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Excerpts from
"Horseman's Handbook of Western Saddles"
by Richard L. Sherer


... The saddle tree is the frame upon which a saddle is built. The tree needs to fit a horse, fit a rider and be usable for a number of years. At present, most saddle trees are made of wood with a rawhide covering, or they are made of molded plastic. Both types of trees are usually guaranteed for five years. Quality of the finished saddle begins with the saddle tree. Although a superior - quality tree does not guarantee a superior-quality saddle, a poor-quality tree will almost certainly result in a poor-quality saddle. The saddle tree consists of bars, swells, gullet, horn, cantle, seat and covering (Figure 1) ...

Page 1 - Saddle Trees



... The gullet is that part of the swells under the horn and between the bars. This part of the saddle tree rides over the horse's withers. The width of the gullet is generally determined by the bar pattern. When the tree is ordered, the width of the front gullet is specified. The other specified measurement is the height of the gullet. It is important to remember that as the gullet width is increased, the saddle will ride lower over the horse's withers and the gullet height should be increased. On trees with 6 to 6 inch wide gullets, 8 inches is a good gullet height ...

Page 9 - Gullet



... Saddles which receive frequent demanding use should be cleaned and conditioned more often than saddles used occasionally. Dust, grime, sweat and manure are harmful to leather. The purpose of cleaning and conditioning leather is to prevent cracking, checking and hardening. Prolonging the life of the leather depends on preserving the grain and keeping the underlying fibers flexible. Figure 30 is an electron micrograph of a stirrup leather that had given sixty years of service. Particles of silicate minerals (dust) are adhering to fibers on the flesh side and patches of dirt occur between the fibers. Cleaning will remove most of the debris.

If your saddle has silver mountings, remove them for separate cleaning. It is recommended that you clean any silver trim that cannot be removed before proceeding with cleaning the saddle ...

Page 73 - Care and Maintenance



Copyright (C) 1977, 1988 by Sherer Custom Saddles, Inc.,
Franktown, Colorado, Publisher. All Rights Reserved

 
 
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