Museum adds protective saddle cabinets

There’s a better place to store old saddles than in a dusty barn.

Preservation is the goal behind the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum’s new storage units. Nine large custom-built metal cabinets were delivered to the Museum this week where they’ll house (and protect) the Museum’s saddle collection.

The cabinets, which can hold as many as nine saddles each, were unloaded and moved into the Museum’s 8,000-square-foot Collection Storage Room on Thursday. The Museum has about 60 saddles in its collection.

“The cabinets are a micro-environment that is better to protect the saddles and any organic material like leather,” said Holly Radke, the Museum’s Collections Manager and Registrar. “They’re protected from everything from light, to critters, to water.”

The saddles will be grouped into categories such as side-saddles, military, charro, and Western stock saddles. Some of the saddles are occasionally on display in exhibits for the public to see. These cabinets will help preserve them when they’re not on display.

There also is space in the cabinets to store other leather items, such as bridles.

The Museum has more than 11,000 objects in its collection. Some of the leather items are featured in the Slim Green Saddle Making exhibit in the Museum’s Horse & Cattle Barn.

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