We are no longer building saddle trees. We have two saddle fit videos available on our westernsaddlefit.com website. Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, aimed at riders, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo while the six hour series Well Beyond the Basics, aimed more for professionals but understandable by anyone, is available by streaming on Vimeo. (We left this website up because we have had many requests to keep the information available.)
Special Cantle Requests
There are always variations on any theme, and cantles are no different. Bevel edges, “shovel” cantles, special shapes to cantles, no dish cantles and slots in cantles are some of the different things we have been asked to do – so far…
There are a couple of reasons makers ask for a bevel on the edge of their cantle. They either want it large enough to affect the look of their cantle, or they want a small bevel which won’t be noticed in the final saddle but which helps them get the edge of their cantle binding set back just enough from the face of the cantle so it has less chance of wearing from contact with the rider. Here are some pictures of a few of the bevel cantles we have made over the years.
Please note – when making the bevel cantle, we build it so the seat length would be correct without the bevel. This means it will measure a bit longer with the bevel. Also, depending on the width of the bevel, you may wish to think carefully about the amount of dish you are ordering compared to the rest of the specs of the cantle. Our Cantle Conundrums page explains more about why.
|3/8 inch bevel on 3 1/4 x 12 1/4 regular cantle at 35 degrees||3/8 inch bevel on 4 x 12 1/2 regular cantle at 37.5 degrees|
|3/8 inch bevel on 5 x 11 Taylor cantle at 40 degrees||3/8 inch bevel on 5 x 12 regular cantle at 37.5 degrees|
|1/2 inch bevel on 3 1/2 x 12 1/2 regular cantle at 35 degrees||1/2 inch bevel on 4 x 12 regular cantle at 35 degrees|
|1/2 inch bevel on a 4 x 12 Taylor cantle at 37.5 degrees||1/2 inch bevel on 4 1/2 x 12 regular cantle at 40 degrees|
|3/4 inch bevel on a 4 x 12 Taylor cantle at 37.5 degrees||3/4 inch bevel on a 5 x 12 regular cantle at 40 degrees|
|7/8 inch bevel on a 4 x 12 1/2 regular cantle at 37.5 degrees||1 3/16 inch bevel on a 4 x 12 1/2 regular cantle at 40 degrees|
Spade shaped cantles
When we are asked to make a “shovel cantle”, our question is “What is your definition of shovel cantle?” There are a few different definitions we have heard: a Taylor style cantle, a very stood up cantle or a spade shaped cantle. We explain more about how making a cantle a Taylor style affects its look in the blog post Taylor versus regular cantles – see the difference. There are lots of pictures of regular and Taylor cantles at different angles on the other pages in this section, so what is left are the spade shaped cantles.
Therefore, here are a few pictures of some spade shaped cantles. Generally these cantles are taller, more narrow than wide, and are ordered at a more stood up than laid back angle. Some have more “spade” than others, depending on height and width correlations and customer preferences.
|4 x 11 shovel shaped regular cantle at 37.5 degrees||4 1/2 x 12 shovel shaped regular cantle at 40 degrees|
|4 3/4 x 10 shovel shaped regular cantle at 40 degrees||4 3/4 x 12 shovel shaped regular cantle at 40 degrees|
|4.5 x 11 shovel shaped Taylor cantle at 40 degrees||4 1/2 x 12 shovel shaped Taylor cantle at 40 degrees|
|5 x 10 1/2 shovel shaped Taylor cantle at 40 degrees||5 x 11 shovel shaped Taylor cantle at 40 degrees|
We occasionally are asked to put slots in the cantles, either for the look of an old Santa Fe style or because people like them for tying equipment through or just ease in handling their saddle. You need to be aware that it weakens a cantle to put holes in it like this, but we will build them if you order them.
Some customers have their own preferred shape or idea of a shape, either for aesthetic reasons or because it helps them construct the saddle the way they like. We will work with you to build the look of cantle you want. As we explain on our Cantle Conundrums page, the cantle needs to fit into the “box” to get the correct height, width and angle, but within that box, the shape can vary. Here’s a few of the “different than our normal shape” cantles we have made so far.
|Special shape on a 4 x 10.5 35 degree Taylor cantle||Special shape on a 4 1/2 x 11 1/2 40 degree Taylor cantle|
|Special shape on a 5 x 11 40 degree Taylor cantle||Extra wide cantle - 4 x 14 37.5 degree regular cantle|
|3 x 14 1/2 comfort cantle at 35 degrees||Comfort cantle from the side|
And then there are the really different ones. We have done a few cantle modifications for riders with physical disabilities to enable them to ride more easily. Some we have made just for the aesthetics, either to be historically accurate or just because the customer likes the look of something different.
|No dish in this cantle! 3 x 12 at a very laid back angle.||There really isn't any dish in this cantle. It's perfectly flat...|
|Asymmetric cantle built for a rider whose hip was fused after an accident.||The saddle looked relatively normal when it was finished, but you could see the difference if you knew what to look for.|
|Tree made for a paraplegic rider.||13 inches high, 14 inches wide.|