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Paul Van Dyke

Birth place or City of origin:
State of origin:
Last known City: Sheridan
Last known State: WY
Start/Birth date:
Death/End date:

My interest in good horses and fine gear began early. Will James, a love of history and good horsemen fostered my passion. At age 16, I apprenticed to Ron Silverman learning how to make basic strap goods. By age 18, Don Butler was my mentor. It was under his tutelage that I learned the fundamentals of saddlery and saw this work as an art form. I worked for Don for 7 years but took time off during this period to cowboy as well as work for and with different horse trainers.

Although I have been building saddles for 15 years, it was in May 2004 that I struck out on my own with a two pronged business that reflects my passions of building saddles and training horses. Each aspect of my business benefits the other. By using my own gear every day, I understand firsthand how the practical should combine with the beautiful. This mentality is what I want my horses and saddles to exhibit. They both should be balanced, refined and elegant but more than capable to meet the challenges of the ranch or arena.

My wife and I and our four children live outside of Sheridan, WY. Some time ago, I found this Shaker’s furniture making quote that describes the philosophy I have when approaching my work: “Make every product better than it’s ever been done before. Make the parts you can not see as well as the parts you can see. Use only the best materials even for the most everyday items. Give the same attention to the smallest detail as you do the largest. Design every item you make to last forever.”

 

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