You have probably never heard of Gardnerville, Nevada - a town of about 5,700 inhabitants - and if you have, you probably think there is nothing remarkable about it. For the most part, you would be right. Although a few movies were filmed there, Gardnerville is still a pretty quiet small town with not much going on. That is, unless you want a high quality custom made saddle. In that case, Gardnerville is the place you definitely want to visit.
Saddle maker Doug Cox, originally from Salmon River / Rocky Canyon area of central Idaho, now lives and works his saddle magic in Gardnerville. For over 30 years Doug has designed and built many types of saddles on many types of trees. Because he builds saddles that are truly customized to achieve a comfortable fit for both the rider and the horse, Doug's work also includes time spent working with horses, experimenting with different aspects of saddle styles and construction. All of his saddles are made to order, and flower carving is drawn freehand, distinctively carved deep and hand set on properly cased leather. He never builds two saddles alike, and he enjoys creating unique designs for his clients who come from the ranks of working cowboys, pleasure riders, and competitors, as well as fine art collectors.
Growing up on an Idaho ranch gave Doug Cox hands-on experience with riding, training horses, and working cattle. He was known as a capable hand, hiring out for day work at ranches across Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana. He also started his own colts, entered the show arena in reined cow horse and cutting competitions, and he even did his share of rodeo bronc riding. All along, saddle-making intrigued Doug, so from 1976 to 1981, he trained under well-respected traditional saddle makers, Bob Kelly and Ray Holes. Doug opened his own saddle making shop in 1981, and the rest is proverbial history.
Santa Barbara headstall by Doug Cox
In addition to saddles, Doug also creates headstalls, breast collars, and chaps. His work has been featured at the Santa Ynez Historical Museum in California, Western Folklife Center in Nevada, and has been purchased for private collections throughout the world. For his Collector Series of saddles Doug collaborated with California silversmith Ron Mewes, creating - among other pieces - the Silver Mounted Saddle #1, reminiscent of famed Visalia Stock Saddle and Edward H. Bohlin styles of the early 1900's. Just one look at this piece, and you will be making a trip to Gardnerville, Nevada for your own custom saddle by Doug Cox.
To see the famed Silver Mounted Saddle #1 and many other great designs of Doug's, visit his website at www.dougcoxcustomsaddles.com. To see both Doug's and many other beautiful saddles and gear, visit our Tic-Tack-Toe Horse Fashions board on Pinterest... and while you are there, make sure to follow us.
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the mind and hands behind hART Sense Design. I am a designer and hand-maker of one-of-a-kind and limited edition jewelry and accessories for artistic, chic cowgirls, boho babes, and lovers of all things western.
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