Originally featured in Points West magazine in Spring 2010
Theodore Roosevelt’s saddle
In addition to the personal artifacts of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody housed in the Buffalo Bill Museum, there are many objects that were once owned by some of Cody’s famous contemporaries. One such individual was Theodore Roosevelt, who used this saddle on his ranch in Medora, North Dakota, long before he became our twenty-sixth President.
Made about 1885 by renowned saddlemaker J.S. Collins of Cheyenne, Wyoming, the Cheyenne-roll style cantle, or back of the seat, is tooled with the initials “T.R.” and the maker’s shield. It is an A-frame saddle with a three-quarters seat, double rigging, and heavy floral tooling over the entire saddle.
When the saddle was hand-delivered in 1990 by the donors, Ed Stabler also brought along his horse. In the field behind the Center, he saddled up with the Roosevelt saddle and rode to the front door. Then, he dismounted, unsaddled his horse, and handed the saddle to the staff of the museum. Stabler wanted to be sure he was the last person to ride TR’s saddle!
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edward B. Stabler. 1.69.2641