For all kinds of reasons, you've got to have the right saddle. It has to fit your horse and not make him sore. It has to fit you and not make you sore. It has to be strong, able to withstand jerks, pulls and maybe even a fresh-feeling colt. More and more, to fit in at the roping, a fancy saddle is also a requirement. Full-tooled, hand-dyed, exotic-seat saddles are all the rage-and nearly every saddle company offers that high-end custom look. Some companies are even offering exclusive, limited edition saddles. If you're into a more practical, utilitarian look, those options are there, too. And if you're just beginning, many of these companies offer an affordable saddle. Below are 18 saddle companies and one of the many saddles they make. Included is the contact information for each and a Web address, for online compare-and-contrast shopping.
Custom handmade roper on a modified Toots Mansfield tree with full quarter horse bars and gullet features a heavy grained bull elephant seat and inlayed corners with silver trim. It is a fully handtooled cowboy oak and cobblestone pattern with hand-dyed background on No. 1 Hermann Oak extra heavy leather. Lined with real woolskin.
Burns Saddlery Custom™ Roper
The Custom™ Roper features a custom rawhide-covered tree with quarter horse bars. The leather is chestnut Hermann Oak with full floral tooling and dyed background. The overshoe roper stirrups are also fully tooled.
Custom steer head conchos accent the black full quill inlaid ostrich seat and underneath is real one-inch bark tan sheerling lining.
Burns Saddlery has been providing everything for the horse and rider for over 109 years, established in 1898. The company specializes in custom-made saddles for every discipline using only the highest quality materials available. Prices start at $1,995.
For custom orders, contact Braydan Shaw at Burns Saddlery at (800) 453-1281.
Speed Williams Roper
"Without question my horses are the most vital factor in my job and I go to great lengths to ensure their health and safety. This saddle was designed with that in mind," says Speed Williams. "We built a saddle that fits closer to a horse without sitting directly on his back. This gives a horse more leverage while pulling, with less pressure on his withers. This saddle fits me well and feels great to ride.
The saddle features a rawhide covered wood tree, a five-year warranty, full Quarter horse bars, 7 1/4˝ high, 7˝ wide gullet and a 4˝ cantle. Additional features include an 8" flank cinch, close contact cut-out skirts, stainless steel hardware, genuine woolskin and custom Speed Williams conchos. Available in 14˝-16.5" seat sizes.
Larry Coats Premier
Only 50 of these signature saddles will be made. They are handmade by Larry Coats himself. They are all hand-tooled with your choice of exotic seating and full Campbell hardware including Ds, conchos and back cinch buckles of your choice.
Coats was born in Juniata, Neb., and went to TSTI in Amarillo, Texas, to learn how to build saddles. He now has over 30 years of experience in building saddles and is also a team roper and knows what the cowboy wants in a saddle and makes sure they get what they want.
The Premier retails for $7,500.
Circle Y Saddlery
XP™ HDR1 Quick Catch Roper by Circle Y
The saddle features a Kevlar reinforced tree for extreme strength and an XPG gel bar pad, positioned between the bar and skirt liner. This gel is a second-generation shock absorbing gel that does not break down or add more weight to the saddle. Provides improved shock absorption and comfort for the horse.
The Slip-Not Skirt: Close contact leather lining eliminates thick wool, providing an improved fit and no slip, plus it's easy to clean.
XP MVS: MicroVent Seat System features a perforated top grain leather seat that breathes for superior rider comfort while remaining water repellant, as well as Impact Foam seat padding which absorbs shock to eliminate the transference of impact between horse and rider.
Finally, EBS: ErgoBalance stirrup positions the rider's feet and legs to decrease knee and ankle fatigue while promoting balanced riding, and FAST Buckle stirrup leather buckles quick and easy, is stainless steel, and the unique offset design allows stirrup leathers to hang straight.
Coolhorse Celeste Flower Team Roper
Looking to turn a few heads while you turn a few steers? This new Coolhorse team roper will do the trick with a 14.5˝ turquoise full quill ostrich bicycle seat, fully tooled Celeste flower with a turquoise dyed background which really makes the tooling stand out. Like all of their saddles, this saddle was handmade and hand-tooled with real wool lining, Hermann Oak leather, and comes with a five year warranty on the tree and a one year warranty on the workmanship. Sale priced at $2,400.
Cowboy Classic Saddlery
Hand cut scalloped skirts, alligator seat, leather covered and tooled rear cinch D, hand-dyed full floral tooling.
Cowboy Classic Saddlery has made saddles for numerous organizations including: the Wrangler NFR, Texas Circuit Finals, College National Finals, New Mexico Rodeo, Wyoming Rodeo, Idaho High School, West Coast Rodeo, Pro-Youth Rodeo Associations. Professional cowboys and cowgirls such as Jeff Chapman, Neal Felton, Barry Burk, Nate Baldwin, Mat Shiozawa, Ben and Jared Arave, Tona Wright, and Trent and Cheyenne Walls also ride their saddles.
Their saddles are handmade with the best leather and hardware in the business. Each saddle is equipped with a five year guaranteed tree and underlined with authentic real wool.
Dale Chavez Saddlery
Dale Chavez Ropper
The custom-made team roping saddle pictured is made by Dale Chavez. It is constructed on a wooden, rawhide covered tree and has 7/8 double rigging with high-quality Hermann Oak light oil leather with basket/floral tooling, adorned with San Simeon silver conchos with gold stars in silver pattern No.120, and has a rawhide covered, silver-laced cantle. Other leather colors available are chestnut, chocolate and dark oil. In addition, fully tooled floral, acorn and mini-basket tooling patterns are available.
Crates Special Team Roper
Time and arena-tested for over 25 years, under every extreme condition, the Crates Special Team Roper is made on a close contact Rawhide Covered team roping tree by Bowden Saddle Tree Company of Anthony, Texas. It has Quarter horse and foundation Quarter horse bars, hand tooled of heavy select No. 1 saddle skirting, stainless steel hardware and engraved silver plate trim. It is available in seat sizes from 14-17.
DHS Floral and Leaf Combo
DHS Saddles are constructed on trees designed to fit today's modern-style horses: the wider-backed horse with the larger shoulders. The saddles are all hand made and hand tooled on No. 1 American Leather and made in the USA. DHS Saddles all have cut away skirts to allow for a narrower and closer fit for the rider. These saddles can be ordered in any size or tooling pattern of your choice.
Pictured is the DHS Floral and Leaf Combo, full-tooled team roping saddle with ostrich bicycle seat. It is made on the DHS Custom Tree, all hand-tooled with conchos of customer's choice. Custom ordered the way you want it.
Double J Saddlery
Double J Hi-Tech Roper
This custom made fully hand tooled roper has a stingray seat, handmade in their factory in Yoakum, Texas. Each saddle is custom made to order, so customers get to pick and choose from any of the features seen on their Web site, www.doublejsaddlery.com. The Double J HI-Tech Roper is designed to produce better performance by both the rider and the horse. The saddle tree is wide enough to fit today's wider backed roping horse (although a narrower fit is available). The saddle tree also features special full contact bars which distribute the pressure points created in team roping more evenly. Patented adjustable stirrup leather hangers allow each rider to re-position the fender on the saddle, forward or back, until you reach the optimum balance point for your particular build, and roping style. There are lots of additional features explained in the HI-Tech brochure on the Web site.
Jake Barnes Signature Series
The Jake Barnes Signature Series by Master Saddles comes with many options-not to mention it's a great gift for your horse and comfortable for the rider. The saddle includes a new close-contact skirt, helping you get closer to your horse in order to better feel movement.
Buyers' options include tree width, tooling, seat size and color. Grade 1 exotics are also available in all saddles.
Martin Saddlery of Granbury, Texas designs and manufactures trees and saddles that truly do improve the performance of both the horse and rider.
Martin Saddlery understands the intense athletic maneuvers required of a performance horse and the negative effects an ill-fitting saddle can have on their length stride and their overall performance. That is why Martin Saddlery dedicated years of research and development toward designing saddle trees that fit today's horses without hindering their natural range of motion. Through precise angles of alignment, flared bar tips and one-of-a-kind stirrup fender cut outs, Martin's saddle trees help horses perform to their top potential.
"There is a positive change in my horses that results directly from using a saddle that was designed to fit. It gives my horses a chance to do their job." Kory Koontz
NRS Professional Series Walt Woodard Team Roper
For maximum performance from you and your horse as a team, you must have a saddle that fits you both. NRS has done years of research and consultation with top saddle and tree makers, as well as competitors, to design a saddle that works hard for you. The pull and torque on a horse's withers when a rope is dallied to a horn can be crippling if the saddle is not distributing the pressure properly.
Offered in two tree sizes, this saddle will fit almost any horse. The wider tree size is designed to fit securely down over bulkier horses' withers, behind the shoulders, so the pressure is dispersed over a lower, broader surface area. If the tree is too narrow for your horse, the pressure and torque will be focused on two points on the withers, causing pain for your horse with each dally and jerk on the horn. This best-selling saddle is offered in the fully tooled and half-breed finished to fit any style or need. Call to talk with a customer service representative to find out which tree is best for your horse.
Designed by Dale Martin
The Reinsman by Dale Martin features a 7/8" tooled Wyoming flower/spider mix with rope border and a honey color with rust seat. Designed exclusively for Reinsman by Dale Martin.
Running P Saddlery
Running P Saddles are completely handmade by expert craftsmen, offering unique designs, and the highest quality materials and workmanship. All saddles are made in the USA, allowing Running P to work with the customer to find the fit and design they desire.
The company specializes in trophy and custom made saddles for personal use. They make no standard saddle and the variety of ropers, barrels, doggers and cutters are completely custom designed, carved and built to the customer's desire.
Billy Cook Roper
This Billy Cook Roper, offered by Simco Longhorn, features a bullhide tree, full double rigging with stainless steel Ds, a 4" rawhide cantle with silver lacing and basket-stamp overlay. The horn is a tall post with rawhide binder and the entire saddle is completely fleece-lined.
It's got a hand-tooled floral and basket-stamped pattern with a light oil finish and polished edges. The saddle weighs about 45 pounds.
Paul Ammerman Cactus Flower Roper
This saddle is a new design. It has the new cactus flower tooling. The tooling is enhanced with a chestnut stain, which really brings out the detail. It has a 7/8 padded seat and leather tooled stirrups with star conches. It also has our new tree with balance bars for equal weight distribution. SWR