Coming for many avenues relating to horses, Ty Granger was a few years back recommended to create a saddle for the American Movie ‘Ghost Rider’, due for release in 2006. Having started building saddles for himself in 1988, he has acquired a wealth of knowledge and kindly took the time to answer some questions regarding this profession.
Have you always been interested in horses and when did you start creating custom saddles?
I started riding 33 years ago and started competing in Rodeos when I was 16. I started doing some leather work when I was about 12 and continued until I was good enough to do repair work for a local Saddler. This turned into a fulltime job and I learned to make saddles in the shop in Dayboro working for Geoff Hutson.
How much of your day/week is horse related?
I ride pretty well every day, we have a roping arena and cattle and 9 horses to keep in competitive condition.
In the saddlery field, is it possible for someone to be a full time professional, earning a livable income?
I have been a full time saddlemaker for the last 7 years and we live quite comfortably.
What are the general steps taken provide this product/service?
Our saddles are custom made for each of my clients. This starts with a tree that we build from wood and then cover it in rawhide all made to suit the needs of the customer. The saddle is made for the finest leather imported from the USA and then finished with custom silver trim which we also make and engrave.
Any advice for those interested in running a similar business?
I believe that you should have an understanding of what a horse and rider need to compete at their best. You also need to have pride in the work that you do and be able to put a good finish to your product.
Is there anything else with horses youâ€™d love to learn about or try?
I would like to try driving, I have a little buggy that I have been rebuilding and would like to train a couple of horses to pull it.
Favourite horse memory?
I trained my first rope horse when I was 16 and it went on to break the Australasian record for Breakaway Roping with the young lady who bought him from me. That made me feel pretty good.
I hope that I can continue to improve my workmanship and keep on enjoying my work.
Best thing about your sport/profession?
The best thing about my work is I get paid to do something that I love and I get to play cowboys every day.
“No hour of life was lost spent in the saddle.”