Montana Ranchers ‘Super-Sizing’ Saddles For Today’s Porky Cowpokes
For many decades, Montana cowboys were perceived as romantic, steel-jawed icons across the Western landscape. This romantic ideology leads many people to dude ranches every season to live out their cowboy fantasies (City Slickers, anyone?). But with nearly a third of America considered obese, ranchers and managers of these types of establishments are being forced to upgrade, literally. Fatter Americans mean stronger horses, and larger saddles. "To put it bluntly, we call them the big-butt saddles," Lee Hart, owner of Broken Hart Ranch in Montana tells Reuters.
Ranches are also staffing their lands with beefier horse breeds, usually put to work with tugging large loads -- to, well, pull the wider loads. "We have to seat 400 fat people every summer," said B.J. Hill, co-owner of Teton Horseback Adventures and Swift Creek Outfitters in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Hill's company has now begun to enforce a rule that wannabe cowboys with a 275 pound weight limit to spare the riders -- and horses -- from possible injury.