And thus begins...

Posted by RodandDenise on November 2, 2015

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two videos about how Western saddles fit horses available on our website.

2015 Nov 2 1 Rod on phone.jpg

the long goodbye…

Rod has spent a lot of time on the phone over the last week calling customers,

2015 Nov 2 2 The e-mail we didnt want to write.jpg

and then we sent out the e-mail which started:

“To our customers,

Yes, this another of those e-mails we would prefer we didn’t have to write, but our world is changing again and we need to let you know about it. Rod’s arthritis is not getting much/any relief from the changes we have made and the medical treatments he has been having, so we have made the difficult decision to close our book and stop building saddle trees.”

2015 Nov 2 3 the book.jpg 2015 Nov 2 4 the book closed.jpg

We have orders which will take us through mid-summer 2016, after which the equipment will be for sale and we will move on to another phase of our lives. We’re not going away just yet, but our book is now closed. (By the way, does anyone else remember these binders? It has lasted much longer as a tree maker’s order book than it ever did as a Life Saving Manual for my Bronze Medallion course!)

2015 Nov 2 5 Rod Nikkel Saddle Trees.jpg

Thanks to all our customers, friends, those who have helped us over the years, offering encouragement, feedback, suggestions and support to us. This has been a fantastic business for us and we have met so many wonderful people through it. We appreciate you all.

Posted by Thomas O. Schmelzing (Tosch) on 
We have never met and I do not own a saddle that is built on one of your trees, but we have exchanged emails on different topics and joined discussions over at the leatherworker forum, and I consider you “friends in horses” as Verlane once called me. I feel sad for you to have been forced to come up with this decision. A decision which is hard on you – but good for Rod’s hands, I hope! I keep my fingers crossed that you come up with something else to do that interests you and pays the bills (and then some). And I sure hope you will stay with the horse and saddle (tree) community in one way or another.
I wish you the best – and may Rod’s hand get better!
Posted by Wendy on 
So sorry to hear, wish you the very best. Thank you so much for your blogs on saddle fitting. I have learned so much and refer to them often as I work to find that right tree for my mare. Working with a saddle maker now here in colorado. Hoping they can help me get the best fit possible and help evaluate from a far. Wendy
Posted by Charlie on 
That's too bad, you guys. Have just discovered your site and loved almost every word of it (except the God stuff, I'm afraid - not relevant to saddles nor to me, but I respect your point of view ...) Good tree and saddle makers are hard to find, and I hope you can find someone to train to your excellent standards. Best wishes in your future life.
Posted by Kristi on 
So sad to hear that you have closed your books! I had been holding out hope of getting a saddle made on one of your trees someday, your website/blog has made a big impression on me and my understanding of saddle fit. Is there anyone you might suggest that takes similar care in building saddle trees to fit horses?

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