Flying With Western Saddle?

My husband usually ships his western saddle and gear to WY from GA. Has anyone checked their western saddle in baggage/oversized baggage. If so, did you use a saddle carrier or box or container? Would you recommend it?

I’d pack it to withstand shipping, then do a cost comparison.

Baggage is not treated gently at airports. (That’s an understatement, btw.) I’d be concerned about the saddle if it was just in a soft or lightly-built carrier without adequate packing material to protect it from being dropped.

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We’ve shipped working saddles and equipment in dive bags. They are big, tough nylon bags that zip open on one seam, like a flip top lid on three sides with one side attached. We stuffed the gullet with saddle bags, sweatshirts, and such and the two fin sidebags with breastcollars and slickers and bridles and such. Worked fine for gear that was going to get abused in the mountains anyway.

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Great idea, thanks.

Yeah, I think after comparing, UPS might be a solution.


I have taken western saddles on planes (although in the distant past) and have shipped them in boxes numerous times.

For flying, I had a big duffle bag that was lined with thick fleece. it fit the saddle closely when the stirrups were crossed over the seat, see below. I used hand towels with string around the horn to encase it, because they stick out and are liable to get banged up, and with a bath towel, did the same thing around the cantle.

If you fold the stirrups up over the seat, cross them, and tie them to the nearest back cinch ring, it folds the saddle up nicely like a butterfly kind of, and the stirrups and fenders offer a lot of protection for the rest of the saddle.

In boxes, I used bubble wrap in the same fashion as the towels mentioned above, and because I was shipping a large lot of tack- saddles and all kinds of other goodies- I did use the smaller items to tuck all around the saddles.

And always, put the whole saddle burrito inside a large trash bag, just in case the outside bag or box gets wet on a loading dock or luggage belt. These were lighter colored expensive show saddles and a random stain would have been very damaging.

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