Story by A.J. Mangum This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.89 Craftsmen Ernie Marsh and Wilson Capron discuss traditional bit styles and cheek designs. We’re leaving out a number of styles, but let’s discuss the Santa Barbara, the Santa Paula, the Santa Susanna, the Santa Maria and, breaking with the saint theme, the […]
Story by A.J. Mangum This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.88 Ernie Marsh explains the connection between horsemanship and spur design. Every veteran horseman has had the experience of overhearing another rider critique a pair of spurs as “excessive” or “harsh.” Often, such verdicts are based on nothing more than the aesthetics of […]
Story by A.J. Mangum This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.87 Oklahoma saddlemaker John Willemsma sheds light on a fundamental part of a saddle’s architecture. In the horse world, the concept of saddle rigging can be confounding, to the point that many longtime riders throw around terms like “double rigging” or “centerfire,” or spout […]
Story by A.J. Mangum This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.85 Subscribe Today! According to bit and spur maker Wilson Capron, the secret to effective design lies in a ratio that’s all around us. In mathematics, there’s a formula known as the “golden ratio” that’s frequently encountered in measuring distances within basic geometric shapes. Expressed […]
Horse Gear & Makers
Effective Saddle Design – Saddlemaker Troy West explains five traits that contribute to a well-designed saddle.
Story by A.J. Mangum This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.83 “Imagine you’re driving down the road and you see a beautiful car,” says Troy West. “You pull up beside it and it’s a Mercedes or a Lexus. The beautiful cars are always high-end, from makers whose designers take the time to really […]
Horse Gear & Makers
Quality Rawhide – Texas rawhide braider Leland Hensley shares insight on his craft.
Story by A.J. Mangum This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No. 82 Leland Hensley is driving across Oklahoma, bound for Kansas, when he answers my phone call. I’ve arranged to interview him about his craft, braiding rawhide. When I learn he’s behind the wheel, I offer to reschedule, but he declines. Having spent […]
Story and Photos by A.J. Mangum This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.80 For saddlemaker Chuck Stormes, independence has allowed an unrestricted pursuit of quality. In the late 1960s, Alberta saddlemaker Chuck Stormes was at a turning point. He had begun his career earlier in the decade as an apprentice for master saddlemaker […]
A custom built western saddle crafted by a skilled saddle maker to your specifications is simply the Rolls Royce of tack…and the cat’s pajamas. These unique leather treasures reflect, and are as varied as, the customers who order them, the horses who sport them, and the artisans who devote their lives to the craft of […]
Washington silversmith Mark Drain shares his insight Silversmith Mark Drain’s career took root in Reno, Nevada, in the early 1970s, during the city’s heyday as a mecca for western craft. Influenced by iconic western craftsmen such as Al Pecetti, Fran Harry and Dan Murray, Drain became known for his custom buckles and saddle silver, and […]
Editor’s Note: In issues 72, 73 and 75 the late Jay Harney spoke with Tom Moates, looking back over his life in the saddle, sharing his history and experiences. The following is a related piece in which saddle maker Ron Butler discusses the saddles he made for Jay. “I met Jay over 30 years […]