I do teach saddle making, saddle repair, saddle designing, silver design, layout patterns, All Styles, Horns, Ground work, and Configurations. For example, keep these areas in mind when you build a West Coast Cutter that there are standards on how the connectors attach even the groundwork. This holds true in 80% of these names: Ropers, Cutters, Ranch Cutters, Sorters, Barrel Racers and Reiners as in a Lomis or Lawson. There are special Features also in the “Wade” or “Afork” drop Plate rigging such as powder River Style to just plan full (5/8) rigged all different combinations. This can mean a Specific Named Saddle designed plus look. My knowledge insures this and so much more.
In saddle design there are standards also for the Saddle to have a True Western look. There are measurements which if not adhered to ……..well, you have seen the bad results on that. I believe enough has been said.
Teaching Saddle Repair ……………
Now, if you want to be a true Saddle Maker and (sky’s the limit), this is where I say the foundation is built.
You will at least make a living while your years add up with knowledge; as well as paying your dues so to speak. I myself learned in the following order: Starting in 1967 to 1970:
1) Saddle Cleaning and Conditioning – (6 months)
2) Saddle repair (used) – (6 months)
3) Saddle making (custom) One year, 1970 to Present 3600 Hour Diploma,
4) Saddle designing (custom) since 1970 to Present,
5) Teaching, New, since 1987 to Present,
6) Manufacturing, New, Cut room Tech, and finishing since 1990,
7) Teaching Manufacturing (New) and designing Rule dyes
8) Since 1990 Tree making and designing, and building.
9) Then teaching since 2004 to present.
(But) a few whom I’ve known teaching leather . . .
|Ray (Shorty) Stiles||Voc-Tech||Oklahoma|
|Charles Veach||Saddle Store||Tulsa, Oklahoma|
|Billy Cook Saddlery||Voc-Tech||Sulphur, Oklahoma|
|Bill Robinson||Visala||Visala, California|
|Steve Schmit||M. L. Leddy||Fort Worth, Texas|
|Brad Foster||M. L. Leddy||Fort Worth, Texas|
|Brenda||M. L. Leddy||Fort Worth, Texas|
|Werner Steckelbruck||Triple Horn Saddlery|
and here we are.
All have had a hand in my style and technique. There have been other saddle makers though whom I worked and exchanged teaching styles and techniques that are not listed. And there were saddle makers whom over the years just came by my store and shop and wanted to show me their techniques they use on a saddle I would be building. This happened with a saddle maker from Australia which (darn) I hope he reads this and sends me his name and photos of those Birds in his back yard. He showed me those pictures of exotic birds and I can’t get them out of my mind. His saddle making was very nice, Cutters, too! I cannot tell you how much enjoyment I’ve received in my trade. It never gets boring. You must meet so many great folks and you get to work with history. When you are blessed to teach some day, then give it your all in teaching. You allow another to begin that learning cycle which never ends, “ Man or Woman………..teaching”. It keeps you sharp. Learning moves you forward, people make you smile.