I started Cheshire Saddler in 2017. The reason I started Cheshire saddler was because I realised there was a high demand for bespoke leather goods and leather repairs in my local area. I started to realise this when I was about 14 as my horse used to break all his tack. This meant I had to keep buying new tack for him, however because I knew there was no one in the area to repair leather items I would buy cheap and buy twice, or three or four times. When I was 16 I left school and went to Reaseheath College. I stayed for a year and got a qualification in level 3 horse care. After college I started a freelance grooming, I had lots of jobs in the local area but I wasn’t happy doing it full time. This is when I realised I wanted to start my training in leather work.
I started doing short courses with Cumbria School of Saddlery run by David May in Shropshire. My first course was re-flocking, I learnt the parts of the saddle, how to take it apart, take the old flock out, put new in and also put the saddle back together. After this course I bought cheap saddles from markets to practice on. A few months later I attended another course with David May, this time bridlework part 1. In this course I learnt all the basic skills about leather, how to prepare leather and how to stitch leather. Once I had completed this course I started to make and sell dog collars.
Another few months later after this course I attended bridlework part 2. On this course my skills were expanded and I made my first bridle. As well as making my first bridle I also learnt new skills such has rolled leather and padded leather items. After this course I attended my final course with David, safe repairs. On this course taught me how to do safe repairs to leather items. Some example of repairs I learnt were to riding boots, stitching saddle flaps back together and replacing broken buckles on bridles.
During the mix of these short courses I attended a one day course at The Saddle Company. This day showed me how to basic fit there saddles, how to alter there saddles and also different options of there saddles.
After I completed all these short courses I fully set up Cheshire Saddler as my full time job. Even though I have attended all these courses I am still attending courses to widen my skills and to gain more qualifications.