The Saddle Shop Owner to Turn 80: Dale Klingerman Celebrates his Success with Saddles

Share Article began with Dale Klingerman, a retired bricklayer who began to sell saddles from his home. Now ready to celebrate his 80th birthday, Dale reveals the history of the Horse Saddle Shop and its journey to the internet.

If you call the Horse Saddle Shop, that brisk, cordial voice that answers will most likely be Dale Klingerman. Dale is owner of the Horse Saddle Shop in Bremen, Indiana and co-owner of This year is the shop's 22nd anniversary, and on November 28th the man who started it all will be celebrating his 80th birthday.

Dale would confess that he never anticipated where he'd be today. Shortly before getting married, he serviced his own filling stations. Then for 35 years he ran his own construction company laying brick. A back injury forced him to retire from brick laying. But business was in Dale's blood, and soon he found something else to do. In 1985, out of a spare bedroom, he began selling a few saddles and doing saddle repair on his own. His business was successful and the spare bedroom turned into a little yard barn. He continued to sell saddles and taught himself how to rebuild one from the tree up, refurbishing and repairing what his customers brought to him.

In 2000, the shop went online and today is a serious competitor. The last few years has ranked in the top four sales for Billy Cook, Circle Y, Tucker, Fabtron, Big Horn, and Dakota saddles. And Dale? He's still waiting on customers and keeping the shop clean. But on most days his favorite thing to do is answer the phone. After retiring from 22 years of saddle repair, he's happy to sit and exercise, as he calls it, his "gift of gab." With his experience, the shop couldn't have a better customer service representative. When Dale's voice comes over the phone, over twenty years of saddle experience comes with it. Most customers call needing help deciding what size seat or saddle tree to purchase. offers free templates to help find a proper saddle fit, but that's not all the shop has to offer. "I have a photographic mind," said Dale. "Always have. When someone tells me their horse is such and such tall and so wide, I can picture the horse in my mind and know what size the horse is going to take." And for the record, he's usually right.

The Horse Saddle Shop is proud of the way it's not only a family-owned business, but also the way they take care of their customers. Dale explains, "I would rather not sell a saddle at all than to sell something to someone they couldn't use or didn't want. I'm not a high-pressure salesman. When I sell something I want the people to want it and to know I've done my best for them." Though the shop sells the many big-name saddles like Billy Cook and Dakota, Dale claims he has no favorites to recommend; he knows his products intimately after decades of experience, and is willing to be honest and let people know what he thinks. "People call me and depend on me so I've got to be loyal to them," he stated. "I've got to be honest and sometimes tell them what they don't want to hear. But they asked and so I've got to tell them. That's why we sell saddles. We take care of our customers."

The most memorable sale for Dale was when the government purchased ten Billy Cook saddles to ship to Afghanistan. Dale said, "We get emails from the troops that are using the saddles about how much they like them and how the saddle has pretty much saved their lives." Dale's only regret about the business is that he hasn't had the privilege of meeting many of the people that he has become such good friends with over the telephone.

At the end of the day, with all his success, Dale looks over the journey of his life and gives the glory of his business to God. He knows that each sale is a gracious blessing from the Lord. "I'll be 80 my next birthday, and I just enjoy talking to people," he said. On November 28th, feel free to call and wish him a happy one.

To view the Horse Saddle Shop's extensive inventory of western saddles and tack, visit

About the Horse Saddle Shop:
The Horse Saddle Shop first started selling saddles in the small town of Bremen, Indiana in 1986 under the name The Saddle Shop. They served the Northern Indiana and surrounding areas until their expansion to the Internet in January of 2000. Since then, has become a major saddle dealer across the nation, expanding to horse owners of many friendly countries.

Chuck Klockow, Co-Owner
Horse Saddle Shop


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