After winning The 2019 Abbey Scholarship I was invited to partake in a monthly blog for Abbey England, talking about the ups and downs of business and the saddlery industry. Abbey England is one of my main suppliers of hardware and leather. Check our their website HERE.
To read the original post you can find it HERE.
Hi All, This month’s blog is coming to you from 25,000ft somewhere over the Irish sea! I’m on my way back from a long weekend at The Hertfordshire County Show. For the first time, the show had a Saddlery tent, full of displays and demonstrators and ran a Saddlery competition of four classes, (A dog lead, a Headcollar, a leather box or container and a Harness Bridle. With “star-studded” saddlers demonstrating their respective trades the public was well informed of all the different disciplines and aspects within saddlery. Bridle fitting especially was brought to the forefront, with many equestrians wanting to be higher placed in the show ring and wanting to get a better performance from their horses.
Saddle fitting of course is a hot topic with many horsey and “non-horsey” people very interested in what was inside a saddle and how materials can make a difference! Of course, all the children were enthralled with the Military Saddlery from the Household Cavalry and the Side-saddles on display (and who could blame them!). "Buy British Quality Products" was well promoted, and people were able to see first-hand why quality leather makes a difference and, if anyone had been bitten by the saddlery bug, then The Society of Master Saddlers and Capel Manor College were on hand to help.
Hertfordshire County Show was the perfect backdrop to display the amazing talent and expertise of the entrants who took part in the competition. The winning entries were highly praised by the judges and kindly rewarded by generous sponsors Abbey England, Cribbs Carriage Masters and Patrick Burns. It’s so important for Saddlery and its supporting trades to have a presence at county shows etc. This is the best way to educate and engage your customers and on a face to face basis - no screens, no phones but the ability to shake their hand and show them first hand why excellent craftsmanship matters! Hopefully more county shows and fairs will have some saddlery demonstrations soon.
For this month's challenge I will encourage you to tell someone about how important your trade really is. It could be a talk to a local group, informing a client, telling your friend or just as I have just done by chatting to a random stranger who is sitting beside you on a plane!
Till next time! Lucy