John Allington, Western Saddler

To John Allington, a horse has a magnetism like nothing else; they have done ever since the day he knew what a horse was.

John’s respect and awe for the animal is woven into a lifetime dedicated to working with them at a higher level of understanding, and teaching others to do so also. A harness maker and saddler by trade and competitive camp drafter back in the day, John never refused a horse to break, even though there were some in the early days he wished he had.

John trained in the art of making the Australian stock saddle and strapping at the AAA Saddlery in Sydney from 1961. It wasn’t until the mid-sixties that John’s focus turned to crafting Western Saddles and developing his own personal style, combining the best of the two disciplines. And so, for more than 40 years, this Australian horseman has hand crafted the finest custom one-of-a-kind saddles and accessories.

John believes the great Spanish Californian reined horse is the jewel in the crown, and to follow the principles of the Spanish Vaquero is to unveil a level of horsemanship unlike any other. These inform John's work, each piece a work of art. John uses the hackamore, snaffle bit, two-rein then up to the spade bit as a one tuft bridle horse; the tooling alone on one like in the images above, can take 50 - 60 hours!

Today John lives in Beechmont in the beautiful Gold Coast hinterland with his wife, Susan where they ride horses and he crafts saddles. John still plays his part in keeping the tradition and discipline alive by holding schools for those ready to develop true natural horsemanship.

 You can view more of John's work on his website, and don't forget to like him on Facebook.