Double H Ranch Saddle Shop

Double H Ranch
Saddle Shop

3704 N.County Rd. 19
Fort Collins, CO 80524

About Us

Mark Howes, Saddlemaker

Drawing by Mark Howes

Mark Howes has a goal: "To produce moderately priced and well made working cowboy gear." Howes has been around cattle and horses all his life. As a boy, he spent summers wrangling on a dude ranch in Grand Lake, Colorado. The ranch had lots of old saddles needing repair, and Mark was given the "opportunity to fix them." Without any assistance, he tore the saddles apart, made the necessary repairs and put the pieces back together.

From the dude ranch, Mark went on to work several cattle ranches. He developed a feel for the function of the gear used by horsemen and cattlemen. With his understanding of the relationship between horse, gear, and rider, he began creating his own equipment. Later on, he left the cowboy country to enrich his artistic abilities with schooling in the arts. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and continued his studies in Europe and later Australia. As so often happens, the ranching life called him back, and, in 1976, Howes became foreman of his in-laws ranch near Kaycee, Wyoming. He purchased adjacent land and went on his own in 1982.

Throughout these years he continued his leatherwork and sculpting when time allowed. His life on the ranch provided the inspiration to create sculptures of life in the West. He began to be noticed for his creative talent, and custom orders for saddles and sculptures flowed in steadily. As time went on his leather work became the main family income, so, in 1986, he changed occupations.

He sold the ranch and most of the livestock and moved his wife and three boys to Fort Collins, Colorado, where he opened a custom tack shop specializing in old-time working-cowboy gear. Howes now has a flourishing saddle business, and has recently embarked on a new venture - LaPorte Forge Horse Brand Bits and Spurs.

Ranch Roping & Stock Horse Association

The Ranch Roping Association was formed by Mark Howes and other close friends to promote practical roping skills, good horsemanship, cattle handling, and groundwork. For more information and ranch roping events please visit,

Ranch Roping Clinic in New South Wales Australia

April 16th- 18th 2010

The clinic was designed for horseman wanting to develop roping skills and horsemanship in a low-stress stock handling environment, to work as a team for doctoring cattle. The clinic was conducted by Mark Howes and Jim Mc Kinney who have extensive experience roping and stock handling. Pictures from the ranch roping clinic are posted below.

Shawn Howes, owner of Laporte Saddle Tree in Laporte, Colorado. The Poly-Tuff Tree TM eliminates traditional tree problems by design. The tree is very easy to work with. Normal methods of saddle construction may be used while working with the tree. By casting all of the tree and ground seat as a total finished product, all the parts work together to create greater strength and durability in the tree. The material has a strength of 3500 psi. There is no warping, no worries about popped seats and no broken horns. The finished ground seat saves hours of labor and allows customizing by adding one layer of leather. The tree remains semi rigid to enhance fit and comfort for the horse. For more information call (970) 227-8011.

Heath Howes, owner of Chicago Stockyard Saddle Tree in Chicago, Illinois. CSST is a brand new company created with the intention of overcoming the traditional problems with saddletrees. We are dedicated to helping to ease the burden placed upon the saddlemaker by standard wooden trees. For more information about Chicago Stockyard Saddle Tree, visit

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