Cresbard man creates custom saddle for professional cowboy

Shannon Marvel

A handful of South Dakota cowboys are able to travel a little lighter thanks to the ingenuity of a Cresbard area man.

Terry Jundt originally created a carbon fiber saddle for Faith saddle bronc rider Cole Elshere. The saddle weights just 8 pounds — less than half of many others.

“(Elshere) has been in the national finals, oh, I don’t know, about four or five times,” Jundt said.

Elshere is ranked 30th in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association all-around world standings.

Jundt said PRCA cowboys often fly to rodeos, which means baggage fees can rack up quickly.

“Some airlines are up to $95 for anything over 45 pounds, and some of these guys fly over 100 times per year out of their pocket,” Jundt said.

He said a regular saddle can weight anywhere from 17 to 19 pounds. So the one he made for Elshere is less of a load for both the cowboy and the bronc.

Jundt used carbon fibers and a high-density foam base to construct the saddle.

“So I’ve taken 10 pounds off that. Instead of two layers of leather, which is heavy, I sew in belting and webbing. The webbing doesn’t allow leather to stretch,” Jundt said.

He works as a Precision Planting dealer, but has always had an affinity for all things leather and western. His side business is called Twin Colt Leather. Among his creations are holsters, belts and saddles.

If it can be done in leather Jundt has likely tried his hand at it.

He freestyles his leather artwork and has hundreds of tools in his kit.

Jundt said he met Elshere after buying a horse trailer from him last year. Jundt said Elshere noticed the decal on his truck that read “Terry Jundt Twin Colt Leather” and asked if he would be up to the task of creating a lightweight bronc saddle.

Elshere tried out Jundt’s saddle for the first time during the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo in January and has been using it ever since, Jundt said.

He said his saddles cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500, depending on what the buyer wants.

“There are tricks to everything, it’s just coming up with them,” Jundt said.

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Terry Jundt works on the base of a lightweight, high-density foam saddle in his shop near Cresbard. American News photo by Shannon Marvel