Billy Cook Western Saddles? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 07-04-2011, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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Billy Cook Western Saddles?

Hi all,

Still exploring western saddle brands. I want something of nice quality but I can't afford a custom.

How do you guys feel about Billy Cook of Sulphur OK? I was looking at this one:

15" 15.5" 16" 17" Arbuckle Wade Ranch Saddle by Billy Cook FQHB 2182

The price is nearly out of my budget, but I figure if the quality is excellent, and it fits me and my horses, it would be worth it.

Any pros or cons for this saddle and/or brand?
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post #2 of 22 Old 07-04-2011, 02:15 AM
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It is a lovely saddle, and I ride in a Billy Cook, so know that they are good saddles, but did you notice it is 42 lbs! That's pretty hefty. If you are doing roping and ranch work, you need that weight, but if you are only doing recreational riding , you may not want to heft that on top of your horse every time.
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post #3 of 22 Old 07-04-2011, 02:24 AM
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That *looks* like a nice saddle, but I'm wary of Billy Cooks. The quality of the newer ones is just not up to snuff. The Sulphur, OK location is supposed to be the good/genuine one....but I wouldn't purchase unless I could get my hands on it first.

I am, however, a fan of Teskeys.

Teskey's Saddle Shop: Teskey Buckaroo Wade Saddle
Teskey's Saddle Shop: Teskey's Full Roughout Cowboy Saddle
Teskey's Saddle Shop: TESKEYS WADE
Teskey's Saddle Shop: TESKEYS HALF SEAT WADE
Teskey's Saddle Shop: TESKEYS LADIES WADE

Etc. There are a lot more on the site, but those were the best comps.

Now I'm drooling and want a Wade saddle...
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post #4 of 22 Old 07-04-2011, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm. Bubba13, do you feel the same way about the Billy Cooks from Sulpher, OK?

I have never actually seen one in person, but I have seen good photos of them on eBay (not just catalog photos) and they look really nice. I really do want a quality saddle. I am tired of getting junk.

Tinyliny, yeah, I know it's heavy. I figure the saddle I'm using now, which I really like, is around 40 lbs. I guess after lots of saddle shopping I have just come to the conclusion that a quality saddle is going to be heavy. And I really would like a Wade, or at least an A-fork, because I really like the one I have. Also, if I did have to sell it at some point, everyone around here seems to be ropers/ranchers, so it is easier to resell a ranch/roping saddle, vs. something like a lady wade or trail saddle.

I was going to take a chance on Corriente, because for the price they seem really nice, but after calling the company, I just don't know. All I wanted is a slick seat, round-skirted Wade saddle in a 17" seat. I can get that from Billy Cook and many other places, but Corriente acted like that would be a custom order that couldn't be returned if I didn't like it. They could sell me a rough-out with round skirts, or a smooth seat with square skirts and it would be returnable. But not a smooth seat with round skirts. They really didn't seem to want my business so I gave up on ordering from them (I had contacted them 3 times).

So that's why I've turned to Billy Cook. I don't know about Tesky's. I'm honestly not familiar with them.

The first and second Wade saddle I ordered was from Rider's Choice. I LOVE the first one. So I ordered a second one. It looks like the person who put it together was not very skilled. So I would be taking a chance ordering from them again too.

For under $1000 I will take a chance on a less common brand. But for over $1000 the saddle better be pretty darn close to perfect and well fitting and high quality. $1400 is really, really, really stretching my budget.

I guess I was hoping if I stretched my budget for a Billy Cook it would be my lifetime saddle. But maybe I have unrealistic expectations.
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post #5 of 22 Old 07-04-2011, 02:12 PM
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I've seen some really nice Billy Cooks, but they were all older saddles. The new ones I've seen look purty, but just don't seem "right." I don't know how to describe it. The leather is lighter and stiffer than it should be, for one thing. Like I said, I wouldn't want to buy one without seeing it in person first.

If you just trail ride, why not look into a Tucker (or similar) saddle? I would think it would still have good resale value (online, if not local), it'd be great quality, and it would sure be a helluva lot more comfortable than a hardseat Wade. What are you, a masochist?!

Tucker Endurance Trail Saddle

Check this one out: 17in Tucker Trail Saddle Gel Seat Like New - PRICE REDUCED! - Discount Stable

Another new one: Tucker High Plains Trail Saddles (17.5) - PFI Western Store
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post #6 of 22 Old 07-04-2011, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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What are you, a masochist?!

You're too funny! Actually I find my hard seat wade to be the most comfortable saddle I have ridden in. I got it from Rider's Choice and I have ridden in it for as long as 6 hours (with potty breaks) and me and my horses have been very happy. So I dunno! I DO have ample padding back there, which is why I need a 17" seat.

Hey, I REALLY appreciate your opinion on the Billy Cook. Because I haven't seen them in person, and if I felt the leather was thin or card-boardy I would be very dissapointed.

I actually have tried a Tucker. I really liked the leather. And I thought I liked the saddle, enough to where I drove to a saddle shop 3 1/2 hours away, thought it was the perfect saddle, and then brought it home. It didn't sit the same on the horse as it did on the saddle rack at the shop. It was a wide tree, and my Mustang is very wide, but the Tucker was too wide and didn't sit on him securely. So, I ended up shipping it back to them. Maybe a regular tree was all we needed, I don't know. The Tuckers are pushing my budget too.

Maybe I should contact Rider's Choice, tell them I love my first saddle, but the second wasn't up to snuff, and see what they say. If I could be guaranteed of getting a good one, I would definitely buy another one. Here is the first one, which I love.

Really, maybe the whole saddle shopping thing is folly. I do have one really good saddle. I guess I was just hoping to have two good saddles, one for each horse.

PS. Another cool thing about the saddle below is that it does an excellent job of fitting both of my horses, which are built very differently. I selected it for the wide Mustang (before, my Mustang was getting white hairs from every other saddle I tried). But I also have a Foxtrotter who is built more like a gaited horse with A-frame withers, and it fits her well too. What are the odds of it fitting two horses that are built quite different well enough for long, long trail rides? I find that pretty amazing. The saddle that wasn't up to snuff though, seemed to sit down too low on the Foxtrotter and was rolly-polly on the Mustang. The tree was supposed to be the same as the first, so the only thing I can figure out is there must be a difference in the placement of the rigging. Sigh!
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post #7 of 22 Old 07-04-2011, 03:21 PM
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I have 2 Cooks (both vintage) while I do like them they just sit as I have 6 others I like much more. My favorite saddle is my Charles Crawley who sold out to crates many years ago. The most comfy one I own is named "Bert" no maker, 100+ years old and has a tooled naked woman in the seat. It just sits in the house & looks pretty but I have ridden it :)
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post #8 of 22 Old 07-04-2011, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MHFoundation Quarters View Post
The most comfy one I own is named "Bert" no maker, 100+ years old and has a tooled naked woman in the seat. It just sits in the house & looks pretty but I have ridden it :)
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I'd love to see it, please post some pics.
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post #9 of 22 Old 07-04-2011, 04:02 PM
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Teskey's is a great place - they are super nice people. I bought my Billy Cook from there. Hubby's Billy Cook came from Charlotte's in Houston.

My Billy Cook had an issue and Billy Cook replaced it. It still didn't fit my horse well so I sold it and the girl I sold it to absolutely loves it. My hubby's Billy Cook is a trail saddle is very comfortable - I rode in it a few weeks ago and it was super comfy. They both came from the Billy Cook in Sulphur, OK.

Honey Darling Precious is searching for a new saddle and will be selling his Billy Cook - he just ordered a Wade saddle from Smith Saddles in Denton. It is a Martin Wade with the hard seat and we were skeptical. At the house it felt like a brick! On the horse Barry said it was very comfortable. Don't know if he is going to keep it but it is on the stand in the living room!!

Teskey's is safe to buy from...they were very nice when I requested to send my first one back and get a size smaller...not a problem for them. I'd buy from them in a heart beat and wish they were closer than the 6 hour drive they are!!

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post #10 of 22 Old 07-04-2011, 04:10 PM
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Trailhorserider, That looks like a reallly nice saddle and don't see any issues with using it with more than one horse; I think each horse needs to have it's own blanket/pad though.

I look at Billy Cooks on eBay and think there are a lot of phony's and knockoffs out there, and so I would not consider bidding on a new one, that besides agreeing with other posts about the newer one's not being the same as they used to be.

I bought a used one at Congress a long-while ago and it has been a very good saddle, heavy but not overly so. Comfortable, good freedom of leg movement, but I haven't gone on many trail rides (love to though) I don't know how old it is but it was made in Sulphur and has a plate with the maker's name, too. Putting photo's up below, missed taking a pic of the plate that says pro-reiner.

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