Meet Our Saddlery Expert; Head Saddle Designer,
Tommy Holmes is the Head Saddle Designer for Casa Zia Saddlery and offers
our company a unique base of knowledge and experience. Here on the Casa Zia
website, we are extending our privilege to you in hopes that you will be able
to use the information provided for your benefit and find answers to your questions.
Holmes is a rodeo professional with over 50 years of roping under his belt,
and multiple years of training and experience in saddle sales. His experience
with horses, rodeo, and roping dates back to his younger years, and now at age
75, Tommy continues to rodeo on occasion and ropes often. He's roped calves
and participated in competitions in team roping as well as bull roping. He farms
a ranch in Texas, which he has done throughout his life, and continues to teach
individuals how to rope and rodeo as well as assist men and women with their
questions about saddle purchases, saddle care, and related products.
Saddle Fit and Sizing
Saddle Fit and Seat Size:
Why is a proper saddle fit so important?
The proper saddle fit is important because "improper fit of a saddle is harmful
to your horse." If the incorrect fit of saddle is used on a horse it can be
painful and physically damaging to the shoulders and back of a horse and it
can also make for a very uncomfortable experience for the rider.
How you determine the proper seat size?
The seat size is determined by the measurements of the rider as well as the
size of the horse.
How do you find your saddle measurement? (from
where to where?)
Saddle measurements are taken by measuring the distance from the inside of the
swell to the inside of the cannel. The measurements are taken in inches.
Leather Care Guide:
What are the best methods for leather care?
To clean saddles, one must use a common saddle soap, which is a relatively
inexpensive cleaning agent designed for use on saddlery.
How Often Do I Clean My Saddle? Tommy believes that can be determined by pure
common sense, need based evaluation. It is very important to take good care
of your saddle, so if you think your saddle is dirty, clean it.
There are different types of leather care, but my personal preference is to
use pure olive oil. This method of care has been handed down by saddle professionals
all of my life.
I prefer olive oil to the many other choices because leather will absorb it
more than any other oil. A bottle of pure olive oil will cost about 35 dollars
a bottle depending on where you buy it and can save a rider hundreds of dollars
and precious years of saddle life.
How Often Should I Oil My Saddle?
According to Tommy, it all depends how much you use it, how dry it gets, how
long it is in the sun, and how much rain it absorbs. Make sure to oil your saddle
when necessary, because as Tommy puts it, "the life of the saddle depends on
how often and how well it is oiled."
Things One Shouldn't Do Regarding Saddle Care:
Do NOT let your saddle dry out.
Do NOT leave your saddle out in the sun or rain for extended periods of time.
Is There a Difference in Care between Saddles and Strap goods?
No. Headstalls, reins, and any other leather goods, all require oil. You don't
need to buy a different kind of oil for the different products. As long as you
oil them when often and take good care of them, you should enjoy a long product life