Custom Saddles, Tack, and Repair
Mike Brennan makes saddles and tack at his Pistol River Leather shop
in Meeker, Colorado, as well as doing saddle and tack repair and restoration work.
See some examples of his leather work below.
Ask Mike about his repair and restoration
specialty work. He will repair your saddle and ship it
back promptly by UPS. Call Mike today for an estimate.
Here are some examples of Pistol River Leather
tack and accessories.
Click on photos for larger views.
I was raised on a ranch that has been in
my family for over one hundred years, and continues to produce
commercial beef cattle and fine quarter horses. The first 36
years of my life were spent horseback. The horses were wrangled
as soon as it was light enough to find them, breakfast eaten,
and the day started as early as possible. No one used trucks,
and horse trailers were not even available at that time, so it
was simply a matter of striking a long trot to where the work
was for that day, sometimes many miles. The cattle were
gathered, worked, branded and doctored, moved to new pasture,
and then it was the same long trot home for dinner, often well
I had the “opportunity” to ride many saddles,
the good, bad, and the ugly. Working the horses that hard
required four to six different horses for each cowboy and
virtually no one had more than one saddle. Each horse became
much leaner as the summer work progressed. This changed their
basic shape, sometimes drastically. Getting the perfect fit for
each horse was simply out of the question, but fortunately, most
horses had similar conformation, so the good saddles did not
sore any of the mounts. As time went on, some of the cheaper
saddles began to show up, which very soon began putting sores
and white spots on the horses.
My point in all this is to illustrate that
a very high quality, well made saddle will fit a fairly broad
range of horses without putting sores on them. Of course, the
top side of the saddle is at least as important to the comfort
of the person who virtually lives there for many long and
arduous hours each day.
A saddle becomes a work of art when
carefully crafted with the best materials available, with loving
attention to every detail, no matter how small, and with
pleasing and functional lines and symmetry. It is a true work of
art when it will fit a wide majority of horses without causing
them discomfort or injury. It must also allow the rider a degree
of comfort that will allow them to spend all day in it doing
hard, rough, and sweaty work, while still feeling as good at the
end of the day as it did at first light. Then, and only then,
will a saddle become a true work of art. The look and feel of a
truly beautiful saddle is apparent without embellishment of any
At this point, the
beautiful carving and stamping add immensely to the eye appeal
of this work of art. The maker may raise the saddle to
such a high level of beauty and refinement that it becomes an
art object which may well never see the back of a horse.
However, in the same way that a wedding cake will be worthless
if the cake itself is a tasteless mass of dough regardless of
how much or how fancy the frosting, a beautiful saddle must
contain the heart and soul of a truly functional working saddle.
Only then will the artistic embellishments so pleasing to the
eye become an enhancement, rather than just fancy frosting on a
Call me today at 970-878-4346 to
discuss a saddle that will fit you and your horse and be a true,
functional work of art.
Mike M. Brennan