Monday, July 22, 2013

10 Most Popular Saddles of 2013: #9

This post is part of a series exploring the 10 most popular saddles from Horse Saddle Shop over the first half of 2013.

#9: Billy Cook 2181 | Price: $1622.50

We should start by saying that five out of our Top 10 saddles are from Billy Cook in Sulphur, Oklahoma. Horse Saddle Shop is the largest dealer of Billy Cook saddles in the world and proud of it. Sure, a custom saddle from Billy Cook can take some time to get your hands on, but what you're getting is much more than a saddle. Made by hand in the U.S.A. from some of the most talented craftsmen in the business, what you receive is a useable piece of art that will last you a lifetime.

The Billy Cook Wade Tree Ranch Saddle 2181 comes in at #9 on our list of Top 10 saddles for 2013.

If you’re looking at this saddle, chances are you’re going to be doing work in it. So let’s start by looking at what makes this such a sturdy ride.

Billy Cook built this on a Wade rawhide covered tree for extra strength and shock absorption. The rawhide also works to protect the wood tree from moisture. It’s built with a wrapped post horn and comes with 7/8 position flat plate rigging with brass hardware. The flat plate rigging is a compromise between on-tree and in-skirt rigging. It's meant to provide the extra strength that you'd get from on-tree rigging with less bulk that comes with in-skirt.

The 2181 is built with a hard seat, a source of some debate especially for those used to trail saddles. Though a soft seat may be preferable on the trails, the hard seat gives a working rider a slick surface for easily mounting and dismounting and is a cooler ride – meaning less heat, less moisture, and, in-turn, less discomfort during a long day in the saddle.

The 4” cantle is just high enough to provide the necessary support and is adorned with deep leather tooling, rawhide binding, and a large Billy Cook stamp so everyone knows you’re riding in the real thing!

You’ll appreciate the roper stirrups this saddle comes with, although many of our customers switch them out with 4” leather lined bell or moran stirrups.

Like we said before, this saddle is truly a piece of American Made craftsmanship. We love the deep 3/4 basket stamped tooling in high quality chestnut, russet, and pecan leather. The saddle strings provide extra room for your daily essentials.

Plain and simple, this saddle made the Top 10 because it is a tough, well built workhorse that looks and rides like a custom saddle. And for the price, you’re getting more than what you pay for.

You can get more information on this saddle, including a video review, over at

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