddlery
    Nick and Lindy Pernokas
    3891 CR 351
    Stephenville, TX  76401
    Phone: (254) 968-7161

  • Preston Custom Saddlery
    P.O. Drawer 507
    Utopia, Texas 78884
  • Art Reed Custom Saddles
    904 Amber
    Abilene, Texas
    Saddles for working cowboys. Start about $1500.
  • Ritter Saddle Tree Co., Inc.
    H.C. 12 Box 100
    Anthony, Texas 70821
  • Running W Saddle Shop
    Kingsville, Texas.
  • Saddle Shop
    943 N. Expressway #15-64
    Brownsville, Texas 78520
  • Specialty Saddles
    15635 Ave. C
    Channelview, Texas 77530
  • West Brothers Saddlery
    Rt. 4 Box 510
    Center, Texas 75935
  • Western Suppliers Wholesale Saddlery
    P.O. Box 428
    Aubrey, Texas 76227

Texas Best Rope Maker

  • Dennis Willard
    Willard Rope Co.
    Makes and ships 40,000 ropes a year from Roanoke, Texas.

Texas Made Rope and Tack Suppliers

  • Classic Rope Mfg. Inc.
    P.O. Box 2003
    Grandbury, Texas 76048
  • Cowboy Tack Inc.
    406 Palo Pinto St.
    Weatherford, Texas 76086
  • Greg Darnell Bits
    Rt.2 Box 78-A-3
    Lone Oak, Texas 75453
  • Hibbert’s Handmade Halters
    Rt. 2 Box 44
    Breckenridge, Texas 76424
  • Hollis Hackamore and Bit Co.
    Rt. 1 Box 1
    Skidmore, Texas 78389
  • National Ropers Supply
    1410 Hwy 51 S
    Decatur, Texas 76234
  • R. T. Bit and Spur
    RR 6 Box 620
    Gainesville, Texas 76240
  • Rain Tree Peruvian Tack
    30169 Twin Ridge Dr.
    Bulvede, Texas 78163
  • Roy Bits and Spurs, Inc.
    P.O. Box 2956
    Bryan, Texas 77805
  • Sims Spur Co.
    P.O. Box 876
    Bandera, Texas 78003
  • Smith Brothers Roping Supplies
    I-35 and Ganzer Ropers Road
    Denton, Texas 76207
  • Travel Lite Bridles and Tack
    8825 Roaring Creek Road
    Joshua, Texas 76058
  • Wigwam Halter Co.
    Rt. 2 Box 2199
    Athens, Texas 75751