As a historian and crafter of historical Old West Cowboy Leather, I spared no effort in re-creating the most accurate reproduction of a saddle from the era of the Texas Revolution. I have used the materials and techniques of the Texas frontier of the 1830's to bring unparalleled authenticity to this living historical representation. From the custom-crafted bleached rawhide tree, to the hand-carved one piece block wood stirrups, each detail relives the craft and the spirit of the Texas Revolution.
The saddle tree was constructed to my specifications by the fine craftsmen of Superior Saddle Tree Company, Grand Junction, Colorado. The bleached rawhide covering was hand stitched over the tree in a tradition that is all but lost. To maintain the look of the Mexican Gentry saddle, the gullet has similar dimensions to that of a semi-quarter horse saddle. Built on standard bars, the seat is 16 inches. Saddle is shown here without mochila and anquera.
Leather and Tooling
On the Texas frontier, Mexican craftsmen made do with what they had. Leather wasn’t dyed black, it was soaked in a water barrel with rusty iron. The iron oxide in the water turned the leather black. The tooling and incising is simple yet striking, using the same tools available in the 1830s. The incised pattern on the mochila and anquera was developed from the native Aztec Indian’s decorative style.
The 3” silver and brass saddle horn medallion above, features The Mexican Eagle of Independence.
Stirrups & Tapaderos
The technology to steam-bend wood stirrups didn’t exist in 1830s Texas. Iron stirrups were scarce and expensive. The Mexicans had hand carved beautiful and delicately filigreed wood stirrups for centuries. Carved from a solid block of oak, the stirrups withstood abuse and could be used to persuade even the most stubborn mount that speed was required. The tread on these stirrups is two inches deep and five inches wide. The vaquero’s toes are protected by round tapaderos which hang in front of the stirrups from the stirrup leathers. These were the earliest form of tapaderos in North America.
This saddle was built specifically for Disney's "Alamo" movie and other Texas Revolution re-enactments that require a high level of historical authenticity. It is ideal for use in any production where historical accuracy is a hallmark, but is built for the rugged use of the Texas Frontier.
While it has the look of a one-hundred-sixty-six-year-old saddle, it has a lifetime of hard use ahead of it.
A saddle like this one can be made for you for $8,500.
The anquera extending behind the mochila was originally leather armor for the horse. It evolved into a passenger rumble seat.
A lone Texican confronts danger.
Early saddle weren't held togeather with saddle strings. Most often the riggings and other parts were held in place with nails. Where the saddle would experience a lot of stress, such as the riggings, metal conchos, nailed in place, would hold the leather to the tree.
This 1 1/2" brass concho sports the Mexican Eagle of Indepen-dance. Hand made, it holds the rigging in place with 16 brass nails.