This Week in the Shop
We are no longer building saddle trees. We have two saddle fit videos available on our westernsaddlefit.com website. Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, aimed at riders, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo while the six hour series Well Beyond the Basics, aimed more for professionals but understandable by anyone, is available by streaming on Vimeo. (We left this website up because we have had many requests to keep the information available.)
Here’s a picture of the last set of trees we had ready for shipment. It is unusual for us to have four swell forks at a time, since more than half of what we build is various forms of slick forks, but that is how the orders came in. The two in the middle are wood post horn Modified Associations going out to Northern BC. The metal horn fork is a Buster Welch headed down to Idaho, and the one on the left of the picture is a duplicate we built off a broken tree that looks similar to our Packer pattern. I’ll have to write about duplicates another time.
We do up trees in sets of four if possible. That gives us the best use of our time as the first couple are being varnished (3 coats) while the last ones are being built, so rawhiding can start right away. Rod can rawhide a couple trees in a day, and with Denise having everything glued up and marked out before he starts, he can build four trees in four days. So in theory, we should make four trees in a six day work week.
That is IF:
Rod doesn’t have to make rawhide
Or cut up a bunch of hides he made earlier
And there are no “special” trees that take extra time
And the cows don’t need to be moved
And the horse doesn’t go through the fence and need doctoring
And the garden doesn’t need a whole pile of attention
And we have no weddings, funerals, “after weddings”, going away parties, or other local events to attend
And nothing else exciting in our lives occurs to take us out of the shop.
All this goes to explain why, though theoretically we can make four trees a week (and sometimes do, especially in the winter) we average about 12 a month.