For every student that takes the class, a unique saddle is waiting to be built.  From basket weave to carved scenery, we have seen outstanding artistry.  And whether a student continues on to have his own shop, school, or build a saddle now and then for a friend.  It is a pleasure and an honor to have them in our school.

Montana Horseman Saddle Building School is one of the most all-encompassing schools available.  Instruction is integrated with a “hands on” “learn by doing” approach.  Four weeks of detailed instruction and assistance leads each student through design and layout to a top quality Western saddle.  Instruction includes the history of antique saddles and the makers.

All classes include the following:

  • Use of leather tools and heavy leather sewing machines

  • Leather tooling & carving

  • Saddle design and pattern making

  • Study of inherent problems such as saddle bridging, weight distribution and fit

  • Study of animal conformation and the influence on tree style and measurements

  • Inherent problems with leather . . . “what to do when?”

  • Construction techniques of leading saddle makers and application to student saddles

  • Repair, replacement of saddle parts and refurbishing

  • Advice and assistance with starting a saddle business

  • Catalogues and lists of suppliers

  • Leave with your own personalized saddle that you built

  • A notebook filled with information and your notes

Montana Horseman Saddle Building School uses Timberline Trees built by Randy Alexander, in Vernal, Utah.  These trees have an 8 year guarantee.  Trees are built to a student’s specifications using Montana Horseman bars designed by Dale Moore and Randy.


Students graduate in 4 weeks with the knowledge and preparation to continue and be productive in saddle building.


Graduates become a member of the Montana Horseman family of saddle builders and can rely on continual support from the saddle school.


Also, graduates are invited to join the Montana Horseman Saddle Building School Facebook page compliments of Norma Moore.

Level 1 Course:

Introduction to Saddle Buiding

Level 2 Course:

Advanced Western Saddle Building

Level 1 Course:

Introduction to Saddle Building

Level 2 Course:

Advanced Western Saddle Building


  • Saddle history beginning with the early 1880’s

  • How the Western saddle emerged and changed to meet the different demands

  • History of early prominent saddle makers and collectable saddles

  • Saddle building procedures and methods

  • Fitting saddles, inherent problems with saddles and animal conformation

  • Information on saddle styles for intended use

  • Types of leather and how to deal with inherent leather problems

  • Saddle building tools, sewing machines, and general procedures

  • Demonstration saddles, generally we build two, a wide swell and a slick for styles.

  • Each student designs and builds their custom saddle

Tuition is $6000 US funds 

Each student will help build one or two new demonstration saddles prior to designing and building a saddle of their choice.   Although it is not recommended due to time constraints, financial arrangements can be made for a second personal saddle.


  • This class is designed for students who have completed the initial level 1 class or students who have prior saddle building experience.

  • Orthopedic balanced ride saddles

  • Roping saddles

  • Trail saddles

  • Cutting saddles

  • Barrel racing saddles

  • Padded seats

  • Mounting silver trim

  • Tooling and carving techniques

  • Replica saddles

  • Refurbished saddles

  • Saddle repair procedures and techniques

Tuition is $6000 US funds 

One saddle is included in tuition cost.  Students may elect to build a second saddle with an additional cost of $1000 for materials.


Both the Advanced Saddle Building Class 1 and the Advanced Saddle Building Class 2 have been approved for Veterans benefits by the State Approving Agency.  This means that if you have attended the basic saddle building class with VA funding, and you still have funding available, the VA should approve either Level 1 or Level 2 Advanced Saddle Building Class.  This is great news and a great opportunity for veterans


We are pleased to be able to continue to help veterans excel in building saddles.