Ahhh… 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 !?…
A gorgeous reining saddle by Western Imports. I never should have sold that one !
Another reining beauty, by Diamond C (I regret this one, too)
The 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.
Another of Diamond C sweet realizations
A vintage beauty by Tex Tan (you guessed it, I wish I’d hung on to it, too)
Westwood 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
But of course Crates saddles are even better, I’m totally crazy about Crates
Dandy got his first ride ever in a Continental Equiflex Pro Reiner, good stuff !
The next couple of rides in a this beautiful Westwood reiner
Then 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
This 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 :
Huge 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…
Good, 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 :
The level of craftmanship is just superior
Fits my horse, perfectly, too
Be 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 😉