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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Morning all
This my first post here. That said, I went to the NFR Cowboy Christmas this past Saturday specifically looking for a new Wade style saddle. I liked the Dale Chavez saddle. I talked to him about how his trees are made and design of the saddle. Do any of you have any personal imput or knowledge of his work. 42 years in the buisness, price and lead time were all selling points. He fit me right there. My current saddle is over 30 years old and not going to see another ride. Any imformation would be apprecieated. I do mostly cattle work when time permits from my regular job with occasional evening in the ropein pen. Thank you in advance and have a Blessed Day
Jim
 

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Dale Chavez are very nice saddles. If you like them and are comfortable with the prices and lead time, go for it. Chavez saddles also tend to hold value pretty well, so if in the future you would need to sell it, you could still get a good price.

If you ride a variety of horses, have the saddle made to fit the type of horse you ride most and make sure the maker/seller knows you will be using it to rope. Not every saddle will fit every horse, but a good one will fit a lot of horses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good Morning and Thank You for that, I ride mostly Quarter Horses and we discussed that as well. Very nice man.
 

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Big fan of Dale Chavez saddles and bridles - lovely craftsmanship and hold their value. Lots of AQHA western pleasure riders use DC saddles, so that's the style I'm most familiar with. Definitely make sure to specify if you'll use yours for roping - they'll need to reinforce the horn.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank You, Im not into the custom stuff with all the bells and whistles. Im usually the guy that goes tree bustin after the bull so I get my use out of my gear. I looked at the Burns saddles, but they are 12 months out and 2 other were 6 to 8 months out. I can do with Mr. Chavez's lead time as it will be done before I need it can get a few rides in before putting it to work. Thank You Ma'am for you imput, I do appreciate it greatly
 

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I was under the impression, from hearsay not personal experience, the older Chavez saddles are more desirable than the newer ones. He was one of the go to names for a show saddle but isn't the first maker that I'd go to for a work saddle.

I think it really depends on how much money you want to spend. You can find some nice used saddles that were custom built. Custom built doesn't always mean you have to splurge on all the bells and whistles. My work saddle is a custom and all it is, is a rough out with a knife cut border on a 3B tree because I don't want to clean pretty floral carving on a work saddle.
There's some decent makers out there building working saddles with an affordable base price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
COWCHICK77
Good Morning
My current saddle is a McCall and it has been ridden for tha last time and is now Greatroom art. It served me for many years and it was my uncles before being given to me. Money was and is not an issue in my looking into buying a new saddle. McCall, Burns and a few others were to far out on delivery for my needs. A roping/training ranch up the street from me suggested I look at Dale Chavez Saddles at the Cowboy Christmas show to take advantage of their show discount. Five of their 7 riders use his saddles (not the Wade version) with one saddle being over 20 years old. I get the new version vs old versions as Ive read that about most makers with alot now coming in from overseas or a large production saddle maker in Texas. Mr. Chavez made it very clear that his trees are made the same as they were 20+ years ago by the same maker, and as we all know the tree makes or breaks the Great vs Good vs What the heel did I buy mold. Again, Thank You for your imput...Have a Blessed Day
 

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Thank You, Im not into the custom stuff with all the bells and whistles. Im usually the guy that goes tree bustin after the bull so I get my use out of my gear. I looked at the Burns saddles, but they are 12 months out and 2 other were 6 to 8 months out. I can do with Mr. Chavez's lead time as it will be done before I need it can get a few rides in before putting it to work. Thank You Ma'am for you imput, I do appreciate it greatly
You, my friend, need a Marty Byrd. Marty is an Ada, OK saddle smith, and one of the finest saddle makers you'll ever find. He does everything from pure custom made (right down the the tree being custom fitted) to a more general FQHB, fits all, type saddles.

His saddles are tough, they're handmade, and worth all the money, especially if you're doing ranch work. His saddles are the gospel for all the hard working ranch cowboys I know.

The link isn't to his actual site because Marty is old school. He does have a FB group and his contact information is easily found with a google search. I just included the link for a sampling of his work - those happen to be used cutting saddles made by him.

He actually built a pure custom saddle for my husband's best friend. He ropes. Marty had him bring up the horse, had our friend saddle her, do a little riding in a pen on her, and throw a rope off her.

He took all the information he needed to build a saddle from the tree up.

When our friend picked up his saddle, Marty explained the changes he'd made to the tree to accommodate the horse's shape and how our friend rides and how he throws a rope and what he does with her when they're not roping. It fits them both like a glove. He paid, I think,
$3500.00 for it.

PM me if you want more information on him.


PS: He does make Wade tree saddles. He also makes pulling collars, tripping collars with an integrated wither strap, headstalls... I think he does it all. I KNOW he makes some excellent cantle bags too. I ride with someone who's dad traded three deer rifles and paid Marty a big chunk of cash to have one custom made for his horse. When she's on her dad's horse - that mare has the Marty Byrd on her. It fits her perfectly.
 

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I would say that I'm a bit obsessive about a good fit, but that would actually be an understatement I'm totally obsessive about how the saddle fits my horse. With the exception of a Trooper (if I ever get another one) I only use Randy Aldrich (he doesn't make Troopers). Four years ago he had 13 different tree sizes, but would modify the closest fit to fine tune it to the horse. You can look at Sharron Saare Saddles to find him. He was Sharon's saddle maker and since her death he has the company. Best fitting saddles I've ever had from any maker (and in over 40 years I've used a "few" LOL). The only problem I have (which I've had with many generally Western style saddles is that if you want to, swapping out stirrup straps is brutal). I'll attach photos to show how Randy made it to match what I wanted with the saddle in addition to making it match the horse's back.

Now I will say up front that it's not a fast process. Horse gets fitted (most detailed fitting I've ever dealt with). Information is sent to Randy. He will communicate to find out exactly what you need and features you want. The two I ordered in 2015 are identical designs, except fitted for different horses so the differences have to do with fitting the horse, but for the rider they are the same. I picked out some non standard rigging that works best for how I like my saddles rigged. The first day I rode out on them (not just checking them out around the property) I could tell a difference in the horses performance on 25 mile ride.

Won't be for everyone, because Randy is a one man show and there is a waiting list (he's popular with parts of the endurance crowd). I would say be ready to wait probably 6 months, maybe more depending. I just hope he's still around when these saddles don't fit just right anymore (horses backs usually change over years) and I need new ones fitted and made.
 

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I'm selling a McCall saddle but its a barrel saddle.

I also like Tex Tan and Simco saddles. But given the high rain and humidity in Florida, i ended up moving to synthetic tack. I'm tired of fighting mold every summer. I plan on selling my 15" Simco too. Even my bridles have been switched to synthetic. I try to keep my tack in the house, but just a week of high humidity will cause mold if you leave something in the barn.

I'm not a fan of the new saddles on the market.. The new Simcos have poor quality leather. Not nearly as nice as the old ones.
 
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