When you walk in the shop, the first thing you notice is the unique and enveloping smell that makes you stop in your tracks and think of warm caramel – it’s actually fresh, new leather. It’s one-stop shopping for tourists as well as horse folks. Everyone makes you feel immediately welcome and comes out to give you individual attention. If you are looking for something in particular (hats, boots, chaps, jewelry, saddles, tack, books, gifts), they are happy to answer any questions you may have. Ben’s Saddlery has been a well-known provider of leather repair work as well as quality horse products to Wickenburg and the entire southwest for 60 years. There is no pressure here, but more of a feeling of nostalgia as you wander back to the counter that separates the retail part of the store from the repair area. You will usually see a couple of saddles “in progress” as well as many that look as if they’ve seen better days. However, when Bruce and his crew get finished, old will look like new, and new will look stunning! Many people comment on how hard it is to find a complete repair shop such as this one.
If you are looking for a saddle that will last you the rest of your life, this is the place to come. Bruce builds saddles the old fashioned way – starting with a rawhide-covered tree – using the finest leather available. Before any work starts, Bruce sits down with you to find out what you will be using the saddle for. You choose the rigging, a padded seat (or not), and the size and weight you would prefer. Whether it’s a trophy saddle, or a using saddle such as roping, trail riding, barrel racing, or ranch work, you are the boss when it comes to having what you want. Measurements are taken of the horse you plan to use the saddle on so a fit for both of you can be as close as possible. Base prices start around $2,000 for a basic smooth or rough out – then the sky is the limit!
Bruce and the crew at Ben’s Saddlery do the best repair in the Southwest. A lot of the “snowbirds” (people who come to Arizona during the winter months) bring their boots here because they’ve been told elsewhere that there’s no way to fix them and they should just get new. Once they work their magic, whether it’s new soles, uppers, heels, or a complete restoration of the boot, the customers are thrilled to have their “old friends” back again and wearable. They are confident they can repair just about anything.
While Bruce only builds western saddles, he’s able to work on most any sort of rig you may have. Repair work is done on English, Jump Saddles, Endurance, and Aussie saddles. The most common repairs seem to be relining, refleecing, and restorative. They also have experience with harnesses, lines, various riggings, bridles, halters, belts, chaps, and any sort of leather piece that may need some TLC. While the shop is not an outfitter, they do the best they can to cater to riders of most disciplines and people who love the West.
Known far and wide for these unique bedrolls, Bruce has held the price down to an affordable $125 for the last few years. He buys the treated (waterproof) canvas on rolls of 125 yds. The bedrolls start out with a piece of canvas 18’ long and 7’ wide – then he begins folding up the piece like a decorative napkin – which becomes a full-size bedroll with pockets and places to store a variety of things you might want to take along. Again, the customer’s want and needs are discussed ahead of time, and each bedroll is custom-made. Pick the color of leather ties; put your name on it, as always, have it YOUR way! His customers include not only working cowboys and ranchers, but campers and hunters as well.
They also create covers for BBQs, engines, cars, and stock trailers, as well as bikini tops for cars and seat covers.
If that favorite leather ottoman that was your grandfather’s or that tooled leather wall hanging that needs attention, bring them in. If you want leather valances in the den, decorative leather-covered doorknobs, or leather- covered banisters, Ben’s Saddlery can create and install them for you. Just ask!
Personalized service is the top priority of Ben’s Saddlery. If you are new to the West, this is the place to learn about the right style of hat or the best fitting pair of boots for you. Bruce carries the Boulet line of boots in the store and says they can fit just about anyone who comes in. A myriad of choices await you for jewelry, leather-tooled cell phone cases, belts, jeans, shirts, and tooled leather purses.