When it comes to collecting antique saddles, veteran saddlemaker Chuck Stormes has some simple advice, "Don't do anything to it that you can't undo."
A Lifetime of Stories
He can't remember how many paintings he's done, but he thinks he's painted pictures of horses in 28 states, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. And he for sure remembers that he has painted some horses two or even three times. "I'd paint a picture for the owner of a horse, and then when the horse sold, the new owner would want one. And if the horse sold again, sometimes the next owner would want one," Orren Mixer laughs.
Saddles With Tradition
World-famous Severe Brothers Saddlery, a family-operated outfit in Pendleton, Oregon, was started by brothers Duff and Bill Severe in 1955. Today, the next generation of Severe brother, Robin and Randy, carry on their father and uncle's saddlemaking traditions, while adding a few touches of their own.
Strokes of Genius
Legendary equine artist Orren Mixer can't remember names, dates or places worth a dime. But when it comes to horses, the 87-year-old has a photographic memory. For instance, he doesn't recall the exact year he was commissioned to paint his first equine portrait, other than it was 1949 or 1950, but he does know that he painted racehorses Tom's Lady Gray and Gray Lady, both owned by James Reese of Temple, Oklahoma.
Don King's Sheridan Style
From California's Spanish-influenced Visalia to Arizona's practical Porter, Don King melded regional saddlemaking traditions with his own meticulous flair. In the process, he carved an innovative style and a rich saddle-making legacy.