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Sheridan School of Saddlery




The saddle making course is designed for individuals who have a working knowledge of leatherwork and a desire to take their abilities to the next level. The overarching purpose is to teach techniques and the procedures of building the basic saddle. Students can expect specific instruction on the following: tools (purchasing, using, maintaining), set up their shop, shop etiquette, tree fit and ordering, detailed teaching about not just how to build a saddle but the "whys" involved too.


This is a unique opportunity to learn basic saddle making from a saddle maker who has learned and honed his skills in a traditional apprenticeship background, all but gone now in this day of instant information and the significant value placed on degrees. The Sheridan area is steeped in an old and rich tradition of different makers and still ranks as a mecca for people interested in this trade. It is the one place in the country where you can learn saddlery, purchase the complete tools needed to start a shop and have a source for all the supplies you need.

The course cost will include materials, but each student is responsible for food and lodging. Students are encouraged to bring tools. If they do not own them, a basic list will be provided along with supplier information. Learning to use and maintain your own tools is a critical part of being a saddler.

Contact me for more information.



Paul is a very patient and precise teacher.  In the three weeks I was with him, he taught me many details regarding saddle making, like building the parts of the saddle that you can't see just as well as the parts that you can.  Quality, inside and out, is something that he really believes in, and it comes across in all that he teaches.


He also helped me with finding and buying the right tools.  I didn't end up with a hundred tools I don't use.  Actually, we only bought about 10.  But it was just enough to do the job well, and I was thankful to be able to start out with exactly what I needed.


Last, but definitely not least, we had a ton of fun together during the long hours of hard work at the shop.  Thank you for everything, Paul.  If I could come again, I would!


Ben Maurer


In January of 2022 I had an opportunity to spend 2 weeks with Paul learning how to improve my saddle making skills.  I had previously built a handful on my own with help of books and videos to work through the process.  The time spent with Paul has jumped my learning curve a head by years, and will vastly reduce the cost incurred in learning a trade on my own.  During our time together we covered topics such as building a saddle that is square from side to side, tree fit and how measurements between different makers can differ, ground seat build and the effects on the rider, rigging position and the effects of moving it to accommodate different styles of horses and riders, exterior lines and proportions of a saddle that are more pleasing to the eye, creating flow in the lines of a saddle as well as in the tooling/carving, tool care and the all-important sharpening of the various tools, stamping layout, and much, much more.  I will likely spend the rest of the year digesting everything that we covered. 

Paul is a genuinely patient teacher, taking the numerous mistakes I made in stride and skillfully helped me through them.  As a person, I found Paul to be a man of depth with interests and knowledge that range far beyond saddle making. He is well read, an artist outside of leather, a horseman, and a dedicated family man. Which, when you spend 10 plus hours a day together, it is welcome to take a break from discussing saddles and leather.  As there is more that goes into being a craftsman than just skill and knowledge.  Which became apparent as the hours ticked by.  The qualities of a person are revealed in their work.

Having already started down the road making saddles, I was concerned that my investment in time and resources would yield a return in a class like this.  What I left with is a renewed passion for the trade and feel that the value gained, well exceeds the price paid.   I would not hesitate to recommend anyone to him, beginner on up.



Rob Gerbitz

Rob Gerbitz

I attended Paul’s saddlemaking school without any prior knowledge or experience in the trade. While the learning curve was steep, Paul’s comprehensive curriculum allowed me to successfully complete the course and return home with sufficient understanding to continue building on my own. In the years since attending class, Paul has been generous with answering questions and critiquing my work so that I can continue to improve. He makes himself available to former students as a valuable ongoing resource. 
There are 3 distinctives that set Paul’s course apart as a unique opportunity:  

  1. Not everyone who is good at making saddles is good at teaching others how to make them. Paul is both a master of his craft and an excellent teacher. He has a clear way of communicating what needs done, and his patient way of handling students keeps them in a learning frame of mind without being stressed or made to feel stupid. 

  2. Paul has logged thousands of hours horseback on hundreds of horses, so he is uniquely qualified to speak to how a saddle will fit a horse, withstand hard use, and fit a rider. Paul’s experience using his saddles informs the design of his work, and it allows him to balance aesthetics and functionality. From the ground seat to the shape of the horn to the strength and placement of the rigging, he teaches you how to make a saddle that works

  3. From a savvy businessman who makes a living building saddles, Paul’s curriculum covers the economics of sourcing materials, using time and tools efficiently, and marketing the finished product. He charts the course for not simply how to make a saddle, but how to make a profit on that saddle.

Whether you’re an aspiring professional saddlemaker–or just looking for a profitable winter gig or side hustle–this course is an excellent introduction to the trade from a top tier maker.


Austin Willard

Austin Willard

Sheridan School of Saddlery
Saddle Tools
Waxed French End
Half Covers Tutorial
Shop’s most expensive tool!

Listen to Paul's interview on Borderline's

The Saddler's Post Series



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757 Highway 14 East Sheridan, WY 82801

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