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T Flynn Goodnight Western Sale Saddle

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The Side Saddlery is pleased to offer a Goodnight saddle built by the famous T. Flynn of Pueblo Colorado.

Thomas Flynn was a contemporary of SC Gallup and RT Frazier when Peublo Colorado was the center of western saddle building. Thomas Flynn started his saddlery in Silver Cliff, Colorado in 1880, a booming mining town west of Pueblo. He then moved to Trinidad, Colorado, South of Pueblo. As the mining industry was winding down in these towns, he moved to Pueblo to take advantage of the trains for moving his saddles & supplies. Besides building ranch & working saddles, Thoms Flynn was also a noted maker of trick and show saddles for the wild west traveling show industry, such as the Buffalo Bills Wild West show.

Why was Pueblo a saddle making center in this era? Pueblo's location on the Goodnight Loving Cattle Trail which stretched from Texas to Cheyenne, Wyoming and proximity to ranching country and coal and silver mines made it a natural place for harness and saddlemakers to set up shop. Horses were plentiful, being a primary mode of transportation and also being used in farming, cattle ranching and mining operations. Chief among Pueblo's many saddlemakers were R.T. Frazier, S.C. Gallup and T. Flynn saddleries. In the early 20th century came Hirsch, Schnittler, and Mack's Saddlery.

On June 3, 1921 there was a major flood in Pueblo, Colorado which completely destroyed the T. Flynn Saddlery. The S. C. Gallup Saddlery and the R. T. Frazier Saddlery were spared because of where they were located. After the flood, Sam Gallup and the S. C. Gallup Saddlery Co. offered Thomas Flynn and the T. Flynn Saddlery space in their shop to continue operations to fill their mail orders salvaged from the flood, as well as new ones coming in through the mail. T. Flynn Saddlery took three of his saddle makers to the Gallup shop where he cut and made saddles for the next three months until new quarters could be established.

The maker's mark on this saddle clearly indicates that the saddle was built after 1890 when Thomas Flynn opened his saddlery in Pueblo, Colorado. The style is nearly identical to SC Gallup's and RT Frazier's for side saddles. It is clear that they shared ideas and possibly craftsmen between the shops.


The seat measures 20" long, measured from the front of the upright pommel to the rear of the seat. The seat measures a very generaous 15 1/2" wide. The saddle has the typical double skirts of the Goodnight side saddle with unique border tooling and tooling on the seat. It is stamped on the seat and above the purse and is marked as model 48.

This saddle has dark brown leather. The seat is beautifully tooled. The flat seat allows a more athletic riding style than the inexpensive, bowl-shaped catalog saddles of the same era. The offside has purse for incidentals. The front edge of the offside has been rolled with heavy leather to provide a hand grip when cutting cattle, showing that this was a working ranch saddle!

The rigging rings have the original leather covering. The rigging is secure and in good condition with new latigos and straps. The saddle has new shearling had sewn into the original holes in the leather, new saddle strings, and the original conchos.

The tree is a medium wide fit measuring 6 3/4 inches in the gullet. This is a real find for T Flynn collectors and a part of history!

For a discussion of the Goodnight Western side saddle, see this article.

T. Flynn of Pueblo Colorado Goodnight Western side saddle. $2175

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The Side Saddlery
Carolyn Penna
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Belford, NJ 07718

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