Saddle of Trailblazing Rancher Mary Nan West

Custom-made saddle belonging to the Texas Women's Hall-of-Famer

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Who do you picture when you think of a Texas rancher? If you imagine a lone, brooding cowboy, then hold it right there. Mary Nan West (1925-2001) was a rancher who, at the age of nineteen, assumed management of the 36,000-acre Rafter S Ranch in Zavala County, as well as another ranch in Val Verde County.

This saddle was crafted for West by San Antonio gunsmith and saddle maker Hyman Saul "Hymie" Lebman (also Lehman). West's nickname, "PET," appears on the side of the saddle. That moniker was given to her as a child by her grandfather who often referred to West as "my little pet." He groomed her from a very young age to take over the ranch. Mary Nan West achieved many "firsts" for Texas women. She was the first woman to serve as president and chairman of the board of the San Antonio Livestock Exposition and its annual Stock Show and Rodeo.

West was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in 1987 and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in 1998.

See this and other artifacts on the Interactive Texas Map

Saddle of Trailblazing Rancher Mary Nan West Artifact from Zavala County
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