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One Man’s Opinion and One Man’s Collection by Merrilee Doss

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Now Out of Print!

One Man’s Opinion about Spade Bits and How they Work
Written by Dick Deller with Merrilee Morrell

Dick Deller and Merrilee Morrell (now Doss) represent a team with deep appreciation for the bridlehorse and the bridleman. Dick has spent his whole life working with and perfecting the process of bridling champion cow horses. His knowledge and skill have been recognized and awarded repeatedly.

Merrilee, the daughter of Richie Morgan, perpetuates the legacy of the bridleman and horse by showing in the Western States her father’s lifetime collection of working spade bits. This collection represents Richie’s passion and skill in working with the spade bit horse. Dick and Richie were the best of friends, united by their mutual interests and values. Now Dick and Merrilee bring that together in One Man’s Opinion with Dick’s vast knowledge about the spade, Merrilee’s tutelage at her father’s knee, and illustrations of the Morgan Bit Collection.

Softcover, sepia print.

One Man’s Collection of Early California Spade Bits — The Legacy of Richie Morgan by Merrilee Morrell Doss

Born in Byron, California, in 1920, Richie Morgan had a life rich in experiences and heritage. He spent his 75 years working with horses and cattle. During these times he realized the value of not only a good bit, but of having the right bit. To him, that was the spade bit, and many of them. Over those 75 years, he bought, traded, fixed, and was given some very nice Early California style bits, most of them spades. At one point, this humble gentleman realized his tackroom held a collection. He and his daughter Merrilee photographed and recorded the history as he knew it of each one of those bits, including why he thought it was “a good usin’ bit.”

This book is the Morgan’s way of sharing that heritage with the reader. Each bit, 149 of his better ones, is pictured with the mouthpiece, sometimes a close-up of the engraving, maybe a detail or a picture of the full bridle. Richie’s words are right there explaining why he liked that bit or how he got it. There are family pictures of ranch work in the 1940s and 50s showing the horses working in those bits. And, a special bonus is the actual correspondence between Morgan and renowned bitmaker Eduardo Grijalva. Sit back in your easy chair and travel back 100 years into the world of cowboy to cowman, bridleman to bit collector, Richie Morgan, as you savor his legacy.

Softcover sepia print

2 reviews for One Man’s Opinion and One Man’s Collection by Merrilee Doss

  1. Rated 5 out of 5


    These two books together are a wonderful addition to any collection. I have been fascinated by spade bits and equipment for awhile. Reading both of these books has increased my knowledge of these bits and their uses. They are also the perfect resource when looking at bits for sale.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5


    As I study bit designs from past to present, work with repairing and building bits. i find this One Mans Collection interesting in following how and why the Spade bit has transitioned through time. Why one bit works and why another similar in design doesn’t. I find that if you don’t know what the inside of your horses mouth looks like, get them floated and take some measurements while the mouth is open. Just like one persons dentures won’t fit another person, horses have variations also.

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