Why Choose a J.J. Maxwell Saddle?
There are many reasons why purchasing one of our trail saddles would be a good decision.
Each saddle is more than just an exquisite, hand-tooled, quality piece of leather art. Each
saddle is engineered and hand-crafted by a master saddle maker in the Old World, and
western traditions. There are no gimmicks, just top quality workmanship, based on time proven
All of our saddles are hand-crafted of top quality leather, 100% bark tanned wool fleece,
stainless steel screws, and stainless steel or brass hardware. They are all compact in design,
which means: lighter weight, shorter skirts, less bulk. The stirrup leathers are pre-stretched.
The advantage of pre-stretched leathers is, the side you mount on will not become longer than
the off side. We will lengthen or shorten fenders and stirrup leathers as needed for longer and
shorter than normal inseams. The fleece is grain oriented, which keeps your saddle pad from
sliding out from underneath the saddle. The skirts are blocked, which means that they have
been wetted and formed to the tree and allowed to dry. This gives the underside of the saddle
a nice curve to it. The back of the skirts are not sewn or laced together beyond the back of the
bar and are allowed to float. This prevents a hard line across the back. A permament stirrup
twist is applied to the stirrup leathers. This means less stress on the ankles, knees, and hips.
There are several choices for the seat, depending on your wants or needs: a well shaped hard
seat with a nice pocket, a standard padded seat, or an inlaid padded seat. With a standard
padded seat, you do loose some of the pocket. The inlaid is the preferred seat by most because
you have a little bit of padding where it is needed, and you still have a good pocket. All of our
seats are shaped in a way where there is no excess bulk. They are made as close contact as
possible, for a western type saddle. In regards to a narrow twist. The twist can only be as
narrow as the the fit of the horse. If you have a wide, flat backed horse, you are not going to
have a narrow twist. Only way to narrow the saddle is to build up the seat away from the horse,
but then you loose contact.
All of this is added to a special designed tree that will give the horse/mule and rider the utmost
in pleasure for a lifetime. We use 11 possible fits with an easy to use fit system. The fits are
based on different body types. The tree is a wood fiberglass covered tree for strength and
durability. The front of the tree bar has been shortened up slightly and rounded off. This makes
for less of a sharp angle. The front of the saddle is the front of the tree. You may note that there
is very little excess skirt sticking out in front of the tree bar. The front of the saddle is meant to
be placed just at or off the scapula. This modification to the tree is very subtle, but it allows for
more freedom of the shoulder. All of our trail saddles have the same features. They all have a 4
inch cantle. The Hope saddle, Pistolero, Weatherly, and the GT Packer are all built on the same style tree.
We also have a unique rigging that lessens the cinch pressure, and spreads the pressure
down the side of the saddle. This makes it unnecessary to have a rear cinch, and therefore,
a lighter weight saddle. We do add rear rings, billets, and a flank strap upon request.
Beside all these features, our saddles have been designed to position the rider in a truly
balanced postion. Not only will it postion you properly, but it has been designed to free up and
accommodate the working muscles of your equine partner. Remember, if your horse is not
enjoying the ride, then you probably aren’t either.