Archive for April 2013 | Monthly archive page
The great Ray Holes of Grangeville, Idaho developed a leather conditioner he called “Saddle Butter” many years ago. It has a combination of beeswax, neatsfoot oil, carnauba wax and a variety of other ingredients. I’ve used it liberally over the years on new and used saddles. The saddle will never be cleaner than when it is new, therefore it is a good idea to treat all the saddle parts that will come into direct contact with the horse. Stirrup leathers, fenders, back cinch, billets, the back side of the flat plate rigging receive special attention. Warm moisture from the horse carry with it salts that are damaging to leather. It is recommended that a product with some wax in it be used to seal up these areas that are most vulnerable. Applied liberally and allowed to render into the leather, then buffed off with a sheepskin leaving a smooth finish is important. This way, airborne dust will not stick to the surface of the leather. I buy Ray Holes Saddle Butter by the gallon.
It was January 2013 in Mesa, Arizona at the High Noon Show and Sale where we hosted the first annual TCAA Emerging Artist Competition. The participants wanted a thorough critique of the work they had on display. My colleague Rick Bean and I obliged. It turned into a no-holds-barred process that the saddlemakers in attendance relished. When asked who they thought were the ultimate beneficiaries of our suggestions they chimed, “We are!”. I then made the case that the ultimate beneficiaries were their customers…that person horseback using a piece of equipment that is also a work of art. Together they bargained for a deal thinking they would better their lot in life, and in the process also found a way to enrich the lives of others. Now that is a collective bargain that we can all get behind!
Over the years I’ve been very fortunate to have accumulated many great customers. Art Nicholas and the Wagonhound Ranch has been one of them. This world class ranch is located near Douglas, Wyoming and features top shelf big game hunts, horses, and cattle. Art and his staff have been working toward a production sale for their horse program for the last several years. The sale is scheduled for September of this year at the ranch and promises to be a great one. The top ten buyers names will be placed in a drawing for one of my saddles. For more information on the ranch and the upcoming sale, visit www.wagonhound.com.