Plastic Western Saddles?

December 19, 2008 by  
Filed under General Saddle Topics, Happenings, Saddle Types

Sound crazy? Well, it’s true. During a short period of time in the 1940′s, the All Western Plastics Company in Nebraska produced plastic saddles.

It was a short-lived venture with only 65 saddles produced, but they are a highly collectible item. Wyoming rancher, Tom Harrower, owns 46 of them and is always on the hunt for the remaining 19.

One plastic saddle he won’t get his hands on is the Rose Parade Saddle made for Roy Rogers. It’s on display at the Roy Rogers Museum in Branson, Missouri.

The plastic saddles were built on traditional bull-hide covered wood trees with leather ground seats. From there, the remaining pieces were cut from plastic and soldered together. For color and decoration, were cut out and overlaid.

Plastic saddles are certainly durable, and also waterproof. But they do get stiff in winter and a bit sticky and stretchy in summer.  Plastic saddles never really caught on and production ceased in 1949. In the end, folks just preferred leather saddles.

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Comments

4 Responses to “Plastic Western Saddles?”
  1. Sweaty in summer? Sweaty at any time of year I would think! Stick (pun) to good old leather and let everything breathe.

  2. Jim Quintard says:

    Regarding your article on plastic saddles. Somebody has givin you a lot of miss imformation about the plastic saddles. These saddles were made in Lusk, Wyoming in the late 40s, before the factory moved to Scottsbluff, Ne. in 1949. Tom Harrower is a good freind of mine and only owns 10 of these saddles. if you would like to conntact him let me know. I was raised about 50 miles from Lusk, I was a teen age ranch kid and visited this saddle shop every time we got to Lusk. I have one of there leather saddles my dad bought in 1947, he gave it to me when I got out of the marine corps in 1955.
    Jim

  3. Richard Rumpf says:

    My wife has a blue and white one she would to sell. Do you know what it is worth.

  4. Tom Harrower says:

    Mr. Rumpf, I have been researching and compiling the history of the All Western Plastics Company, the company that made the plastic saddles. I am also an avid collector of plastic saddles and related equipment. I am real familiar with the market on plastic items made by this company. If you will contact me, I could enlighten you of the value of your plastic saddle. Please email to kwagon00@gmail.com.

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