History of Klenda Saddlery:
Bob Klenda began working with leather in 1959, completing his first saddle in 1961. Kermit Lyons, Duane Soderquist, and Bud Grant, all accomplished saddle makers, commanding only the highest quality of work, tutored Bob. In 1962, after having worked with saddle maker Duane Soderquist of the Newton Brothers saddlery, Bob opened his own shop at Fruita, Colorado, where he was practically a neighbor to Bud Grant, who learned saddle making from C. H. Nelson in Grand Junction, Colorado. Bud was a big influence in Bob’s journey down the saddle making trail. Today, after having made nearly 500 saddles, Bob continues the tradition of making only the highest of quality saddles, chaps, and accessories.
Klenda’s Custom Saddlery is
located in Northwest Colorado along
Highway 13 between Meeker and Rifle. Just over the ridge is the
famed Piceance Basin, known for its cattle and deer hunting. It is
range country where horseback is still in style, a country that
makes good horses and cowboys.
In 2005, Bob made a saddle for the 2006 Denver National Western’s 100th Anniversary, it was auctioned off at a benefit auction to benefit the National Western Scholarship program. It sold for $19,500.00. This saddle is pictured on the right of this page. Click here or on the saddle picture for more information.
The Colorado Saddle Makers Association (CSMA) http://coloradosaddlemakers.org was formed in 1991. Bob Klenda has been an active participant in CSMA, serving as its President for many years. Bob spends considerable time and effort organizing and speaking at CSMA seminars and teaching leather carving. Bob is also a member of the American Saddle Makers Association and supportive of their program. Bob's work with 4-H leathercraft has prompted many young people to undertake making a saddle. Bob was awarded the Al Stohlman Award for his contribution to leather work in 2010.
A Message from Bob Klenda
After having grown up on a Kansas farm where Bob learned to be content with long hours of hard work Bob came to Eastern Utah in 1957. There he became acquainted with ranchers and cowboys from the canyon country around Green River. These people taught Bob about range cowboying and instilled in him an appreciation for top quality saddles. There is a lot of rich history in this canyon country as well as neighboring western Colorado; the people coupled with the history wetted Bob’s appetite to become a saddle maker, every bit as good as those that the cowboys had immortalized in Bob’s mind.
Eastern Utah and Western Colorado coupled with several years in Prescott, Arizona have been my domain. This takes in some of the roughest country that a cowboy can ride; a country where it is one horse for the entire day, it is up and down, hot and cold, dry and wet. It is a country where saddles are tested in the most extreme conditions known. Klenda saddles have stood the test, they have been there, withstood the long days, and provided comfort to both horse and rider. Over the years Bob has build saddles, always striving to make one better than the last one, either full or part time. During the part time periods Bob ranched, cowboyed, and was a water commissioner. I am now a retired water commissioner back to full time saddle making.
May this web site serve as my catalog, pictured on these pages are saddles and gear that I have made. Each one has been carefully made to meet the customer's needs. I welcome you to call me, Bob Klenda, at 970-878-5382. I enjoy working with my customers. Present me with an idea of what you have in mind and I will design it for you. Together we will produce an art piece built for rugged use that is beautiful enough to be in a showcase.
Satisfaction Guaranteed on all Klenda
saddles and tack.
Looking forward to serving you,