Crunching the numbers

Posted by RodandDenise on September 21, 2011

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two videos about how Western saddles fit horses available on our website.

The cows we have been custom grazing for the summer go home next week, so after that it will be time for our annual trip to Edmonton to buy wood for the saddle trees for the next year.  This means an afternoon at least of figuring out what we have so I know what we need.  This year I decided to totally redo our calculations since we have changed a few things since I last redid them – probably about 10 years ago.  One thing I needed to figure out was what proportion of Wades, wood post swell forks and metal horn trees we have been making lately.  So I went to our database and figured out… 

that to make the same proportions as we have been making over the last three years, out of 150 trees (which is a good year’s production for us) we would make 85 Wades, 20 wood post swell forks and 45 metal horn forks.  Checking back with what I had figured 10 years ago – 85 Wades, 15 wood post swell forks and 50 metal horn forks.  So I guess things haven’t changed all that much…

Looking at the stats, they confirm what we already knew - that the core group we build for, working cowboys, hasn't changed.  That is Rod's background, and they are our favorite group of customers.  They really appreciate the difference a good, hand made tree can make in their saddles.  There has been a slight shift to more wood post swell forks from the metal horns, but we kinda knew that too.  Rod never got taught to build wood post swell forks, as the guy he learned from hadn't built one yet.  They were something newer when he started building in 1996, and they have continued to gain in popularity, as shown by this week's production: Rod built three of them. 

The one on the right is a 12” wood post Packer.  The other two are going to the same maker as “hunting trees”.  They are 11 ½” wood post modified Chuck Sheppards.  He wanted the horn to be 3” minimum diameter, so a lot larger than normal (you can see the difference).  And he ordered slots in the cantle to tie gear to.  These are going to northern BC for an outfitter.  Sounds like he needs some new saddles and if they like the basic design this saddle maker has come up with, they will order a few of this same style.  Now that may skew the numbers a bit…

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