The Colt Special, made and marketed by James Saddlery has been a proven success and sold solidly for around 2 decades. Naturally the Colt Specials were made to fit horses popular at that time. Most property owners favoured a thoroughbred type.
In recent times with campdraft becoming more popular a different type of horse has proven its worth and capabilities for working cattle. This is the American quarter horse renowned for its strength, speed over short distance and cutting ability. Its low square physique making it near impossible to pull off its feet during roping.
The increasing popularity has inspired Trevor James to make saddles available in an "off the rack" situation, which will fit today's popular breeds. The new Colt features a semi quarter horse fit. Along with the new gullet shape the Colt has a nice high pommel. This allows two huge advantages. Firstly in the design of the tree shape the underside of the pommel can be cut away. Even though the tree is a semi quarter horse fit the extra clearance allowed by the pommel design allows ample clearance for a big withered horse. Trevor has found it is not so much the angle of the horses back that changes to a marked degree, but the wither height so the new Colt design fits a good range of horses.
The Colt has all the features necessary for a friction free ride. The fender is web lined and goes end to end unbroken. It passes over a steel hook bar and can come off in the event of a rider being dragged. Fenders mounted on the steel hook bar are situated above the tree and are very free moving allowing riders to ride foot forward or to spur freely. Many similar saddles are made on rawhide covered trees, which do not contain the steel necessary to support a stirrup bar. In this case the fender passes over the side rail and in the event of a rider being dragged it is there for life. When it passes over the side rail it sits in a recess on the underside of the tree. When situated and the saddle girthed down tight it cannot swing freely at all. The most common statement made by people considering a "fender or half breed" saddle is "I don't like the half breed saddles, you can't get your feet forward far enough or quickly enough in an emergency situation". The saddle trees designed by Trevor James and featuring a stirrup bar, make sure you can get your feet forward and the fender can come off, a safety feature recognised world wide as distinctly Australian.
The Colt features a comfortable dish seat with 4 1/2" dip. The kneepad while 4" at the front is carved out more at the back and measures 4 1/2". If a horse puts its head down you slide under that kneepad not over it. Every aspect of the tree design has rider security and comfort as a priority, but most importantly safety is guaranteed by the stirrup bar.
The tree design while extremely thin and close contact has a large surface area on the horses back. This means less rider pounds per square inch and less chance of soring up a valuable horse. The tree design also allows for a surprisingly narrow grip even though its cut away goose neck style gets the rider right down on the horses back where the action is. The underside or panels are triple layered laminated leather and are inlaid with 2" nylon webbing. This web runs from rear and also the front section of the saddle down to the C rigging. The screws holding the panels in place pass through this webbing and at the bottom end the rivets holding the C rigging in place also pass through it. This design means you have a V pull on the saddle when girthed up pulling down on the back and the front of the saddle at the same time. This eliminates the back slap encountered in many saddles, which do not have this advanced design feature.
The tree and kneepad unit designed by Trevor James and used in the Colt Special is one piece and Trevor gives a 10 year guarantee on the tree complete with kneepad. It incorporates a solid steel gullet with the stirrup bar welded to it. The steel is encased inside the tree in an airtight situation meaning no rust or corrosion can occur but more importantly there is not steel or rivets on the outside of the tree to create bumps or ridges that will result in damage to a horses back. It is literally as smooth as glass. The pick up points for attachment are inlaid with steel plate for maximum strength.
These saddle trees can be custom made to suit the most popular or average type of horse you prefer. Simply fax Trevor a wither tracing of your horse and he will check that the saddle "off the rack" fits properly or make one that does at no extra charge.
A friction free ride is guaranteed in this saddle designed by Trevor James. Its comfort and safety are ensured by a free moving foot forward fender, which can come away from the saddle.