The Big Horn Company has been around for 30 years and for 30 years they have had but one motive- to produce saddles that are comfortable for both horse and rider at a reasonable cost- and oh how they have lived up to this.
For 30 years Big Horn Saddles have been the go-to saddle for Western Pleasure, High Performance, Show, Trail and Endurance riding. Big Horn has two elements that make them one of the best saddle brands on the market -1) an exceptional love for horses and - 2) a whole lot of experience. They know and understand different horse breeds and how they move, they pride themselves on building each saddle from the highest quality leather and hardware, they only buy the best trees and each stitch is perfectly placed.
Their reputation is built on their ability to create high quality, comfortable saddles at an affordable price. In addition to building all leather saddles Big Horn also produces Cordura saddles (engineered for comfort), which are extremely popular and for good reason. To distinguish themselves Big Horn sat down and thought of what their goal was with these saddles. They told themselves that they 1) wanted to produce a saddle that is lightweight saddle (that a person over 60 or under 12 can easily lift) and 2) that will allow the stirrups to turn easy. So they came up with the solution to replace the skirts, stirrup leathers, and fenders with Cordura© nylon. The Cordura enhances the light weight of the saddle (on both horse and in your pocket), improves ruggedness and comfort ability.
The nice thing about these cordura and leather saddles are the fact that you still sit on real leather, thus your seat still breathes. Big Horn saddles are made of stainless steel hardware, which prevents rusting problems down the road, they have a thick bottom fleece to transfer moisture away from the horse and fenders that allows easy mobility in the stirrups.
All and All, Big Horn saddles may just be the best western saddle for your money. They are a brand that is loved by the American Horse, for their fit, and loved by the American rider, for their quality and affordable price.
Made in the USA by master craftsmen, American Saddlery's saddles combine the finest of machinery and modernism, to create some of the best tack available on the market today. American Saddlery is located in Chattanooga Tennessee (the ‘Scenic City’), at the shadows of the historic Lookout Mountain & the Appalachian Mountains near the banks of the Tennessee River. Because of pioneers heading West, Chattanooga became a hub for leather tanning and producers / builders of saddles and today the craft lives on using the same quality craftsmanship from years back but combined with modern innovations. In November 2008, Big Horn was purchased by American Saddlery and together they work for the same goal- to produce saddles that are comfortable for both horse and rider at a reasonable cost. American saddlery offers a growing variety of great saddles which are handmade in the in the United States of America and use the highest quality materials to assure years of trouble-free riding and enjoyable use.
A guild is an association of people in the pursuit of a common goal and Long Riders are defined, here at trailsaddles.co.za, as adventure, persistence, strength and immeasurable truth and loyalty to a goal, a horse and oneself. The long rider’s guild is the first international Association of Equestrian Explore. They are a group of people who are there to encourage anyone to make the journey of their life on the back of one of the most amazing creatures and friends to man, that has ever been created. The Long Riders Guild is not based on winning or competition, the aim of this group of people is to help prospecting travellers with their journey, they help people strive for personal excellence and form a truly emotionally mature, open-handed, kind, enduring and compassionate bond with horse and country. What makes this guild extremely remarkable is that every major equestrian explorer that is alive today belongs to The Guild. The Long Riders Guild is truly a home for heroes, they strive to educate the world, that the word of a long rider can always be trusted. Not just anybody has the strength saddle up and make a genuine life-changing equestrian journey.
For more information on the Long Riders Guild visit their website www.thelongridersguild.com
Ralide, The Number one Saddle Tree in the World
Saddles trees were tradiaionally made from wood and rawhide. Later on fibre glass in combination with wood and rawhide was used. In all these cases however, different segments have to be pieced together and the problem then occurs that all these components have different stress levels which can not always be handled in the same way. This causes failure in saddle trees which in turn causes concentrated stress levels on the horse, limiting its performance, making it uneasy, hurting with move and all the consequences associated with that.
Traditional saddles trees also absorbs moisture (from the environment as well as sweat) which causes parts to distort and crack, tack that loosen and rust, canvas rotting and warped saddle trees that eventually tear the leather. The result is that good saddles otherwise, gets destroyed in a relatively short time and injures riders and horses.
RALDIE saddle trees, manufactured in Tennessee USA, annually sells up to 100,000 saddle trees, making it the number one saddle tree manufacturer in the world. As these trees are sold to saddle makers all over the world, it should say something as every saddle makers name hangs in the balance as the tree is the basis of a good or poor saddle.
A wide range of, mostly western and trail saddle trees are cast in one piece from a polyethylene blend of advanced plastics with exact sizes as ordered. The material allows bending and stress over long periods, returning to its original shape with no biological factors influencing its deterioration. Nails remain fixed in the tree and no moisture is absorbed by the tree. Saddles of consistent quality in the gut of the saddle, can now be made.
RALIDE saddle trees are subjected to severe tests for tugging, weight movement, carrying capacity, flexibility to return to its original shape, resulting in RALIDE offering a 5 year guarantee on its saddle trees.
Insist on a RALIDE saddle tree when next purchasing a saddle. Or, if you wish, make you own saddle by contacting us for a detailed tutorial in the form of a book and DVD, including patterns for a true western trail saddle that you can customize to your own specifications. Fittings are also available and just a click away.
Harties Horse Trail Safaris is situated on the breath taking Groot Verlange Stud farm in Hartbeespoort.
Groot Verlange Stud is nestled right up against the Zilkaatsnek Nature Reserve, with stunning scenery all around, making it the perfect setting for horse back riding and horse back safaris. www.hartieshorsetrailsafaris.co.za
The south-eastern Mpumalanga escarpment between Amersfoort and Piet Retief offers some of the most beautiful countryside in Africa with rolling hills escalating into peaks before dipping into the Natal lowlands.
Some 30 km from Amersfoort on the Piet Retief dirt road (around 300km or 3.5hours drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria) liesWelgelegen Farm, a family owned cattle and sheep farm where groups of up to 16 persons can enjoy nature from horseback along picturesque horse trails, on foot through magnificent ancient hiking trails or by mountain bike (bring your own bicycle, no motorcycles) through mountain, grasslands & forest. Well behaved local boer-type horses from a herd of more than 40 horses are selected, most being offspring of those famous mounts that distinguished themselves during the Anglo Boer War a century ago.
In a rustic though comfortable ambiance, up to 16 persons or 3 couples sharing and a communal room with 5 stack beds, can enjoy a weekend or longer of pure country life either catered on dinner (meat and side dishes supplied - you braai it yourself) , bed (linen supplied or own sleeping bags) and breakfast basis or self-catering if you wish, in a common kitchen area with a common fridge and stove and braai facilities.
During winter an indoor braai area with hearth offers a warm and well needed resting spot for active people, back from a day of riding horse trails, hiking or biking.www.horsehikeandbike.co.za/