When it comes to collecting antique saddles, veteran saddlemaker Chuck Stormes has some simple advice, “Don’t do anything to it that you can’t undo.”


Maybe you have a saddle that you consider the perfect ride – with one exception. There's no rope strap on the swells, and you like packing a rope when you're horseback. It doesn't matter if you work, compete or play with your rope, as long as it's handy on your saddle.


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Here’s how to give your horse the judgment and self-assurance he needs to keep cattle from crossing the line.

Last month, we discussed how working cattle is similar to a team sport, such as football. You and your horse are on one side of the scrimmage line, and the cow is on the other. The herd, or the “goal,” is behind you. Also like football, each team is either on offense or defense. The cow’s movement and position with regard to the herd, gate or other “goal” determines which role your horse must play.

Canadian horsemen Jeff and Jesse Beckley, a father-and-son duo share a reining-horse training barn at the family's Three Bars Guest Ranch near Cranbrook, British Columbia, which also supports a cattle operation. No matter what a horse's job with the outfit, he is trained for a reliable stop. Obviously, the reiners slide long distances, but ranch cow and guest horses are expected to be dependable in their stops, as well.



ImageClinician • Haines, Oregon

Posture in the saddle—something many of us ‘Western types’ seem to shy away from discussing, leaving that stuffy image to the “Dressage types.” The bottom line is that a pretty picture on a horse is a pretty picture, and costume has very little to do with creation of that beautiful image. Posture and attitude go hand-in-hand. The combination of the two is what creates willing communication between horse and rider.” 

Tom and Tad Knowles, who own and operate Wildflower Saddles & Tack in Elizabeth, Colorado, have proven valuable resources for how-to tack-repair features. Here, Tad uses a saddle string to replace a broken connector strap between the front and back cinches.