Re: Taylor's Spencer?
On tack, I would suggest either Doug Kidd (Arkansas) or Shawn Pascuzzi (Texas). I have seen and ridden saddles made by both and can vouch for either of them, in terms of fit and authenticity. Both are excellent saddlers and both know horses. Doug and Shawn also give free advice.
If you want to use an original saddle tree, be mindful that original saddle trees were made for horses that in many ways were built differently than todays animals. Your saddle should be made for today's horse, which is often larger in the shoulder and withers area. A saddle that is too small, especially in the gullet, could cause serious problems for him. Best suggestion is to get your horse first then have a saddle made to fit. There are ways to measure a horse for saddle fit, and Doug or Shawn can assist you in this.
If you already have your saddle, find a horse that fits it. It might help to have someone along who knows enough about saddle fit to help you determine a correct fitting. Extra padding can help, but remember that an extra blanket on a horse means more unwelcome heat for him on warm days.
Henry B. Crawford
Curator of History
Museum of Texas Tech University