Hagel’s Cowboy Gear

Written by Doreen Shumpert This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.35 What once started out as a summer job for teenage Wyoming ranch cowgirl Sara Douglas has blossomed into a full-time business for Sara Hagel—an award-winning crafter of custom cowboy gear. Back when she was merely 13 years old, Hagel (then Douglas) wanted […]

Tooling of the Trade

Written by Doreen Shumpert Known best for his rich and beautiful Sheridan-style, wild-rose tooling patterns on his leather work and saddles, Ray Arthun originally hailed from Montana and Wyoming and was a bronc-ridin’ rodeo cowboy. And, as with most youngsters of that time, he grew up being a do-it-yourself kinda guy, and there isn’t much […]

The Mecate Master

Written by Doreen Shumpert The horsehair mecate is as traditional to Spanish-influenced horsemanship as fireworks are to the Fourth of July. However, master craftsmen like Doug Krause, who can produce modern-day quality hair ropes, aren’t so commonplace. It’s artisans like him that keep tradition – and history –alive and pure for generations to come. For […]

Gary Wiggins, Cowboy Gear Maker

Written by Doreen Shumpert Gary and Cynthia Wiggins (Wiggins Bits and Spurs) transplanted one year ago from the hustle and bustle of Castle Rock, Colo. to the quieter side of life in Brewster, Kansas. The backdrop of their “30-cow outfit” of commercial crossbred cattle and four horses provides perfect inspiration for Wiggins’ custom silver creations. Out […]

Bucking Rolls

Written by Cary Shwarz Bucking rolls have increased in popularity within the last few years, which has followed the increased demand for slick fork saddles. Questions arise as to their practicality, where and how they evolved and whether or not they are here to stay. Answers to these questions are not as satisfying as we […]

The Elements of the Saddle Part 3: The Rigging

Written by Chuck Stormes This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.15 The original “saddle”, a simple cloth much like a saddle blanket, and the later pad-saddle version were held in place by a surcingle—a strap encircling horse and pad, secured by tying. The development of the saddle tree offered new possibilities for securing […]

The Elements of the Saddle Part 2: The Seat

Written by Chuck Stormes This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.13 Many of the nineteenth and early twentieth century saddleries were large firms doing much of their business by mail order. Depending on their market share, they employed from twenty to two hundred workers, including harness makers, strapworkers, saddlemakers and flower stampers. The […]