About Us

Black Mesa Saddletree was named after good ole Grandpa John Tharp who was born and raised in the Black Mesa pan-handle in Oklahoma. Grandpa John had a passion for horses and making money. At a young age Grandpa John became an entrepreneur. At the age of thirteen he would drive cattle to Fort Worth, Texas to sale them. Grandpa John’s talents did just not stop with selling cattle. As an adult he became a welder and built Liberty Ships. He also worked on the Alaskan pipeline. The Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri has honored Grandpa John by placing his ironwork on display.

John taught his grandson Dave Walkey the art of making saddletrees. Dave grew up riding horses and working sale barns. Dave competed in the American Cutting Horse Association in 1981 and 1982. Each year he finished 2nd place following his brother who finished 1st place.

In 1997 Dave started building saddletrees and after noticing the problems that others were having with their duplicators, Dave decided to follow his grandfather’s step and started his own business “Black Mesa Saddletree” in 2003 located in Harrisonville, Missouri. Dave used his experiences, skills and talents to build his own duplicators.

After four years in business for himself Dave met veteran saddle and tree-maker Len Brown. Len showed Dave his product “The Corrector”. After seeing Len’s product Dave asked Len if he wanted to buy a company. Two years later, Len showed up at Dave’s shop and purchased Black Mesa Saddletree in 2009. After taking ownership Len used his skills and knowledge to perfect the duplicators and took the company to a greater standard. With Dave’s craftsmanship and Len’s knowledge together they create superior and high quality saddletrees.

In memory of Grandpa John and his love of horses and the fashion trail that’s why Black Mesa exists today. Black Mesa Saddletree was the first company to offer a life-time guarantee for their saddletrees.