Hand braided working gear for horse and rider is a skill I picked up in the early ‘90s when I was fortunate to spend time living on a working cattle ranch in California, USA. The events that led me to this ranch and me learning to braid quality horse gear began by following my love and passion for horses.
In Australia I had been a partner in an equestrian service and saddle company. We organised and ran colt starting and horsemanship clinics around QLD and the Top End of Australia. Our philosophy was based on the knowledge of the “horse’s friend” Tom Dorrance.
To cut a long story short, when I went to the States to meet the man who had influenced our horsemanship service in Australia, my life took another turn and I found myself staying with Toms brother Bill and his wonderful family on their ranch in California. The day to day activities were not unlike farming life in Australia so I fit right in. However it was exciting to learn some rope skills and everything to do with branding and ranch roping. When we weren't horseback Bill taught me rawhide preparation, braiding and much about patience and life in general.
I was encouraged to make Californian style working gear working mostly with rawhide, paracord and leather.
When I returned to Australia I continued my braiding and made similar working gear but most often with paracord. The natural feel and texture of this material resulted in an attractive hand braided product that would last for many years.
I would like to acknowledge my friend and mentor the late Bill Dorrance, for his kindness and patience and for taking the time to share with me his life, knowledge and passion for rawhide braiding and roping. Also big thanks to Steve and to Leslie Dorrance for her patience and sharing with me her skill for making reins and accessories.
I am proud and very privileged to have braided horse gear for some of the finest horsemen and women of our time and it is my pleasure to continue sharing my experience, knowledge and products with you all. Handmade and customised items are an investment in yourself and your journey with the horse ...