The History of Jim Taylor Custom Saddlery

Jim Taylor has spent most of his life in the company of horses of all kinds including breeds ranging from Thoroughbreds, Appaloosas, Paints, Arabians, and Quarter horses. He began with just plain trail riding to almost every western event offered in the show ring.

Like most aspiring riders, Jim worked for many different trainers to learn all he could. He has trained, rode and shown in everything from western pleasure, trail, equitation, hackamore and full bridle stock horses. His favorite events were always reining and working cowhorse winning consistently in each of these events in his younger days.

In 1971, he purchased a western saddle and tack store in the Pacific Northwest and became very interested in providing professional quality saddles and tack to top professional western trainers and showmen of the day. This led to a full-time manufacture and repair shop with his best friend, Paul White. After selling his shop to his friend, he left for Texas in 1981 to start a new venture in saddle making and the rest is history.

Jim has applied his experience in training pens and show rings to building equipment that really works. In his words, “we build the rideability first and the pretty second”. He rides what he makes and knows what to listen for when designing a professional quality saddle for trainers making a living in the saddle.

Hear it in His Words

"I’ve been riding Jim Taylor saddles for 15 years and the quality is unsurpassed. It’s the most comfortable saddle I’ve ever ridden. Every time I get a new saddle it feels and rides the same as the previous one."

- Rocky Dare, NRHA Hall of Fame in 2006

What Makes Jim Taylor Saddles Unique

Shoulders Free

The new Jim Taylor shoulders free trees are the updated version of the original extremely successful version of Jim Taylor trees. These new trees encompass a great deal of research time, testing, study of today’s evolving horse anatomy and the newest technology with the help of our exclusive tree maker. Our newest ‘shoulders free’ tree design includes our ultra-thin durable JT bars with a special “twist” to maximize the fit on multiple horses, and a newly designed cantle style to ensure rider comfort. The new Jim Taylor custom saddlery performance trees are designed with four different swell options, three different ground seats; hi, medium, or flat, and four different horn options.

The Ground Seat

The foundation of every Jim Taylor Saddle is our revolutionary ‘ground-seat’ construction. Our ground-seat is key to aiding the rider’s ability to achieve maximum balance, security & position in the saddle during the most competitive horse events. This specially developed narrow seat with a unique, comfortable pocket stabilizes the rider during the tightest turns, high speed maneuvers, & slower relaxed movements. Real, True Comfort for hard working horses.

Tree Options

The JT04 TREE is our “go to” tree for the serious Reiner or Cow Horse competitor.  It features a Close Contract feel, a deep secure seat and properly angled bars that allow horse and rider to feel as one and maintain position throughout a competition.  It is designed to fit the modern horse and has the versatility to fit a wide range of horses.

The JT12 TREE is the ideal tree for the Working Cow Horse or Cutting competitor.  The flat seat allows the rider to use the entire saddle and be in the right part of the saddle at exactly the correct time during a maneuver.  It features a thinner and lower swell which will not interfere with the rider’s leg position.

The JT11 TREE features a combination or an “association” style swell with a quarter horse width gullet.  The cantle is 3 and 1¼ tall with a deep dish.  The bars are “Arizona” type with our special & flare for equal pressure over the entire horse’s back.  Our “Shoulders Free” front bar angle greatly reduces the pressure on both sides of the horse’s withers above the scapula area. 

The JT02-RD TREE is our Classic style Reining and Western Pleasure tree.  This tree features a deep dish cantle for added security and consistency which keeps the rider in the center of the saddle.  Combined with a narrow seat this tree provides the rider with optimum security and comfort.