Sunday, May 4, 2014

Saddle Bags for the Trail

Ford wrote to ask "Where (did you get) and who makes your saddle bags?"

The two saddle bags I use most can't be found on the normal tack sites as one of them is not being offered anymore to my knowledge and the other one was custom made by a friend in San Antonio to match a saddle. The saddle bags in the picture above below are: At left - an older set that I have had for 15 years or so and even though they are well made from quality leather, I have had to repair the side stitching once or twice, due to rough use and not the craftsmanship. The saddle bag in the middle was made by friend of mine in San Antonio to match the carving on a old saddle; and the bag at right, actually a canvas cantle bag, was made by Sawtooth Saddle Company.

I think the saddle bags that Ford was asking about is the one at top left, and again this particular saddle bag is not offered anymore.  The good news is that there are many makers out there making great saddle bags.  I have posted pictures of two offerings of the same style as my old bags.

Sawtooth Saddle Company, well known for their excellent saddle also offers about every piece of custom tack you would want.  They mad the Cantle bag pictured at top right.  Cantle bags can be used by themselves or tied behind the cantle of the saddle after saddle bags are positioned.  One of the Sawtooth saddle bags available is the one pictured at right.  Everything they make is quality so you can't go wrong.  

Craig Cameron also offers a very nice saddle bag in the same style - small bag with single strap closure.  I really like the smaller bags since I can pack get everything I think I need for most day rides into the mountain.  I like to carry a Hoof Wrap, Vet wrap, compressed gauze (actually tampons), wound powder, binoculars (Leupold 8x42mm Acadia), small Plammers (fencing tool), small amount of spare wire for fence fixing, a couple foot section of saddle string for tack repairs, and usually a bag of jerky and some peanuts.  During snake season I'll pack greased up tubing in a sealed sack just in case.  All this will easily fit in these small saddle bags.  And like Sawtooth, everything Craig Cameron offers is high quality gear.    

  Check out both links and see if either will meet your needs Ford, and drop me a line if you find something.  Safe Journey. 

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