Hope Style Stock Saddle of the Lone Star Revolution
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 Hope-style Texas saddle, the gullet has similar dimensions to that of a semi-quarter horse saddle. The bars of the saddle shown are Arab and the seat is 16 inches.
Leather and Tooling
On the Texas frontier, a saddler made do with what he had. Leather wasn’t dyed black, it was soaked in a water barrel with rusty iron in it. The iron oxide in the water turned the leather black. This process produces a dark patina that already looks old as soon as it dries. It’s an imperfect procedure, but it gets authentic results. Brand new, this saddle is well on it’s way to being a museum piece. The tooling is simple yet strikingly decorative, using the same tools available in the 1830's.
In the 1830's, most saddles weren’t held together with saddle strings, but with nails. Where the saddle would experience great stress, conchos were made by hand, and the nails driven through them to secure these stress areas. Each hand made concho on this Republic of Texas saddle is decorated with The Lone Star.
The technology to steam-bend wood stirrups didn’t exist in 1830's Texas. Iron stirrups were scarce and expensive. The Mexicans had been carving beautiful and delicately filigreed wood stirrups for centuries. The saddler of the Texas frontier
adopted the carved wood stirrup, but built them solid to stand up to the rigor of harsh use. Carved from a solid block of wood, the heavy stirrups stood the gaff and could be used to persuade even the most stubborn mount that speed was required. The tread on these stirrups is four inches deep and five inches wide. The Lone Star decorates each stirrup front and back.
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.