I want to be. . . a saddler

  • Mandy Braybrook, who runs her own company, Equus Designs specialising in made-to-measure equestrian leather and craftwear, explains how she got started

    Why did you become a saddler?

    “Having always worked with horses and got my BHSAI, I was looking for a career which would allow me to combine horses with a creative, hands on approach. Saddlery was something that really interested me.

    “I began an apprenticeship with Penny Dixon, a Master Saddler, but shortly before it finished I left to run the workshop at Frogpool Manor Saddlery and further my saddle fitting skills.

    In June 1998, I passed my saddle fitting exam and my Stage 3 Bridlework exam.

    “I left Frogpool to set up my own company, Equus Designs making made-to-measure leather work, as well as carrying out saddle checks and reflocks locally.”

    How many hours do you work and how much do you earn?

    “I work my day around my horse who is kept at DIY, but generally I leave the house at around 8am and return about 6pm.

    “Reflocking on site usually takes around an hour and made-to-measure fittings take about 40 minutes.

    “Take into consideration my time spent travelling and I can see two or three clients a day. In the summer months I often workevenings fitting in clients after they finish work. I have the potential to earn upwards of £15,000 a year.

    What is the best bit about your job?

    “Dealing with the horses and meeting new people”.

    What is the worst bit?

    “The weather especially and sitting in traffic jams while driving between appointments.”

    Find out more

    For more information on becoming a saddler contact The Society of Master Saddlers (UK) (tel: 01449) 711 642 or visit www.mastersaddlers.co.uk

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