Every great saddle starts with a great tree. For the 1800′s Period Saddle we use the Steele Saddle Tree Company in Ashland City, Tennessee. Steele Saddle Tree has been making saddle trees since the 1800′s, for over 150 years. Ed Steele is a 5th generation tree maker having learned the craft from his father and grandfather. Ed brings to tree making the accumulated knowledge and experience of five generations covering one hundred fifty years.
Once we have the completed EQUImeasure mold we can order the appropriate bar type for your horse or mule. You choose what type swell or pommel, the kind of horn that suits you and the cantle height, width and style. The tree forms the foundation for everything that follows.
The 1800′s Period Saddles come in four traditional colors, Oil Finish, Black, Chestnut and Vintage Brown. There are three seat styles to choose from, (a) 1/2 seat, (b) 3/4 seat with front jockey and (c) full seat.
Tooling packages for the 1800′s Period Saddles come from research done on saddles made in the era from 1860 until 1920. Most working cowboys couldn’t afford tooling on their saddles so they were generally very plain. It was the land owners of the time that could afford a really fine hand tooled saddle. In order to create a truly vintage look some of the hand tools we use were created right in our shop. If you have pictures of a tooling pattern that you like, we can also create a custom pattern if we can find the same tools or create something very close.
Rigging on the 1800′s Period Saddles come in three styles, (a) Western rigged with a flank cinch, (b) three point rigging (click here to see a quick video on using three point rigging) and (c) Sam Stagg rigging that goes up over the swells and is anchored around the horn. Sam Stagg rigged saddles can be three point or come with a flank cinch. (Note: Sam Stagg rigging only comes on an ‘A’ or slick fork.)
Saddle bags have been around for over 200 years. They were an essential part of the cowboy’s gear that were based on the type of buckskin pouches the Native Americans used to have. Originally they were just a couple of bags tied onto the back of the saddle and they developed into two bags mounted to a piece of leather that could be easily removed and carried by the cowboy. Saddle bags were an essential part of the cowboy’s gear. They held everything he owned while out on the trail.