American Saddlery

Where Cotton meets Corn

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.

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RALIDE saddle trees

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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.


RALIDE saddle trees

“Trailsaddles” brings you a range of affordable original American western saddles of good quality (made in America) and bridges the gap between exclusive high priced western saddles and low quality Far Eastern and other imitations. Our large and regular import traffic from the US for other agricultural equipment sold within the group of companies allow us to save dramatically on the cost of imports and we pass this saving direct on to you. Special orders are always possible whereby the saddle of your dreams can be ordered from our large catalogue range of saddles.

“Trailsaddles” are aimed at the recreational trail rider and the daily range rider with the goal to supply a comfortable, attractive and safe saddle for both horse and rider. A combination of leather, suede leather and ultra strong genuine cordura fabric (used in US military webbing and other applications), built on Ralide and other high quality saddle trees, ensures long and comfortable riding life.

As recreational trail riders also include middle aged and larger persons, (in general South African men  are fairly tall and heavy) at “Trailsaddles” we ensure we have inventory of 16” to 18” saddles to cater for this group as well as smaller 13” to 15” saddles for youth and women.

Gullets widths of 6”to 7” are standard to cater for our smaller Boer-type 14 – 15 hand horses while wide 7+” gullets can be ordered.

A South African made cattleman saddle, built on genuine imported American Ralide saddle trees shall soon be launched, avoiding the high customs duty payable on fully imported saddles. You can also build your own saddle with a genuine Ralide tree available at “Trailsaddles”.

A showroom is conveniently located in a low traffic density area on the outskirts of Pretoria, off the N4 and near the N1 freeways where you can browse to find the saddle of your choice. Even our showroom, hosted within one of our group factory buildings does not attract overheads, so we are able to pass these saving on to you, again.

Where can you find high quality saddles from the US’s largest saddle making companies for under R2,500 including VAT? And its certainly no Indian made military style saddle, that’s for sure and you would agree!

Western Saddles

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.


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Stetson Geskiedenis

John B. Stetson is gebore in 1830 in Orange, New Jersey, waar sy pa Stephen Stetson ‘n hoedemaker was.

John B. Stetson het ‘n ruwe hoed vir hom gemaak van dik bever felt terwyl hy vir goud gepan het in Colorado. Volgens die legende, het Stetson ‘n hoed gemaak, op ‘n jagtog. Hy het sy vriende gewys hoe hy ‘n hoed kan maak van bever felt sonder om dit te looi. Bever felt is ligter, het hou ook hul vorm, en weer weerstaan weer en reen beter??. So dis die beste hoed om te dra as jy heel dag in die son is. Alhoewel dit waterdig is laat dit wel lug deur as die hoed droog is.

So na die jag het Stetson die hoed aanhou dra, want dit was baie gemaklik. Soos sy pad aangestap het, het ‘n Cowboy die hoed gesien, hom aangepas, gekoop met ‘n $5 goue muntstuk en die Wilde Weste ingery met die eerste Stetson hoed op sy kop.

In 1865 het John B. Stetson ‘n klein kamer gehuur, die gereedskap wat hy nodig gehad het en $10 se pelt. Net daar en dan is die eerste Stetson gemaak en is die maatskappy gestig. ‘n Jaar later is die regte Cowboy Hoed (Hat of the West) gemaak met die naam Boss of the Plains. Van toe af is Stetson sinoniem met kwaliteit, duursaamheid en prag. Stetson Universiteit en “Stetson University College of Law” in Florida is vernoem na John B. Stetson in 1899 vir sy bydraes tot die skool.

Vandag word Stetsons steed in Amerika Texas gemaak. Dit word deur massa produksie maatskappye gemaak in Indië en ander Oosterse lande wat net oor kwantiteit omgee nie. Dis hoekom as jy ‘n Stetson koop, koop jy hom vir leeftyd. Hy sal altyd daar wees en hy sal altyd goed lyk. ‘n Stetson laat jou voel soos John Wayne op sy beste. Hy laat jou voel soos Lucky Luke op sy gelukkigste. Hy laat jou lyk soos Clint Eastwood en Ronald Reagan in hulle prima. Hulle vertel klere maak nie die man nie maar ‘n Stetson hoed kom naby.

Stetson is nie net ‘n hoed. Dis DIE hoed.

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