Knowing the importance of good saddles
Dusty has been part of the cowboy world for his whole life. Growing up on a ranch in Southwest Wyoming taught him at a young age the importance of a high quality saddle and a fine horse. While attending the University of Wyoming, he worked on ranches around the area and this is where he met his wife Mae. After graduation, Dusty and Mae married and continued working for and running ranches.
Getting a start in saddle making
Dusty built his first saddle in 2006 and immediately knew this was his passion. He sought any training information on building saddles. This led him to John Willemsma's shop in Gutherie, Oklahoma where he watched a saddle being built. In 2014, Dusty was selected to attend the Traditional Cowboy Artist Association's Emerging Artist Contest in Mesa, Arizona. Since then, he received third place with his saddle entry at the World Leather Debut contest in Sheridan, WY. Kieth Seidel and countless others have given Dusty helpful advice and tips.
Rejuvenating the saddle tree business
Rod Nikkel gave Dusty his start in building trees. Rod, along with several other tree makers, have retired leaving a void in the business. As a saddle maker, Dusty saw the importance in having a high quality saddle tree so decided to learn the art. He spent two weeks with the Nikkel's learning everything there is to know about trees.
The art of custom saddle trees
Building a piece of art out of blocks of raw wood and covering it with rawhide that he himself processes is a great feeling. Again, we are using the highest quality materials and feel that rawhide processed in factories is not good enough to put on the trees and send to customers that are expecting the finest tree.
Dusty makes one saddle tree at a time and takes pride in the craftmanship going out the door.