Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Adam Ellis, Saddle Maker at Adam Ellis Saddles UK

Welcome from West Midlands, England, United Kingdom, world saddle maker Adam Ellis! Adam is the proprietor of Adam Ellis Saddles of UK Saddles Ltd.

Adam's interest in horses began at a very early age, having been heavily influenced by his father who was a farrier for the Army veterinary core and who was highly regarded within the profession as a farrier. Adam was taught to ride by the much revered and respected Army Officer and competitor John Addlington, before receiving guidance from Ben Jones Olympic medalist. 

Adam continued his passion for riding, before developing an interest in competition horses, in particular race horses. Adam worked for some of the UK's successful and well established race horse trainers, which has undoubtedly developed his high standard of stable management knowledge. Adam's interest resulted in the inevitable purchase and ownership of some successful and consistent race horses, both on the flat and over hurdles.

In 1990 Adam decided to progress his knowledge further when he successfully completed the recognized City & Guilds Master Saddler saddle makers course. 

Following the successful completion of the Master Saddlers, Adam began working as a qualified saddle maker. Frustrated by the 'production line' attitude of some saddle companies, Adam decided to apply his depth of knowledge regarding the needs of individual horse and rider to effective use by establishing Adam Ellis of UK Saddles Ltd. 

Adam's desire to produce high quality saddles and saddlery which was individually designed to the horse and rider was paramount to the focus of his business and continues to be so today. 

Whilst Adam does not presently own race horses, his interest in racing and competition horses continues today. Adam's company sponsors some of tomorrow's successful event and show jumping riders, as well as supporting his girlfriend with her show jumping. 

Adam's knowledge of horses and understanding of horse and rider needs has undoubtedly resulted in developing a range of saddles and saddlery which is demanded worldwide for its quality and individual tailoring to horse and rider.

What type of leather makes the best saddle?  
Adam Ellis Saddles have built a reputation for quality saddles, which means using the best quality leathers. All of Adam Ellis Saddles are made from a selection of the finest English and Italian leathers. Leathers used by Adam Ellis Saddles are of the highest quality, hand selected for quality, durability and grade of leather. 
Every piece of leather used within the range of Adam Ellis Saddles is achieved by the sourcing of high quality hides.  These leathers are then prepared by hand by expert curriers using only the highest grade ingredients. It is the combination of high quality grade hides and the preparation of these leathers which results in high quality, durable and beautiful leathers for Adam Ellis Saddles. 

The type of leather and grade depends on the customer’s preference, but also where on the saddle the leather is positioned. Also the type of saddle can influence the type of leather used; for example some of the Adam Ellis Polo Saddles have doe skin seats for the polo riders who want a softer seat which offers them grip, whilst other polo riders prefer the more traditional pig printed leather, which is much harder although longer wearing. Other examples include dressage, cross country and jumping saddles, which can differ greatly in the types, styles and look of the leathers available. Budget can influence a riders choice of leather for their chosen saddle, whereas for some budget is not such an issue and they opt for the more luxurious look of calf leather, which is softer to the touch, offering the rider a broken in feel from new and also has the added advantage of providing extra grip. 

Just some selection of trees held by Adam Ellis Saddles

How long does it take to create a custom saddle beginning to end?
Creating a custom saddle usually takes between four to six weeks once the saddle fitter/stockist has placed the order with Adam Ellis Saddles.  We always advise having your saddle professionally fitted as any saddle is only as good as the person fitting it, you can have the most expensive saddle in the world but if it does not fit both you and your horse you would probably be better off riding bare back!

Once the saddle fitter/stockist has placed your order, the team of saddle makers begin the process of ensuring that patterns are cut to the specification of the model of saddle, taking into consideration the individual shape and size of both horse and rider. At this stage a tree is selected and prepared for the next stage of creating your perfect saddle! All the trees are wooden spring trees, with the exception of the polo saddles which are made on ridged, reinforced wooden trees. Every saddle made by Adam Ellis Saddles is handcrafted, with individual specification catered for. 

Do you have a 'signature' style of saddle?
Adam Ellis Saddles signature is the consistent high quality craftsmanship which provides both horse and rider a saddle which optimizes their performance and riding experience whatever their chosen discipline.  Adam Ellis Saddles specializes in traditional saddles with a modern twist. 

What do you recommend for keeping my saddle tip-top condition?
In order to keep your saddle in tip top shape we recommend the following tips;

*always clean your saddle after use, if you don't have time to keep it every time ensure that when you do clean it that you use minimal water and glycerin saddle soap.

* never leave mud and dirt on the saddle or saddlery! wipe down the saddle with a slightly damped cloth to remove the excess mud and dirt even if you don't have time to clean it. 

* make sure that you never leave a saddle next to or near direct heat (heaters, radiators) as this will damage the leather no matter how good a quality saddle/saddler it is.

* ensure that you invest in a saddle rack which does not damage the saddle! The best ones are the type with a single pole, that don't leave indentations and damage the underside of saddle where the rack has pressed into the soft panels which are designed to sit snugly on your horses back. 

* don't over oil your saddle, too much oil will eventually cause the leather to break down and can rot the stitching. 

* if you invest in a good quality saddle and take care of it your saddle show out live both you and your horse.

What does horsemanship mean to you?
Horsemanship means not only understanding the needs of a horse, but being able to make decisions which are based on the needs of the horse, not of the rider/owner. Unfortunately these days we see to many people willing to overlook what's best for the horse in favor of their own needs, something which I don't think any true horseman or horsewoman would ever do.

Connect with Adam…

Rob handcrafting a saddle
Trevor - Bridlemaker for Adam Ellis Saddles handcrafting some bridles

Adam Ellis Saddles team & workshop visited by
Miss UK Finalist Shellie Summers a supporter & fan of Adam Ellis Saddles
Liam one of the cutters preparing leather from one of the custom made patterns

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