Around the shop last week

Posted by RodandDenise on March 31, 2014

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


Last week was a pretty typical week around here. Rod built trees and rawhided trees. I did up wood and varnished trees. Pretty normal…


Here’s a couple of trees we currently have drying. They were just a few days past rawhiding at this point. The Wade on the left has a the largest horn cap we have built to date except on our charro trees. This one is a 6” Guadalajara shaped cap. It makes the 3 ¾” cap on the Wade tree next to it look pretty tiny…


The other two we did in that set are swell forks. The wood post one on the left is a 13" wide leaned ahead High Country. The Buster Welch on the right is 12 ½” wide. These two fork patterns are very, very close, but not quite identical. We’d be pretty hard pressed to tell for sure which was which if we only had one tree to look at with nothing to which to compare it. The High Country was a design originally worked out between High River, Alberta, saddle maker Matt Eberle and his customer, Tom Bews. Matt’s original design was 12 ½” wide, and he designed it so he could cover it without a welt relatively easily.  A High County is usually stood up, but it gets leaned ahead sometimes too.  Matt passed away within the past year. Another great saddle maker gone…


Putting them all together, you’d think we had lined them up according to horn cap size - 6”, 3 ¾”, 3 ½”, 1 5/8”. Well, we did, but not on purpose… Oh yeah, the one in the corner, the funny looking one without a horn, is still sitting here. There doesn’t seem to be much call for hand made Western Stock (Aussie style) saddle trees in North America.


It’s been a while since I posted a picture of Rod rawhiding a tree, and I’m sure you really, really want to see another one, right??? Some of the time he stands up…


And some of the time he sits down. But it’s all part of the process of rawhiding a saddle tree… (This tree has a 3B fork on it, just in case anyone was wondering.)


And, just for fun, here’s a picture of an odd sort of guy. He shows up about noon every day when the sun is shining, squats down and feeds the birds. I just hope some day he quits smoking…

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