I’d like to introduce you to my latest (and greatest?) Special Collections saddle set I recently completed. It is a 1:9 scale replica of Gene Autry’s saddle set that includes not only his awesome saddle, but also a very unique bridle and stunning breastplate. (If you don’t know who Gene Autry is, as your parents, or grandparents.)
You need to know that this “Special Collections” saddle was inspired by a great customer from Bend, Oregon, Frank Bouldin, who I am proud to now call my friend. What is amazing is that Frank doesn’t even own a computer and calls me, followed by a hand written letter, and we discuss his ideas. I don’t even remember how he found out about me.
Anyway, this Gene Autry Saddle set was likely my biggest challenge thus far. It’s hard to appreciate from a photo, but the “doo-dads” on this saddle was so tiny I could hardly hold them, and had to resort to tweezers. I could only work on this saddle set for a short time, as my eyes blurred, twitched and my hands shook from fatigue before very long. You may notice from the “before / after” photos that I wasn’t able to include all the silver from the original saddle, but I certainly did my best. I am thrilled at the end result and I thank Frank for pushing me beyond my comfort zone to create such a saddle set. The “pistol bit” was a hoot! I can’t believe I actually was able to do it!
Ben’s Custom Tack