John started out making saddles back in
1961 under the apprentership of AAA saddlery in Sydney and
mastering the making of the Australian stock saddle and strapping.
John is also a harness maker as well as a saddler by trade.
John's interest in western saddle making was brought about in the
mid 60's with the advent of western riding in Australia and although
his horsemanship was still very rooted in the Australian ways the
western laid side by side with the Australian and John utilized the
best of the two to develop his own personal style.
John was interested in horses from since the day he knew what a horse
was and over the years John has had a large
verity of horses and the interest has never wained.
If it was a horse then it held a magnetism like no other.
Johns interest in camp drafting has stayed strong even to this day and
although he does not compete anymore he still see's it as a true
John's main influence of horsemanship then shifted in the early 70's to
Vaquero and the Californian reined horses and the use of the
hackamore , snaffle bit, two-rein then up to the spade bit as a one
tuft bridle horse plus the thinking and teachings of men like Ray Hunt
and brothers Tom and Bill Dorrance.
John has started and broken in many horses from the family
pet through to some tough horses of the Australian outback
which were offered to him. John never refused a horse to break in
over the years but in the early days with some he wished he had.
As John has mentioned in the past "some of those horses could
the wind up a fella" and courage was getting on when you sure did not
but it was the job at hand and do them you did or
your name would suffer.
John also has spent many years working cattle and remembers fondly some
of the better working horses that hold a special place in his memory.
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
horsemanship unlike any other. The Vaquero from Spain settled
when Cortez overtook Mexico in 1518 and then about 1535 filtered up
California and although different now in the two countries the
Spanish Vaquero horsemanship was born into Mexico and then up into California
where today it has been refined further.
John turned his attention to that discipline 30 odd years ago and
that it is a never ending passion with learning that never ceases.
John has conducted many schools and seminars on the subject and when a
person is ready for this understanding of horsemanship he still
also offers help and advise to those who seek knowledge on the subject.
John also carries out schools on confidence building for those that
require it and fixing up problems folk might have to make life with
their horses a lot easier and safer.
John also has a separate class for controlling a horse "To save your
life" built into all of his schools.
Learning how, when, where and why we do what we do to
create a horse to do what we want and be both happy doing it.
"Feeling the feel right down to the feet is like no other feel when a
good feel is felt"
True natural horsemanship.
It matters not what discipline a rider is integral with the basics of
good horsemanship is the same and a rider will benefit from the
John makes all styles of western saddles and enjoys making every one
but says the Old timer saddles
The Wade and Visalia are his passion as is the rawhide reata,
hackamore, romal and spade bit.
All the tools that make up the great "Straight up in the bridle" velvet
and soft as satin reined horse.
As John says "Horses that operate on the slightest rein signal and soft
touch and brush across the ground as if riding over a cloud"
Helping to keep a tradition alive from a time long passed.
John and Susan now resides at Beechmont in the beautiful Gold Coast
Queensland Australia , making saddles, riding horses and
an art of horsemanship that if not shared will be lost forever.
They say a man is lucky if he has one good dog, one good horse and one
John reckons he has been lucky with all three and
looks back over the ups and downs of his life as "Just a lesson"
This Horse and Me.
When we ride, we ride with ease
A horse and man to each we please
We take in the wonder of it all
How we feel sitting tall
On a friend we ride so full of trust
To build this bond it was a must.
We ride the waves of a grassy sea
We smell the flowers and scent of tree's
We feel the feel that we both share
It took some time to put it there.
The flow of life we both see
As it flows as one in harmony
For my horse and me.
If you would like to speak with John about self development with your
horse please contact him on
07-55333081 or email
Starting your horse in the hackamore
Riding with the "Two rein"
Starting your horse in the bridle.
Confidence building and "Save your life" for those who are new or
returning and have slipped in confidence.
Riding with the bit-less "Lightness bridle"
Control in the snaffle bit and everyday horsemanship.