2012 - Volume #BFS, Issue #12, Page #51[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story ]
His Silver Saddles Shine At Shows, ParadesBack in the 1940’s and 50’s, when Hollywood stars rode horses decked out with sterling silver saddles and tack, a saddle-maker named Ted Flowers in Indiana decided to make his own silver saddles. But he used German silver (nickel silver) that looked the same but cost a lot less.
About 15 years ago, leather-worker Bob Glessner discovered and purchased Flowers’ old dies and started making silver saddles. “When I build a full clad silver saddle, not a lot of leather shows through,” Glessner says, explaining that it’s like building two saddles because everything has to be backed with leather.
It takes about three months to complete a saddle and tack.
“I also do a lot of restoration work,” Glessner says. Because he has the dies, he can make parts for people who own Flowers’ saddles.
Following Flowers’ style, Glessner offers six full-clad styles that include diamonds, horse heads, Indian heads and other designs. He customizes them with initials and other items at the customer’s request. He also offers custom saddles with varying amounts of silver.
Cost for the full-clad silver saddles starts at just over $11,000, averaging about $15,000.
Glessner’s customers have show horses and ride in parades, and his saddles appear at the Rose Bowl. With more interest in developing new parade classes for horses, he’s seeing renewed interest in silver saddles.
Contact Glessner for a catalog of saddle styles or about saddle restoration.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Loon Creek Leather, LLC, Huntington, Ind. (ph 260 356-0726; www.looncreekleather.com).
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