This is the workshop of Frank Baines one of the twenty or so saddlers listed in Walsall yellow pages.
The saddle tree is like the skeleton of the saddle, most are made of laminated plywood with spring steel but saddlers are always innovating and experimenting with new materials such as carbon fibre.
Before we move on from trees I must share this one. This is an old Swedish tree, all wooden, at least 100 years old and it uses a sliding tapered dovetail joint, something I have only seen in Eastern Europe.
Now I don't know anything about saddles but last night when I told a horse loving friend where I had been she was very envious, Frank Baines is clearly the Rolls Royce of dressage saddles.
and a view around the workshop.
It was a joy to see Frank and his team at work, the commitment to quality and tradition whilst still being open to change and improvement. This is their website.