Since the time of the Spaniards, saddles and Vaqueros have been a part of the Mexican culture.
There was a time when a “fine Mexican saddle” was a prized possession of the American cowboy. They were a fine handcrafted work of art, beautifully tooled and made with the finest leather and materials available.
But sadly, some unscrupulous retailers have taken advantage of the reputation and using cheap materials and unskilled labor, produce saddles not worthy of the rich history of their predecessors.
Jesus and Juan Caraveo grew up in their grandfather’s ranch near Chihuahua, Mexico and experienced firsthand how a Vaquero depended on his/her saddle. The saddle had to be well-made and sturdy enough to handle the stress of roping a bull, yet comfortable enough to sit in all day. The saddle needed to be pleasing to the eye without taking all the Vaqueros wages.
The Caraveo brothers saw an opportunity to go back to the time of the hand crafted, well-made saddle and in 1980 Cavalga Saddles was born.
Working with the Vaqueros on the ranch, designing and building saddles and then testing them in real ranch conditions, the saddles we now sell evolved into a saddle worthy of the “fine Mexican Saddle” reputation.
The Caraveo brothers found the most skilled saddle makers and combined them with the best hides and materials to make the finest handmade saddles.
In an effort to control quality from start to finish, Cavalga Saddles decided to make their own trees 15 years ago. The tree is the foundation of the saddle and is most important. Starting with aged Mountain Pine, free from knots, the tree is carved from solid blocks of wood and wrapped in rawhide that is hand stitched with rawhide thread. Some saddle makers prefer Oak trees, but we have found Oak is too rigid and harsh, the Mountain Pine is sturdy but has a small amount of flexibility to absorb shock. The end product is of such quality that we sell our trees to many saddle makers worldwide. Our trees can be made full, semi and half quarter horse bars.
Next we use the best cowhide from the top tannery in Guadalajara that still tan hides in tumblers to produce an evenly tanned hide, soft and supple yet sturdy. We have used this tanner for the last 20 years because of their superior product. The hide is hand cut and hand formed to shape, then is passed to craftsmen who hand tool the artwork on the saddle. Combining this hide with our tree we have a saddle that passes through two quality control inspectors before we release your new saddle.
In 1985 our company started manufacturing custom-made saddles for wholesalers and distributors in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. By 1995, Cavalga Saddles added Distributors in Europe and Australia too. Our plant is capable of producing over 1000 saddles per month with fully standardized quality.
A common thread you see running through Cavalga Saddles is “handmade”. By using skilled artisans Cavalga Saddles produces a truly beautiful and well-made saddle you would be proud to ride on.
Look more into our website, watch the videos of how each saddle is constructed and see just exactly how each saddle is made, the steps involved in construction how the tooling is hand stamped, what our company is all about.
Don’t be fooled by cheap imitation saddles, Cavalga Saddles produces Fine Mexican Saddles.