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General Saddle Education



Guadalajara is not just the name of Mexico’s second-biggest city, it is also the namesake of The ‘Guadalajara Saddle Horn’ (as seen on the Natural Horseman Saddles Custom Ranch Roper).

These horns are designed for the rigorous demands of dallying large and heavy animals, generally horses or cattle…
The shape of the horn is deliberate – Short and wide.
The lack of height and greater width offers versatility, strength and practicality.
Its low height stays out of the way of the body when agility is paramount.

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Born from the Spanish and Mexican Vaqueros, the Guadalajara horn allowed the roping, dallying and slowing of a cow by allowing the rope to slide, get tightened once more and then tighten against its upper “lip” to keep the dallies firm.
With a ‘lower’-sitting horn, the horse has extra leverage and can hold greater weights. This important daily tool of the cowboy also features what is called a ‘dally wrap’: an extra layer of leather (usually mule hide with a suede finish) or material to help protect the horn and offer better grip for the rope.

The Guadalajara horn has traditionally been part of a ‘WADE’ saddle tree. This style tree was first produced in the USA: The story told is that Aaron Wade fell in love with a saddle (purchased in Deadwood, South Dakota during the late 1800’s) while using it on many a horse His son, Cliff, brought it to Walt Youngman (a tree maker for Hamley Saddlery in Pendleton, Oregon). They gave Walt the task of making a saddle ‘as good’ if not better.
Tom Dorrance was known to Walt, and between the two of them, they enhanced the functionality of the saddle somewhat. With no original saddle maker to take credit, they decided to call the saddle a WADE saddle to honor Aaron Wade.

The WADE tree was popularised by legendary horsemen such as Tom and Bill Dorrance and Ray Hunt. Its design has inspired many a saddle, including the Natural Horseman Saddles CUSTOM RANCH ROPER. Combining strength, versatility, a secure/pleasant deep seat and the ability to afford your horse full and comfortable movement (the priority for us), the RANCH ROPER is an ultimately classic western saddle.
It would be a comprehensive saddle for work or play to see out your riding days, no matter how hard you rideā€¦ and observers would always admire your choice!
Check out the NHS Custom Ranch Roper online at under Western Saddles and build yours…

You can also see a quick video tour of our ‘Roper Saddle Tour’ below…