This is a 16” seat Wade Style saddle built by Kevin & Dale Moore, instructors of Montana Horseman Saddle Building School in Belgrade. It is built on a Timberline Tree, 6 ½ gullet, Montana Horseman Hape bars. If you’re not familiar with this style of tree, what it basically does is to flare the front of the bars out so as not to dig in a horse’s shoulders, and it starts the twist a bit back in the bars. A nice tree to build a saddle on and a very nice tree to ride. I was riding my young horse Bob with saddle bags, a slicker and going up rough steep terrain and his back wasn’t sore at all. That’s impressive!
It is rigged with Montana flat plate rigging. It has an Oregon cross over rope strap, which lets you snug your rope up tight. The horn finished out at 4 ½ inches and is wrapped in mule hide. It has tooled stirrup straps on the outside, which I think looks really good. The Wade style tree looks really good with a straight up cantle and a frog lip rolled under in the front. The bucking rolls are secured in place so they cannot slip up or back. The seat has a medium to high rise, and a nice dish. It’s thinned down the front of the seat just a little bit, to not spread out a person’s hips too much.
Dale Moore started building saddles around 1963 from Jack Miller in Helena Montana. He had five kids and was a school teacher and could not afford to buy a new saddle, so he started building them.
After retiring from the Montana school system Dale started Montana Horseman Saddle building school. He tells the story ever once in a while saying that he thought a couple of people may want to learn to build a saddle. Now they have students from literally all over the world, from Australia to France and back to South Africa and everywhere in between.
The class run six days a week for five weeks. During the first two weeks the students are put through an orientation from sewing machines, to welts and braiding, and horse conformation. The students build demonstration saddles to begin to learn how to build saddles and then each student builds a saddle of their choice to take home. Students leave the class with the knowledge to build saddle for themselves or friends or open their own saddle shop. We have many successful saddle makers running their own businesses around the United States and the world.
In my opinion it is one of the best saddles around.