This bit and leather silver mounted headstall features a 4-inch Spanish spade mouthpiece, Santa Barbara cheeks with filigree work, and full sterling overlay. The bit is combined with a split-ear headstall adorned with hand-engraved buckles, tips and concho connectors. Even the curb strap has a handmade 14-gauge silver buckle. Artist Jeff Minor braided the 12-plait reins and 16-plait romal, finished off with fancy buttons.

CHRISTOPHER CHENEY, Bitmaker, Rexburg, Idaho
Christopher Cheney was raised in Salmon where he helped his grandfather with a small herd of cattle and horses. He built his first saddle while still in high school, and continued training horses and repairing saddles to finance his way through college. Chris later studied at the Elmer Miller School of Bit and Spur Making in Caldwell, Idaho, to learn silversmithing. He credits Cary Schwarz with teaching him the most about saddlery, and Scott Hardy and David Alderson for his engraving style.

JEFF MINOR, Rawhide Braider, Salmon, Idaho
Jeff Minor has worked on remote ranches most of his life, which helped him to acquire an interest in making horse and cowboy gear. Jeff apprenticed under saddlemaker Bob Klenda. In 2003 Jeff received an award by the Academy of Western Artists for his rawhide work.

Photos by Adam Jahiel