A peculiar addiction…

DetailSelle-01Ahhh… Saddles ! (here a very rare and older Bona Allen “hardseat”)

I suffer from a weird addiction. Were most women go for shoes and purses, I compulsively buy Western saddles. I know, of all things !?…

WesternImports-02A gorgeous reining saddle by Western Imports. I never should have sold that one !

DiamondC-05Another reining beauty, by Diamond C (I regret this one, too)

CircleY-01The mobile sofa, by Circle Y

I used to breed show dogs. I met a number of my long term friends after they purchased one, or two dogs, from me. Amusingly, I now make new friends selling them saddles ! I’ve even made some very active business relationships this way. I call it merging pleasurable and useful.

DiamondReining-11Another of Diamond C sweet realizations

TexTan-04A vintage beauty by Tex Tan (you guessed it, I wish I’d hung on to it, too)

WestwoodFloralWestwood Technique USA is by far one of my favorite brands. Their saddles are light, well cut, beautiful and very comfortable for both horse and rider

Joli03Nov15-01PMBut of course Crates saddles are even better, I’m totally crazy about Crates

Dandy09Avr16-02Dandy got his first ride ever in a Continental Equiflex Pro Reiner, good stuff !

WestwoodMar16--01The next couple of rides in a this beautiful Westwood reiner

Dandy12Mai16-01PMThen I bought that really low cost but surprisingly decent Lakota to address his saddling issue. When you have to swing a saddle on a horse repeatedly for hours, days and weeks, it’d better be *light*. The Lakota was perfect for the job, and sold like hot cakes once I was done with it

TexTan-02This Tex Tan, on the other hand, is a very heavy sucker, like most older saddles of the brand, when quality went by weight (wooden trees, thickness of leather, etc). Modern saddles can be both well made and way lighter, like this fantastic butterly cut Westwood, that I rode in for a long time on my boy Joli :

Westwood-03

CircleY-03Huge quality of materials and crafstmanship

Saddles are a word in themselves, and Western saddles are a world within this world. There is subtleties galore about trees, bars, skirts, fenders length, shape, and freedom of movement. Many styles are available, in many sizes, colors, etc. Until you’ve gone through as many as I have, they can remain quite mysterious…

WesternImports-06Arghh…

WesternImports-08

Westwood-02Good, good stuff.

My favorite, recommended brands ? Crates, Continental, Diamond C, Western Imports, Circle Y, Deuber&Partner, in no particular order. Oh, this is my latest acquisition, a Premier Custom. Very few are in circulation, since the saddlemaker, an independant crafstman who worked for years at Simco and Crates, died shortly after opening his company :

PremierCustom-02The level of craftmanship is just superior

Dandy30Mai16-01Fits my horse, perfectly, too

TexTan-03Be still, my heart

It is indeed an addiction, that I have zero desire to be cured of, because searching for those beauties, opening the big boxes and discovering each time a new saddle, a new story, with its particular style, color, touch, is just exhilarating. So be ready to see a lot of different ones sitting on my horse in the future 😉

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6 thoughts on “A peculiar addiction…

  1. A woman after my own heart.. I too love western saddles and have had many.. I wish I had taken lovely pics as you did of the ones that passed through my hands ( under my butt ) over the years..

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  2. I had a Crates saddle I loved that was perfect for my big Appaloosa, now I have icelandics. Looking for a western saddle to fit a wide short back. Any suggestions?

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  3. Great article, beautiful photographs ! I’m just beginning the search ( at 56) to find the perfect western saddle for my horses so when this story popped up on my FB feed I had to look! Thank you 😊

    Like

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