Aside World Magazine
Winter 2022 Issue
Below Article and Photos submitted by : Jacquelynn Holly
My current project is rebuilding an original Montgomery Ward catalogue sidesaddle. I purchased this saddle from a private seller in Arizona a couple years ago. The saddle was literally hanging by its rigging in an old broken-down barn. I can only surmise that the dry Arizona weather is what kept this saddle’s tree in decent shape.
It wasn’t until I was dropping the skirts that I noticed a very faint Montgomery Ward stamp on the nearside skirt – so exciting! Also, while I was dropping the skirts, the receiving hardware for the leaping horn literally fell out of the tree! The rivets had worn down and were no longer holding in the hardware. It gave me a chance to inspect the tree even closer and since I am rawhiding the tree, the hardware will still be accessible on the outside of the rawhide.
Late one night while scrolling aimlessly through eBay, I found my inspiration for the finished look of this saddle. It will be loud, but not obnoxious, and truly western with a fabulous flirtatious flair. This saddle will have a turquoise suede seat with matching horns, and it will be paired with a stunning turquoise rawhide braided headstall and breastcollar. The stitching on the saddle will be turquoise and the offside flaunts a large, convenient purse!
This saddle will be converted to fully western, featuring large square skirts with saddle strings.
I had so much fun with the tooling on these skirts! I incorporated antique embossing rolls (from the 1800s) with a modern longhorn bull head stamp my friend recently purchased. I want this saddle to say “tough, rugged cowgirl, who isn’t afraid to have fun while she’s working”.
I am so excited to see how this saddle continues to come together!