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~  Saddle Making School  ~
Build a Western Saddle on the Tree of your choice


Three Week Western Saddle Making School

      Okanagan Saddlery’s  Saddle Making Course is for anyone with the
desire to learn the craft of Saddle Making. You will learn under the
guidance of an experienced Saddle Maker and be well on your way
to acquiring the skills that are necessary to begin a career in the trade
of creating fine hand crafted saddles. Classes are limited to one student
at a time to ensure you get the individual attention needed to build your
skill level. We will take you through each step in the process of making
a Western Saddle. You will build your saddle on a Bullhide covered tree,
using your choice of tree style. You will design, cut, shape, and fit each individual
piece, under my direction using premium grade skirting leather and sheepskin.
I will explain each step as we go, and at the same time explain what happens
if you use different methods and short-cuts in your saddle making. In the
course I put a lot of emphases on fitting the saddle to the type of horses you
ride so the horse will be as comfortable as possible.  This makes a huge
difference to the way the horse will react to being ridden.

     When you speak to other Companies, regarding the courses they give, you
will normally find that you will do your course, on a tree that they specify and
not on a tree of your choice, along with a pre-cut and pre-designed patterns
that they supply. I teach you to draft your own patterns so you can make
different types of saddles, after you leave my school, and are on your own.
When you go to my students page, you will see that all the saddles are of different
patterns and styles that suite the students that made them, not just a set pattern
that is convenient for me to use for teaching purposes.

    All the materials needed to build your saddle, are included in the tuition fee. We
will provide the use of our shop tools. All you need to bring is a notebook and
the desire to learn the art of saddle making. I will photograph each stage of
your saddle’s progress and build a photo library on a CD for you to take home
as a visual record of you lesson. You will take the saddle you made, home with you
after the course is completed.

     Although the student will do 95% of the work and leave with a top quality
saddle, it must be understood that this is an introduction to saddle making.
Only constant practice and dedication can make you a craftsman.


Six Week Western Saddle Making School

     This course will include all of the above, and will also include the making of matching tack.

You will make matching Saddle bags, ( in my Classic Style, that will be easily removable from
your saddle, but will also be secure, when attached to the saddle) 

You will make, a breast collar (that will not chaff your horse)
You will make, a pr of 18 inch Tapaderos.
(in the style of the taps on my site, these taps will not tend to push
your foot out of the stirrup and the stirrup's will hang straight, unlike most taps)

You will make, a Scabbard, to fit a bolt action rifle with scope
( in the style of the scabbards on my site )
You will make, a pr of 5 Concho Batwing Chaps.
(that will fit you, and not cause discomfort when being worn)
You will also make a headstall in my ( Old-Timer Style, as shown on my site )
        All the materials needed to build your saddle, are included in the tuition fee. We
will provide the use of our shop tools. All you need to bring is a notebook and
the desire to learn the art of saddle making. I will photograph each stage of
your saddle’s progress and build a photo library on a CD for you to take home
as a visual record of you lesson. You will take the saddle you made, home with you
after the course is completed.
    Although the student will do 95% of the work and leave with a top quality
saddle, it must be understood that this is an introduction to saddle making.
Only constant practice and dedication can make you a craftsman.

Learn to turn this material into a custom
built saddle like the one below.

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like this.

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3 Week Leather Braiding School

       In this braiding course, I take you through the cutting of leather thongs
and their preparation prier to braiding, this is something that most people do
not understand, even people that have done a lot of braiding, they think that
the thongs just have to be cut to width, a very big mistake. Good braiding can
not be done with thongs that have not been properly prepared.
      
We will be making a fully adjustable braided headstall, in eight strand round braid,
using Kangaroo leather, that you will cut, split and bevel, along with horse-hair tassels.
The knots will have a interweave of a contrasting color that will highlight your work.
You will take this headstall home with you at the completion of your course.
      
All the materials needed to braid the headstall are included in the tuition fee. We
will provide the use of our shop tools. All you need to bring is a notebook and
the desire to learn the art of braiding. I will photograph each stage of your headstalls
progress and build a photo library on a CD for you to take home as a visual record
of you lesson. After all this has been mastered you will be well on your way to
becoming a braider, but (only constant practice and dedication will make you a craftsman)

                            The Headstall that you will make and take home
                                  with you is pictured in the photo below.



                                   


4 Week English Saddle Making School

       Okanagan Saddlery’s  English Saddle Making Course is for anyone with the desire to
learn the craft of English Saddle Making. You will learn under the guidance of an experienced
Saddle Maker and be well on your way to acquiring the skills that are necessary to begin a
career in the trade of creating fine hand crafted saddles.
        Classes are limited to one student at a time to ensure you get the individual attention
needed to build your skill levels
. You will not be just one in a crowd assembling a pre-cut
and pre-designed saddle, the course will revolve around your particular needs. I will take
you through each step in the process of making a English saddle
, on your choice of either
a ( General Purpose or
Dressage tree )
      You will design, cut, shape and fit each individual piece under my direction using premium
English leather and hardware. I will explain each step, as we go and at the same time, explain
what happens if you use different methods and short-cuts in your saddle making.
         In the course I put a lot of emphases on fitting the saddle to the type of horses you ride
so the horse will be as comfortable as possible.  This makes a huge difference to the way
the horse will react to being ridden. Whether you want to be a Professional Saddle Maker,
or are interested in making a saddle for your own use you will find this course very
informative, and you will come away with a new understanding of Horses and Saddles along
with a Saddle that you can be proud of in any company.

          All the materials needed to build your saddle are included in the tuition fee. We
will provide the use of our shop tools. All you need to bring is a notebook and the
desire to learn the art of saddle
making. I will photograph each stage of your saddle’s
progress and build a photo library on a CD for you to take home as a visual record of you
lesson. After the completion of the course, you will take the
saddle you made, home with you.
          Although the student will do 95% of the work and leave with a top quality saddle, it must
be understood that this is an introduction to saddle making. Only constant practice and dedication
can make you a craftsman.

1 Week English Saddle Flocking Course

        If you are a English Style rider, you probably know that the best fitting and most comfortable
English Style Saddle for a horse, has a Wool filled panel, not a Air panel, or Foam panel.
        You will also know that Wool panels need regular maintenance. You will also have found it
difficult to find a saddler who knows how to properly maintain and re-flock the panels of your saddle.
        There is a huge demand, in the equine industry, for people that have the expertise, to Flock
and repair English saddles. So why not learn this craft and go into
business for yourself, Re-flocking
and repairing English saddles.
         In this 6 day course you will gain the knowledge needed to Flock and maintain English saddles.

THE COURSE WILL COVER;

You willl learn how to safely open a English saddle; 
  .
You will learn the anatomy of a English saddle tree; 
Lean the basics of good saddle fit.
Learn to Re-flock, wool filled panels;
        You will remove all the old flocking, and will re-flock the 2 saddles with 100% pure wool,
not just add new flocking, on top of the old hard flocking.   (as is usually done)
Learn to put in leather covered, foam filled knee pads, or repair existing knee pads;
Learn how to evaluate whether the billet straps need to be replaced, or re-stitched;
 
Learn to Clean, Condition and Re-finish a English saddle;   
       
You will Clean, Condition and Re-finish 2 English Saddles, so you can turn them over
to your customer with pride..

Learn to evaluate the construction and materials used in English saddlery;
Learn the techniques used in hand sewing;
       
I.E.  Replacing billet straps, sewing the knee pads to the flap, and hand sewing the panels,
were the stitching has worn out.
        You will learn to close a English saddle's after doing the needed work.



      
To see some of the saddles, my past students, have made during their courses.          
 
    Click Here


# 1 When should I get instruction?
       In the beginning it is  important to avoid learning bad habits, to avoid trial and error, and
most importantly to achieve early success.

       When you have been building saddles or braiding for some time and you want to improve
your skill level,
you want to improve how your work looks and
to expand your knowledge
in a particular aria.

       
Instruction dates are set during the winter months, January to April.

# 2 Accommodations;
There are a variety of motels, B&Bs and Trailer Parks, within 20 minutes of the shop
.

# 3 Number of  hours per day, in class ?
Three week,  Western Saddle Making School, 7 hours per day 5 days per week, for 3 weeks.
Six week, Western Saddle Making School,
  7 hours per day, 5 days per week for six 6 weeks.
Four week, English Saddle Making School,   7 hours per day, 5 days per week for four (4) weeks.
One week, English Flocking School, 7 hours per day, 6 days per week, for one (1) week.
Three week,
Braiding School,  5 hours per day, 5 days per week for three (3) weeks.
Working longer hours braiding tends to be less productive as you lose concentration.


# 4  Where are we located?  
We are in the central interior of B.C. Canada around 300 miles east of Vancouver. We are
about 2 1/2 hours east of the US border at Oravile, Washington.

# 5  What criteria is needed to attend;

My Saddle Making or Braiding courses, are for anyone with the desire to learn the craft of Saddle Making
or Braiding.

# 6 What materials or tools should I bring;

I supply all materials and tools for the courses, if you have favorit tools that you would prefer
to use, you are welcome to bring them.  I will take digital photos as you work and copy
them to a CD for you to use as a reference as you work in the future. You will need a note book.

Some happy students at work on their projects.
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( Click on the labels below to go directly to those arrears )
Custom Made Saddles Saddle Bags
Chaps & Chinks Scabbards
Gun Leather Braided Work
Western Saddle Restoration English Saddle Repair
Saddle Fitting Additional Pieces
Learn the Art of Saddle Making Favorite Links & Web Rings
Home About us Terms
OKANAGAN SADDLERY
7979 Baker Hogg Rd, Vernon, B.C. Canada V1B 3S2
Call Toll Free  1-877-723-3534
Established in 1960

E-mail  sales@okanagansaddlery.com
 


Terms are cash with order. All prices, F.O.B. Vernon, B.C.
Shipping & Customs, C.O.D.