King’s Ropes and Saddlery, Sheridan, Wyoming, USA (2024)

For a full appreciation for the American Cowboy and his craft, you should consider a visit to King’s Saddlery and Museum. For the modern rancher, King’s is a treasure trove of new tack, apparel and world famous ropes. However, the King’s Museum also has one of the best private museums in Sheridan and is a stop worthy of all visitors. With dozens of saddles, wagons, carriages and western curiosities covering every surface of the museum there is so much to see that you could spend days looking over the entire collection. Some of the most knowledgeable people about the collection would be the docents who watch over the space and they are more than happy to show you the best pieces in this amazing assortment of western heritage items.

The entrance to the museum can be accessed through the back door of the storefront and a few steps across the alley. At first glance all you see is row after row of shiny new saddles and stations for rope builders and leather workers. Just past the saddle racks is the entryway of the museum. When you step through the door you are greeted with the comforting aroma of soft leather and boiling coffee over a hard wood fire. It reminds you of the days of cattle drives and open range camping while a cowhand sings to the moon and cattle until the early morning. After signing the guestbook and paying the small donation fee, you have the option to pay the $10 donation fee for the information booklet.

Don King, the patriarch of King’s Saddlery, knew very well the hard work and fresh air style of the ranch hand life. A Wyoming native, Don was born in Douglas to Arch and Blanche Fitzhugh King on Aug 19, 1923. Don’s parents divorced when he was five and he stayed with his father who worked as a cowboy and ranch hand. Don learned the trade early in his life and by the age of 14 was supporting himself by working odd jobs on ranches and rodeos. In his spare time, he learned to tool leather and craft wallets, belts and other small gear which he would either trade or sell. After apprenticing with saddle maker and friend Rudy Mudra, Don bought his own ranch and worked in the leather trade part time. In 1957, he dedicated himself full time to saddle and tack making, rope building and leather tooling. He became well known for his impeccable taste and specific method of leather work which is now recognized as the Sheridan style.

Don, a renowned collector who had a deep appreciation for horseman culture, has procured memorabilia from around the world. His collection of saddles, guns and various other equestrian items is beyond impressive. You can see how much Don appreciated hundreds of styles of leather work and the history of the West. Some of the strangest items in the collection are something you might see in a sideshow at a circus such as a two headed calf, a three horned cow and the rattlesnake and cow skull display. You can flip though the photo album of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to the saddlery when she came to Sheridan in the 1980’s and if you are looking for some Middle Eastern flair, there is an Arabian show saddle and bridle displayed over a large stuffed bear. Don also had a great appreciation for the Plains Indian culture. There are several Quirts which warriors used to count coup, dozens of beaded moccasins, and a pristine photogravure on delicate tissue paper of the Ogallala Sioux Chief Red Cloud.

Don King was a man who knew the importance of dedication, hard work and having an understanding of those who have ridden before us. You can still see this in the very backbone of the King’s Saddlery ethic. While visiting Sheridan you should plan to spend a couple hours touring the store and museum. Not only do they sell the famous kings ropes hats, but they also have an impressive collection of fine houseware items, fancy handkerchiefs, western jewelry and the stunning Always Azul bucking horse pottery. The store hours are Monday through Saturday from 8am to 5pm. When visiting Sheridan, make King’s Saddlery and Museum one of your stops–we promise you won’t regret it!

By Savannah Hennigh

King’s Ropes and Saddlery, Sheridan, Wyoming, USA (1)
King’s Ropes and Saddlery, Sheridan, Wyoming, USA (2)
King’s Ropes and Saddlery, Sheridan, Wyoming, USA (3)
King’s Ropes and Saddlery, Sheridan, Wyoming, USA (4)
King’s Ropes and Saddlery, Sheridan, Wyoming, USA (2024)


Where is King Ropes located? ›

King's Saddlery, King Ropes | Sheridan, Wyoming.

Who owns King Saddlery? ›

“The craftsmanship is what keeps you on top. Not that we're on the absolute top. But we think we're okay,” says second-generation owner Bruce King, with great modesty. The King family saddlery legacy began with Don King in 1946.

Who started King Ropes? ›

Don King, the patriarch of King's Saddlery, knew very well the hard work and fresh air style of the ranch hand life. A Wyoming native, Don was born in Douglas to Arch and Blanche Fitzhugh King on Aug 19, 1923. Don's parents divorced when he was five and he stayed with his father who worked as a cowboy and ranch hand.

What are cowboy ropes called? ›

A lasso is the loop of rope that cowboys use to catch cattle. To be a successful cowboy or cowgirl, you have to learn to throw a lasso while riding a galloping horse. The circle of rope is called a lasso.

What rope do cowboys use? ›

Hemp and nylon are some of the materials of choice for most modern cowboys and ranchers. The materials have proven to be substantially more durable and useful than both hair and cowhide ropes. For those who prefer a more classic type of rope that pays tribute to the lasso's roots, the Maguey lariat is often favored.

Who made saddles for Sears? ›

Starting in the early 20th century Bona Allen saddles were offered in the Sears Mail Order catalog under a variety of names. The Bona Allen Company was owned by Bonaparte Allen Sr.

Who made Longhorn saddles? ›

Longhorn Saddlery & Western Wear was started January 23rd, 1968 by Roy and Jeanette Bettcher.

Who owns Double J Saddlery? ›

Owner John DeBord spent nearly two decades learning saddle-making at Circle Y before stepping out on his own with his wife, Nancy, daughter of Circle Y's founder Leland Tucker.

When was King Ropes founded? ›

Internationally known for its ropes and saddles, King's Saddlery was opened in 1963 by Don King. His trophy saddles tooled with King's favored motif, the wild rose, can be seen in the Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Museum of the American Cowboy, and the ProRodeo Hall of Champions.

What year did ropes come out? ›

Starting from approximately 2800 BC, rope made of hemp fibres was in use in China. Rope and the craft of rope making spread throughout Asia, India, and Europe over the next several thousand years.

Why did cowboys use rope? ›

With the rope dallied around the horn, the cowboy has greater leverage over the livestock, and can effectively use his horse as the equivalent of a tow truck with a winch to get the animal to where it needs to be.

Who makes the best calf roping ropes? ›

Founding in 1972, Callaway Ropes has been an industry standard for 45 years. It's a family-owned and operated company that makes its products in the U.S. They offer calf team and ranch ropes, plus small sizes for kids.

Who makes the strongest rope? ›

The short answer is that Dyneema ® is the world's strongest man-made fibre™.

Where did ropes come from? ›

The ancient Egyptians developed rope making techniques in 2500 BC which are still in use today. Some Native Americans chewed hide and sinew into strands that could be used for rope. Rope making in ancient India was so unique that only a special class of people made ropes.

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