This saddle is full flower carved with a dyed background. It is built on a modified Wade tree with a 16-inch seat and 3 1/2-inch roll cantle. It has 13/16 flat plate rigging, round skirts and a recessed swell.

PAUL VAN DYKE, Saddlemaker, Sheridan, Wyoming
Paul Van Dyke became interested in good horses and fine gear at an early age. Will James and a love of history and good horsemen fostered this love. At age 16, he apprenticed to leatherworker Ron Silverman and at age 18, began study with Don Butler to learn the fundamentals and art of saddle making. He worked for Don for 7 years taking time off to cowboy and work for and with different horse trainers. In 2004, he struck out on his own to build saddles and train horses, each aspect of business benefiting the other. "I found this Shaker furniture making quote that describes the philosophy I have in my work: Make every product better than it’s ever been done before… Give the same attention to the smallest details as you do the largest. Design every item you make to last forever."

Photos by Adam Jahiel