Master saddle maker Clay Sharp begins building a fine custom saddle using a wood covered bullhide tree. The strength of the saddle tree is in the 4 mm bullhide, your foundation in a quality hand built saddle. The bullhide (rawhide) is laced onto the saddle tree wet using rawhide lace. When the rawhide dries it shrinks and gets hard making the saddle tree extremely strong. Don't be fooled by gimmicks or space age materials! Let's face it, ralide is plastic and plastic snaps under pressure!
Any saddle tree style i.e. Wade, Cliff Wade, Association, Bowman, Weatherly, Ropers, Cutters, Old Time Slick Forks can be custom built with full quarter horse bars, semi QH bars, mule bars or draft size bars. Fitting the horse or mule with the bars set at the proper angle along with rock and twist are important factors in saddle fit. After fitting the equine for comfort and peak performance consider rider comfort. If the rider isn't comfortable they fidget in the saddle and this translates into the animal's back.
When you place your order for a Sharp custom saddle Clay will ask you specific questions about your riding style, type of terrain you generally ride in, your height and weight. Clay can then help you decide the height, width and dish your cantle needs to be. The fender length for your custom saddle matches your inseam. A person 5' tall doesn't need fenders made for somebody 6' 2" and visa versa. Stirrup leathers are "freed-up" for maximum swing.
All leather isn't created equal! Your Sharp custom saddle is made from USA cowhide TANNED in the USA. We primarily use Wickett & Craig leather, you can request Hermann Oak. You can choose leather weight in 10/12 oz or 12/14 oz. for your custom saddle. Wickett & Craig comes in the traditional custom cowboy saddle color of Russet or the drum dyed colors of Brown, Chestnut or Black. The leather is NOT topically dyed but the color is added during the tanning process so the color won't rub off onto your clothes.
Hardware in your custom saddle is either brass or stainless steel. We can special order, or make, silver conchos with a matching saddle horn cap if you desire.
At Sharp saddles we use ONLY thick bark tanned wool shearling. NO synthetics that wear out quickly and make your equine's back hot!
In Sharp custom saddles, ALL ground seats are hand carved leather paying close attention to the physical build of the rider.
Rigging position, and style, should suit your animal's NEEDS and what discipline your riding with your Sharp custom saddle.
Quality craftsmanship information includes the saddle skirts that are fitted and shaped to the saddle tree, not simply nailed on flat, this gives your equine better fit and more comfort and therefore better performance! We use screws and nails in construction, NO staples to pop-out! Stitching in your custom saddle is placed in a groove to prevent wear of the thread.
Each piece is hand-cut and fit for each custom saddle built one at a time. The leather is beveled, edges smoothed, hand rubbed, oiled and sealed. Saddle strings are heavy, long LATIGO leather.
You can choose a wood post horn on ANY saddle tree style. A wood post horn is the strongest yet lightest horn available. If your shopping for saddles and it says "post" horn it may not be wood! Sharp saddles built requesting a wood post horn it's guaranteed to be wood!
The weight of your custom saddle will be between 32# and 45# depending on seat length, leather weight chosen and individual needs for the saddles intended use.
When you receive your Sharp custom saddle it will already be oiled properly! No after purchase fussing. It's a cowboy's wives tale to "throw it in a stock tank and ride it dry!"
For that one-of-a-kind saddle you can dress-up your custom saddle with a variety of hand stamped or hand carved designs. Sharp custom saddles can have exotic skins, silver, or just simply the beauty of quality leather and pride in craftsmanship. Remember we are totally custom so you can decide everything down to the thread color.
A bit about Clay Sharp...
Clay grew up on a working cattle ranch in the interior of B.C. Canada. Clay spent over 18 years as a certified farrier. This gives Clay a first-hand knowledge of saddle horses, draft horses and mules and the variations within each breed.
Clay began saddlemaking working with a custom saddle tree maker and understands the foundation of a saddle. He has given many clinics and been a guest speaker explaining saddles, saddle trees, and saddle fit.
Clay has worked ranches from Canada to Mexico and knows the needs of equines and their partners in all types of climate, terrain and riding disciplines and the difference in horses in each region.
Sharp custom saddles are used in all disciplines in the equine world from working cowboys, buckaroos, pleasure trail riding, trainers, outfitters, endurance riders and even movies! There is a Sharp custom saddle in almost every state in the USA as well as in Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Mexico, and Italy.
We enjoy creating a Sharp custom saddle that you sit "in" not "on" and will last a long time. Be sure and give us a call or leave us a message as we do have in-stock saddles and trees if you need a saddle faster than our SHORT wait time!
Clay A. Sharp - Maker
P.O. Box 872
All designs shown on this website are copyrighted and are the exclusive property of Sharp Saddles. Sharp Custom Saddle designs may not be reproduced or copied without pernission in writing from Sharp Saddles.