Plastic Western Saddles?
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.Â Plastic saddles never really caught on and production ceased in 1949. In the end, folks just preferred leather saddles.