Saddle Up Huston

Hand Crafted Soft Saddles

Soft Saddle Horse Bill Huston

Soft Saddles

Hand crafted soft saddles open the door to the comfort of the rider and the horse. The horse is given the gift of free movement. The rider finds unparalleled comfort in a saddle designed for all-day riding. Both can relax and enjoy the ride.

Bill Huston has been in the saddle industry since 1962. He started off by repairing saddles and reworking them to fit horses better. Flooded by clients complaining that their saddles were injuring their horses, Bill started looking for solutions. The answer to the problem flew in the face of conventional thinking. Bill realized that you can't make a rigid structure like a saddle tree fit a flexible object such as a horse. He has been pioneering soft saddle technology ever since.

soft saddle stirrup Bill Huston

Saddle maker Bill Huston likes to talk about the cracker jack cowboy.

Back in the 1950s, cowboys who were particularly bony used to eat cracker jacks, stick cotton into the empty boxes and stuff the boxes into their hind pockets.

“They didn’t want to admit their pin bones hurt but they would say they need some cracker jack boxes,” said Bill.

The human pin bones--also called sit bones or literally ischial tuberosities--are what can make a person squirm sitting on a hard wooden chair. These two protruding bones carry most of the weight when seated, and on that hard chair muscles are constantly at work to keep the pin bones from hitting a hard spot.

When seated, pin bones actually stick down far enough to leave indentations in foam--and right behind the pin bones is the tail bone.

Instead of sitting on something rigid, soft saddles create a hammock for the pelvic area and a soft place for the pin bones to land. In a saddle, pin bones need about one and a half inches of clearance. 

By knowing exactly where the pin bones press into the saddle, Bill is able to carve out a vacancy or groove at that precise location. Essentially the soft saddle allows the pin bones to sink into a vacancy filled with foam.

Soft saddles not only provide a comfortable all-day ride, they allow riders with injuries to get back in the saddle. Repeat clients include those with tailbone injuries, pelvic damage, hip and back problems and issues of the groin. A soft saddle can take away the pressure of these injuries and allow people to ride without pain.

soft saddle dressage Bill Huston
soft saddle dressage saddle detail
The Western saddle Bill made for Ryder and me fits my horse and me better than any other saddle. I have used it for Mounted Search and Rescue training, competitive trail riding and I have even used it for schooling shows.

Bill made a gorgeous English saddle for me and Ryder as well. It is comfortable and well balanced. Ryder and I both love it. Like the Western saddle Bill made for me, the English saddle is simple, elegant and gorgeous. It looks like a race car, just sitting on the saddle stand—really a beautiful saddle.
— Christine Suydam, M.D.