Garry McClintock, ( shown here hard at work on a custom saddle ), is always willing to take the time to explain the finer points of saddlemaking to anyone interested enough to ask.
All our saddles are handmade from only the finest natural materials available, & all our designs have withstood the tests of time & working horsemanship. We stand behind everything we make, absolutely 100%, no questions asked. I personally make each of the saddles included on this web site. I learned the trade from Lawrence Dewitt of Eugene, Oregon in 1973 after being in another leather business for 5 years. Melvillian Leather grew to where we were producing $50,000 worth of belts a month for Penny's and Sears. That was too much. I just wanted to be a craftsman, so I sold out and have been making saddles ever since.
Each saddle is unique unto itself. No two saddles are exactly alike. We put names with them for referal purposes, often naming them after the riders who had them built. I ride both horses and mules and have for thirty years and still have to tie my feet together to stay on top. (Just joking!) We all do things a little different and are built a little differently, so I work with your ideas as well as those I have found to work. My greatest joy with animals has been back country travel and ranch work. I have used primitive and modern methods, travelled with princes and paupers, gone hungry and feasted, but always learned to respect my companions, whoever they have been. My passion has been the California Horseman and have spent time with many I have been lucky enough to meet and wished for those I missed. I long for those who are gone. As I can serve you with your needs, I will. If you have ideas that work, we will use them. If they will cause problems, I will tell you.
I use only rawhide covered wood trees built by Francis Bowden of Anthony, New Mexico, who has built quality saddle trees for more than 35 years and has better than a good idea of how they work and fit the animals we use.
I have been more than happy with Herman Oak saddle skirting leather that is an institution to itself. Without a doubt, it is the best western saddle making leather in the world. It holds tooling better and longer than any leather anywhere. It will live longer than most of us. I use it exclusively.
All the hardware used is solid brass or stainless steel as available and requested. A miminum of forty hours goes into each plain saddle and with a backlog of thirty saddles, many of which are tooled, my waiting list is approximately one year. Thanks for your patience. It will be well worth the wait.
I require a $500 deposit to be on the waiting list, which is non-refundable but is transferable and guarantees the price quoted for one year. As of January 2012 the base price is $2500 round skirts $2800 large square skirts for a plain saddle, complete and ready to ride. The light weight trail saddles do not include a back cinch. Any stamping, carving or rawhide work is extra. The best way to assure a good fit for the horses you use, is for you to know what has worked best in the past. If you are not sure, bring them by for a fitting. If this is not possible, you can make patterns and send photos. I can help determine what will work best (look under fitting horses or mules for specifics). Remember, horses change with age and weight so it is best to fit types. I generally use semi-quarter horse bars of 92 degrees of angle or a full quarter horse angle of 95 degrees, with 6 1/4, 6 1/2 or 7 inches of bar spread with 8 to 8 1/2 inches of height. If you are thoroughly confused, call and we can talk about it. Thanks for visiting our site, come back again soon and we'll have more.
A personal message from Garry...