A saddle stand or rack is a great piece of equipment to have as it allows you to safely store saddles neatly and keep them from getting damaged or becoming warped and misshapen. The stand helps in keeping the tree or underside of the saddle straight and also ensures that the saddle's padding is kept even and well distributed. If you don't wish to buy a metal tube type of rack that are commonly sold at feed and equine tack stores, then you might like to consider making your own. For any experienced carpenters and home handyman types, a simple saddle stand can be built for little expense in less than an hour; a few bits of timber, saw, screw and nails, hammer, glue and a quick coat of paint or stain, and the job is done.
Depending on how much time and effort you want to take on your saddle stand will determine the actual cost of raw materials that will need to be purchased. For fancy saddles and show equipment you may want to take a longer time by constructing a handsome wooden stand with professional features and detailing, but for those who just want to store an old saddle in a no fuss manner, then much simpler solutions are at hand.
* For the most basic of saddle stands an oil drum or any kind of empty barrel can be sawn in half and the curved surface of the half barrel, propped up at the right height for convenient storage, can be attached to a sturdy post or vertical strut with screws, nails and strong glue, so that the saddle can be hung over the top. This is a no nonsense, quick solution for those who don't have time to waste on constructing masterpieces.
* Another idea for a saddle stand is to build a wooden frame that resembles a sawhorse. Of course, if you have a spare sawhorse that you are not using, you could choose to clean it up, removing any grease stains and paint spills, then use it to store the saddle, placed on the sawhorse the same way that you would lay it over a horse's back. A sawhorse is the perfect shape to store saddles quickly and easily and it can be moved around, being highly portable and practical. Depending on the size of the sawhorse, a average one should easily hold a Western saddle and possibly two smaller English saddles, side by side.
If you wish to construct your own sawhorse shaped stand, then all you'll need are five pieces of strong, sturdy 2 x 4 timber. Measure your saddle accurately first to determine how long the horizontal bar that it will rest on, will need to be. Cut to shape with a hand or band saw, measuring for straight, even ends. With the four remaining pieces of timber, they will serve as the legs to the sawhorse shaped stand. You want to make accurate angled cuts to one end of all four boards that will be attached to the horizontal strut as splayed legs; make sure they are even and well positioned in order to take the full weight of any saddle. Attached securely with strong metal screws (pre-drill the holes) and a good quality woodworking glue and the saddle stand should serve you for years to come. To protect against the weather, stain the saddle stand with a brushed on wood lacquer or light paint.
* If you have an old mailbox that you no longer use, this could also act as a component in a clever, homemade saddle rack. The angled roof of the box, sloping downwards on each side, can make the perfect resting place for a saddle. Attach the unused mailbox to a sturdy post or wall bracket, at a good height for convenient placement. Glue, nails and screwing should suffice to ensure a stable and solid finish.