Martin Saddlery to Award Versatility Ranch Horse Champion at Black Hills Stock Show

Martin Saddlery is proud to present the championship saddle for the Versatility Ranch Horse Competition for the 2018 AQHA Qualifying Season at the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo! This custom-made Martin performance saddle is designed for the rider valuing versatility and quality. Complete with a dally horn, this saddle can be used for steer stopping, roping, and transitions perfectly to the show pen with esthetic craftsmanship and artistry second to none. The saddle will be awarded to the all-around champion horse of Versatility Ranch Horse Competition at the BHSS and affiliated events. The VRH competition will be January 27-28 at the James Kjerstad Events Center at the Central States Fairgrounds and will contain ranch cutting, ranch reining and cow work, ranch riding and trail, and ranch conformation classes. Entries close January 18, 2019.

Martin Saddlery will be onsite with performance saddles and expert sales staff at the 2019 BHSS in booth B 48-50 & B 59-61 in LaCroix Hall. Martin Saddlery is, and always will be, a custom saddle shop making saddles by hand in Texas.

Performance Saddle Details

Narrow, comfortable seat keeps riders securely positioned Gullet Width: 7″ Standard, 6.5″, 6.75″, 7.5″, 8″
Seat pocket keeps rider balanced and stable Gullet Height: 8.75″
Refined leg cut give a close contact with the horse Cantle Height: 3″
Handmade, custom quality and classic style Horn Height:3.5″
Fenders allow legs freedom of movement as needed Horn Cap: 2″
Available with D Rig or Adjustable Rig Tree Sizes: 15.5″, 16″, 16.5″, 17″


For more info on the Martin Performance saddle, call 888-308-2386, visit our website, or check out the Martin Saddlery on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Reins: Your Lifeline of Communication

Our equine athlete partners are great communicators if we just listen.  One way of communicating with our horses is through our reins.  Reins are not meant to just control our horses, but instead are a means of feeling what the horse is saying.  There are many types and styles of reins, but one thing remains the same, reins are a lifeline to communication to our horses as we ride.

Reins are vital in our horses understanding what we are asking of them.  For a horse to be responsive to our requests, the type of reins is critical.  A quality rein has some body and weight to it, which allows a horse to respond quicker as it can feel our request more easily as well as feel our release quicker as well.  As a rider, you will feel more confident in your ride if you have a great rein that is comfortable to you as well as one that is functional.


Martin Saddlery prides itself in craftsmanship that is second to none in that our leather reins have that “broken-in” feel the minute you begin using them.  We have a special process that makes the leather of the reins soft, subtle, and feel as though you have used them for ages.  We use only high quality harness leather, paired with exceptional hardware that will stand the test of time.  Our leather reins vary from split reins, roping reins, braided leather, quick change reins, latigo laced reins, plait braided reins to biothane and leather reins.

Along with our top-notch leather reins, we also offer a variety of other styles of reins.  Whether you are looking for the quick pickup and release of the braided rein, mule tape reins, hand braided nylon reins, braided nylon reins with knots, or our blended mohair barrel reins you will be surprisingly pleased with the next level of reins.


No matter the need of reins, we go the extra mile to ensure that our reins will fit your needs.  Not all reins are created equal and the feel of your communication device cannot be measured online.  Martin Saddlery specializes in a quality product that has an immense feel that is pleasing to both you and your horse.  For all of Martin Saddlery’s reins, checkout and visit your local Martin dealer to feel for yourself what sets our reins apart from others.


For Contact:
Hannah Haugen
Public Relations Coordinator

Get Connected

According to Gandhi you should “Live as if you were to die tomorrow, and learn as if you were to live forever”.  As horse enthusiasts, connecting with other horsemen is a constant source of learning for those who share a passion for horses.  By definition, a connection is a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else.  In the horse industry we are all connected despite many disciplines or interests.

Benjamin Franklin says “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I’ll remember, involve me and I learn”.  Martin Saddlery is the “Company Cowboys Keep” and strives to involve all people with an interest in the equine world through many outlets.  Some of those outlets in which you can connect with other riders are through our many social media outlets such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

If you would like to connect with other equestrians like yourself, you should check out Martin Saddlery on Instagram at _martinsaddlery.  Here you can investigate people of other disciplines, see the latest products, read and watch success stories of the industry’s leading professionals, as well as the success stories of riders just like you using Martin Saddlery products to aid their equine partners.

Our Facebook page is dedicated to a wide range of posts in which you can be involved with all areas of the equestrian lifestyle.  Whether you are trail riding, training horses, competing, or just learning about horses, you will find a plethora of resources on our Facebook page.  You will be able to interact with people in all disciplines while having access to many resources that might benefit you as a rider.

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Another outlet for you to be a part of Martin Saddlery is YouTube.  Our YouTube channel has videos ranging from informational training videos, to explanations of the research and product development behind our top-notch products, to our professional endorsees competing in the events they love.

Martin Saddlery also will help you link with other people who share common passions through Twitter.  You will find us on Twitter by searching @MartinSaddlery.  Follow our tweets so that you can network with experts from our company, experts within a variety of disciplines, as well as check out the latest innovations in all of our products, and discover horsemen from all different areas.

Get connected today with Martin Saddlery! #CompanyCowboysKeep


Accessorize Your Ride

No hour of our life is wasted when it is spent in the saddle.  When we ride, we are getting away from life, thinking about life, or just riding to enjoy life.  No matter the purpose of our ride, accessorizing your ride can keep you as connected or as disconnected with life as you would like.  We at Martin Saddlery offer many accessories that will help make your ride as convenient as possible.

One of our newest accessories is the Saddle Pocket.  It is the perfect sized pocket to hold everything you might need on your ride.  It can hold your keys, phone, or even your headphones so that you can listen to your favorite tunes as you ride down the trail or in the arena.  It attaches to your saddle and stays out of your way since it is designed to go on the flank billet.  Martin Saddlery’s long-standing quality is evident in the hook-and-loop closure that keeps your things secure while being easy to keep clean.  Not only is the saddle pocket very useful, but it also has a very fashionable look.

Keep your rope close with the popular latigo rope strap (shown below).

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Never miss another phone call, text, or email while riding with Martin Saddlery’s Smart Phone Holders.  There are three styles of these high-quality leather phone holders.  These holders attach to your back cinch or can be attached with tie strings.  Having your phone while you are riding is not only a convenience, but also a necessity in case of an emergency.  The holders are fleece-lined, have a hook-and-loop top closure, and fit most smart phones up to the iPhone X.


Although we never expect anything to happen when we ride, sometimes you have to be prepared for the unexpected.  Whether you need to cut a rope, fence, or branch, Martin Saddlery’s Knife Scabbards are a vital accessory for your ride.  There are four styles of leather knife scabbards ranging from tooled leather to rawhide laced with tooling.  These scabbards attach to your belt and can hold various types and styles of knives securely until you might need it.

Time spent riding our beloved horses is some of the best time of our lives.  Martin Saddlery is sure to provide all the top quality accessories you will need to have the best ride possible.  Check out all of the accessories available at

Jenna Beth Blair, 2017 BBR High Point Champion

We are always proud to be apart of the BBR World Finals and award the high point champion saddle. What we enjoy even more than building the beautiful custom saddle is getting to know the horse and rider we are building it for. This year’s high point champion is Jenna Beth Blair of China Springs, TX.


Jenna Beth Blair’s 2017 BBR High Point Champion custom built Stingray saddle.



Jenna Beth was the overall high point earning BBR member of 2017 as well as the 3D Texas BBR Regional Champion. She competed and earned the majority of her points on her horse, Willy Chase Firewater, aka Mardi. Jenna Beth raised Mardi as a foal and had him broke and trained to be a barrel horse. This dynamic duo had a great amount of success early on in his career only for it to come to a tragic end on November 1, 2017, when she lost Mardi to complications with colic at the young age of six years old.


Jenna Beth Blair and her gelding “Mardi” whom helped her win the 2017 BBR High Point Champion Saddle.
Willy Chase Firewater, “Mardi”




Through the tragedy, there was a silver lining that came in the form of friends who offered horses for Jenna Beth to ride to finish out the year strong. Although she was already leading the high point when Mardi passed, the season was not over and rather than choosing to give up, she finished the year strong. One of her friends that was instrumental in loaning her horses and having her press-on was Pamela Nale, the 2015 BBR High Point champion. Through the sport, they became friends and in this time of need, she had the right people in her corner to help her finish out the season. Jenna rode Pamela’s horses Jazz, Luna, and Dixie as well as three other horses owned by Bryan Taylor, Lisa Jo Velliquette, and Callie Durbin.


Pamela and Jenna Beth
Jenna Beth and Pamela Nale at 2018 BBR World Finals in Oklahoma City, OK.
Pamela Nale and “Sister”, 2015 BBR High Point Champions and featured on Racer’s Edge.


One of the best aspects of this sport is the comradery and friendship that goes hand in hand with it. Jenna Beth is a great example of that and the type of story we love to tell again and again. Barrel racing isn’t just about the sport, it truly is a lifestyle. We wish her the best of luck on her horse Monkey King Too, aka “Spanky”, whom she will be competing on this week at the BBR World Finals in Oklahoma City and know she will be riding for Mardi!

Jenna Beth

In her own words, “Hard work, goals, and determination can make dreams come true. “

Martin Saddlery will be in Oklahoma City for the duration of the BBR World Finals in the National Saddlery booth. We encourage any and all to stop by and visit with our expert staff, sit in one of our six barrel saddles, or take a ride in a test ride. For more information about Martin saddles follow us on Facebook , Instagram, and Twitter or visit



Fearless by Lisa Lockhart

As the industry’s top money earner, 11 NFR qualifications, four Canadian Professional Rodeo Championships, and two RFD-TV’s the American titles, Lisa Lockhart needs no introduction as a barrel racing icon.


Lisa Lockhart with “Louie” (An Oakie With Cash) and Chisholm (Fast An Gold). Photo by Kenneth Springer

At Martin Saddlery, it is always important to us to have key partnerships with trusted professionals that aid in ensuring we provide competitors and trainers with quality products. For that reason we are excited to announce our newest partnership with Lisa Lockhart.

Throughout her successful career, Lisa has developed a consistent program for her horses’ health, training, and competition. She also has specific preferences for her saddle. With our standards, we believe we can take her saddle design to the next level.

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Lisa and Louie competing at the 2017 WNFR in the new Fearless saddle by Martin. Photo by Impulse Photography.

Fearless by Lisa Lockhart is a superior saddle of Lisa’s same design with elevated innovation and features quality at its finest. One of the key features is the balanced seat so riders can “be fearless”.


Fearless by Lisa Lockhart. Contact your favorite Martin Saddlery dealer for availability.


Specs of Fearless by Lisa Lockhart

Made of Hermann Oak Leather 7” standard gullet
100% authentic sheepskin wool Seat sizes: 13”-15 ½”
Horn 3½” x 2” cap Cantle 4 ½”
*as always custom options are available

Martin Saddlery’s management and designers’ work and passion are one in the same. We live and ride in our craft every day and don’t take opportunities for new partnerships and saddles lightly. Fearless by definition means without fear; bold or brave, and we don’t think there is a better mantra to start the 2018 new year!


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Lisa has over $2M in WPRA earnings and finished 2017 in the 9th position.


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To find more information about Martin custom saddles or a dealer near you please visit or call one of our expert sales staff at 888-308-2386.


Who Says You Can’t Have It All?

The new Stingray barrel saddle by Martin Saddlery.
The Stingray by Martin encompasses everything barrel racers are looking for in a barrel saddle.

Having it all means something different to everyone. When it comes to barrel racers and our horses and saddles, “having it all”, has seemed for the most part out of reach. We wanted to change that, and with the help of Sherry Cervi, we think we did.

Sherry Cervi and Brian Peterson had a conversation a couple years ago on a shared vision of creating a barrel saddle the market was missing. Professional and amateur barrel racers alike struggle with an array of issues on today’s high caliber horses, such as being left behind in a turn or thrown forward; placing their feet behind them and compromising correct position. An additional challenge is finding a saddle that allows for a reasonably vertical ride while still allowing a deep seat. There hasn’t been a saddle in the industry able to address and provide a solution for both problems at the same time, until now.

The concept of angles is the most import measurement in geometry. Imagine if your three major body parts are all rotated to an improved angle? Your feet are slightly rotated to the front, your hips and lower back angle are more towards the horse’s loin. The lowest point or sweet spot of your seat allows you to feel all parts of your saddle at the same time. Your backside is down and secure, the seat feels narrow and gives ample surface area for your inner leg to have contact.

New Martin barrel saddle, the Stingray!
For more information of the Stingray please visit our website or give us a call at 888-308-2386.

You can still warm up and ride in equitation, still sit up and frame your horse’s gait, but it lets you dig in deeper when you need to. You can sit in the middle, get to the front or roll back and be locked in for a secure, balanced ride.

Swell shaping allows your leg full surface contact for security, comfort and a narrow feel. This saddle helps prevent the rider from getting over the front and out of balance. It keeps you on your cantle, and behind the jerk of the horse’s stride or stop. You know where your saddle is at all times.

It provides 100% simultaneous contact for hips, lower back, legs, and feet. The rider feels surrounding security with the Stingray! It is truly a unique experience which cannot be described in words; you have to feel it to understand. It works differently than any saddle you’ve ever tried. This saddle was made with every barrel racer in mind. We are proud to release the newest saddle in our Sherry Cervi Barrel Racing line, the Stingray.

Who says you can’t have it all?

First available test rides will be available at:

The first Stingray saddles for purchase will be on display at Martin Saddlery in Cowboy Christmas, Booth #1901 in the Las Vegas Convention Center, during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. For more information please visit our website. Follow Martin Saddlery on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for exciting updates.

Safety First, Saddle Check!

If you sit down and think about it, what we do with our horses is somewhat dangerous and wild to begin with. Horses are powerful animals and we saddle them up to train and compete on daily. It sometimes is easy to forget, but it is very important to keep ourselves and our mounts safe by making it a habit to double check equipment and tack before each and every ride. Before you step up into the stirrup and swing your leg over your horse, make sure your saddling routine includes a daily check up on your gear.

Blevins Buckles

The blevins buckles on the fenders of your saddle are designed to be easy to adjust, but they can become loose over time, especially if you change your stirrup length often. Check to make sure the buckles are completely closed and snug. If the sliding component is loose, tighten it by squeezing both hands against it, or use a pair of vice grips to gently smash down and increase the tension on the slider. If you leave the blevins loose, they could slide up or fall off easily. Also, if they are not tight, it will cause unnecessary pressure on the fender holes, causing them to stretch out. A secure blevins buckle protects the integrity of your hole adjustment.  Its good practice to glance at your hole adjustments you use most & make sure they are not stretched out, the blevins are snug, and it will ensure a long happy life for your fenders.

If these blevin-babies aren’t in their proper place, you could find yourself in the dirt.

Blevins buckles are at their best when they fit close and very snug. Squeeze the sliding cover to flatten and increase tightness.


Another thing in the same area of your saddle are the stirrups – they have a rod/bolt and 2 nuts at the top of them. This is where your body weight is supported.  Double check that the bolts in both stirrups are straight and the nuts are tight!

Chicago Screws

The Chicago screws on headstalls are tiny but mighty, and possibly the easiest to overlook. Unless your horse is trained for bridle-less riding, you don’t want to lose a single one of these. Check to make sure loops and Chicago screws on your headstalls are secure before every ride.

Popular Pro-tip: If you can, go buy a small bottle of “Locktite”, it will keep the screws tight and secure, but still changeable. If you do not have Locktite, you can use a drop of clear fingernail polish inside the screw for added security. Be cautious with the nail lacquer if you plan on changing bits very often, it’s not designed to come off without chemical assistance.

Latigos & Flank Billets

Pronounced Latties, Lat-ee-gos, Ladda-gos, or Lat-i-goooo, named for the type of leather it is made from.  However you say it, they should be replaced EVERY YEAR. It’s cheaper than medical bills and an increase in premiums due to an accident. The best way to do this would be to purchase a high quality latigo leather 1-3/4″ x 6’6″ latigo, which is for the cinch side, along with 1-3/4″ single or doubled and stitched offside latigo.

Ropers, Cutters, Ranch use: Use a single ply off-side latigo, looped through the cinch first and then doubled up through the saddle rigging and back to through the cinch.

Correct Attachment
Correct application of a single-ply off-side billet, looped through the cinch first, doubled and run through the saddle rig, then back down through the cinch to secure.
Wrong way to apply an off-side latigo
Incorrect application of an off-side latigo. This can be extremely dangerous. This incorrect application could cause serious bodily injury to you or your horse.

Speed events and performance:
You can use a doubled & stitched latigo or single ply off-side latigo, looped through cinch and doubled up through the saddle rigging and back through the cinch.

We recommend both the cinch side and offside latigos be tied by a professional, someone who specializes in leather work or has experience, or be instructed by a professional or try your google. An incorrectly tied latigo is extremely as dangerous and as devastating as having a latigo break. Annual latigo replacement is one of the best insurance policies for you and your horse.

Incorrect and very dangerous
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Replace ties or latigos once a year to prevent breaking
Double check your ties haven’t worked loose over time
Correct leather lacing method
Correct way to secure a double stitch off-side latigo
Correct leather lacing method
Correct underside view


On all latigos, and flank cinches, the center break, over fold, where the leather attaches to your saddle will oxidize against the metal rigging and becomes fatigued, making it prone to breakdown. Along with checking the latigo ties, check the condition of the leather underneath it’s break-over point in all four metal d-rig or c-rig locations of your saddle.


Flank Billets or back billets don’t wear as fast, therefore do not usually need to be replaced as often, but should still be checked at every saddle session.

Flank Hobble

Make sure your flank hobble (the little, unassuming buckle strap that holds the back cinch to the front cinch) is always in working order. It comes in contact with a lot of heat and sweat which causes them to break down. If this piece of equipment breaks you could find yourself unintentionally entered in the bronc riding. Martin saddlery, Flank Hobbles are made from biothane, as it has no stretch and is most resistant to horse sweat and heat.

Your saddle takes a lot of abuse on a daily basis, so remember to check everything on your saddle every day. Make safety part of your routine by being aware of the condition of all your saddle’s parts.

Of course, these are just a few safety tips to think about as you go about your day at the barn… but they are no little things when it comes to safety on a horse.

Arson & Sherry Cervi
Keep Your Ride Fun & Safe!

Saddle Care? Things to Consider

Unfortunately, nothing stays new forever, especially something used as often as your favorite saddle you throw on your horse everyday. Proper maintenance will exponentially extend a saddle’s lifespan. At Martin Saddlery, we understand that your saddle is an investment, and one you plan to use for many years. So we rounded up some important tips to help keep your investment in great cosmetic and working condition.

Most parts of the country have one thing in common when it comes to summer… Dust!

The three main elements which can cause the most wear and premature aging are dust, the salt element in horse sweat, plus heat. Each element on their own can prove taxing on leather. However, it is the combination of the three that will cause the most damage the quickest. Dust, horse sweat, and heat combined is a mixture that will physically begin to break down leather. Heat from the sun, plus the salty nature of horse sweat causes moisture in the leather to evaporate, making it brittle and weak. Regular dusting and storing your saddle out of direct sunlight will help maintain the leather’s moisture. And giving your saddle a good wipe down after a hard work-out to take off any excess horse sweat is always good practice.


It is important to stress dusting, this should be your primary focus of routine saddle care.  You can use a soft bristle brush or an air compressor to remove dust and dirt from within the tooling patterns and hard to reach places. An air compressor works fantastic in removing grit from rough-out and suede, without damaging the texture.

Dirt can bury deep into the tooling which causes premature aging and a faded look.

Important Rule:
If you can’t put the product on human skin, don’t put it on your saddle!

We recommend olive oil or a light cream conditioner to add moisture back to your saddle. Remember to always dust your saddle immediately before applying any products such as saddle soap or oil. If the product is very greasy be cautious, apply sparingly and always wipe off any excess. Soaking a saddle in oil can be worse than not oiling at all. A good way to check if you have applied too much is if the leather looks greasy or feels like deep fried chicken. Ease up on the calories if you see this happening.

Remember moderation is the key when conditioning your saddle.

Also, be sure the hidden parts of your saddle, such as the underside of the swells and fenders, are getting attention as well.  Do not oil suede seats. Only if a saddle’s rough-out is extremely dry, should you apply a very minimal light coat on the texture itself.  Any rough-out on your saddle should be oiled very sparingly depending on its condition. If you are unsure consult a professional.

Please note sunlight and oil will naturally start to darken a saddle. So if you are head over spurs for your saddle’s light leather look, you will need to prepare yourself for this possibility when beginning a treatment regime.

Martin makes Oil Pad Woolskins or “Leather Care Pads“, package of 4 for $10.99. Available through any Martin or Classic Equine retailer.

A regularly used saddle will need to be oiled more often than a saddle not in regular use. However, dusting your saddle should be a priority no matter how often it is used or where it is stored. Trainers who ride long days in the heat and use their saddle on several sweaty horses will need to wipe down and oil their saddle more often compared to a part-time competitor or recreational rider who may ride only in the cooler evenings and only on a few horses.

With just a little TLC, your investment will look great and hold up for many years.

Lightly oil on occasion.
Ride often.

Martin Saddlery



Matt Gaines and Second Spot take First

Video credit: Cutting Horse Training Online

If you keep up with cutting, then the name Matt Gaines rings familiarity. At the 2016 Jerry’s Chevrolet NCHA Futurity, his name was announced as the champion. Gaines and Second Spot won the Futurity, a first for Gaines. From 1990 to present, Gaines has a long list of achievements including the Non-Pro NCHA Futurity, the NCHA Derby Championship, the Superstakes (twice), and the memorable 2015 record breaking season on Special Nu Baby. The coveted Futurity championship was the missing piece to the puzzle.

Second Spot is owned by Gary and Shannon Barker and is by Spots Hot out of Reycy Moon. In the first round, Gaines and Second Spot marked a 220.5. The second round they marked a 219, and they won the semi finals with a 225. But the cherry on top was in the finals the team marked a 229, this is tied for the second highest score in NCHA history only behind the record of 230 set in 2010 by One Time Royalty.

This win edges Gaines even closer to the lucrative $8M earnings mark. We asked him a few questions about this mare and his program.

 The past two years you have won on two mares owned by the Barker’s, what do you think makes this such a winning partnership?

Matt: I’ve worked with the Barker’s for several years off and on and a couple years ago we teamed back up because they wanted to show their mare, Special Nu Baby, to see if she could get enough won to get into the Hall of Fame. I had shown her when she was young and as it turned out we had a great season. They raise good horses and they let me do my job and run my program and it has worked out to be a great deal.

At what point did you know Second Spot had a chance to be a winner?

Matt: That’s hard to say. Obviously she is talented, she has always been a big stopper and is cowy. But there were things about her that worried me, especially her consistency. There is a lot of unanswered questions about them until you go show them. A week before the futurity she started getting more and more consistent and it just all came together at the show.

What do you think is vital for success in your program?

Matt: It’s hard to narrow it down but I would have to say consistency and simplicity. There is so much that goes into it. You have to be disciplined yourself to work them everyday and give them the best consistent care to keep them at their best. You need to be on a routine as well as them. I believe that this gives them the confidence they need to succeed.

We are proud to have worked with Matt for over a decade and he has helped and tested our cutting saddle to help make it the product it is today. His achievements are a testament to his adamant work ethic and we look forward to what he achieves next.


For contact:

Hannah Haugen, Public Relations Coordinator