Editor's Note: This article appeared in the March-April 1940 issue of Western Horseman. For more on the Visalia Stock Saddle Company, see this month's print feature, "Visalia Style."
Working on saddles wasn't a choice for Bill Maloy early in life. His grandparents first started running a pack string and horse concessions in Sequoia National Park in the 1920s. Eventually, his father joined the business and, as soon as he was old enough, Bill was a regular employee.
Any horse that's ridden hard might develop a sore back, which might have something to do with the way he's ridden or the tack used on him. One possible solution is to use a cutaway saddle pad made with an opening to fit over sore spots on the withers.
Thanks to all that hay twine, the stable's garbage bin needs to be emptied again. But wait, why throw away something that saves time and money? Tuck that twine over in the corner where it can easily be reached. It'll come in handy in the near future.
The term "piggin' string" has special meaning to cowboys who rope wild cattle and doctor and brand calves. There are other names for this handy piece of rope, such as "hoggin' rope" or "tie-down rope."
If you're new to the driving world, here are some insights from Montana clinician and trainer Doug "Doc" Hammill, D.V.M., on buying harness gear.
In the July print issue, Tom and Tad Knowles of Colorado's Wildflower Saddles & Tack in Elizabeth explained how to replace broken saddle strings or add strings to decorative conchas. Strings are great for tying gear onto your saddle, but also can be used to make equipment repairs, if necessary, when you're on the trail or working cattle and can't get back to the barn immediately.
Bitmakers Greg Darnall and Ernie Marsh agree there's nothing wrong with using vintage or antique spade bits. The market for the better-made bits by known makers has exploded in recent years. And a person might find that his prized Guadalupe Garcia, Raphael Gutierrez or Al Tietjen bit has become too valuable to use on a regular basis.