The Skyhorse Collection ("making medicine")
Some people call it making medicine - the process of following your heart, creating something magical, powerful, fulfilling. That is what saddle making and leather working is to us.
The Collection consists of unique works in leather, each a one-of-a-kind. Riding saddles have been Lisa and Loren’s main focus for forty years. After more than one thousand saddles made, the Collection series pushes their accumulated knowledge to its apex; and includes pieces that span the scope of their talents and imaginations. This collection is Lisa and Loren’s dream - to be able to create museum quality work that is intricate, collectable, and unprecedented in contemporary saddle making and leather working. Not since Edward Bohlin from the 1920's to the 1960's have saddles of this magnitude and significance been built. Lisa and Loren create these magnificent pieces by their own hands, adding to the exclusivity of the work.
"In this collection we give ourselves the freedom to create without restrictions - each piece challenges us, inspires us and moves us".
"The Golden Eagle"
Inspired by 40 years of saddle making, this is saddle # 891..... and our most unique to date. It involved 500 hours of work - each of the 700 feathers are hand carved and hand painted by Lisa - 36 feet of gold fill lace was braided on the forks and cantle edge by Loren - the bronze eagle head was designed and cast by Bill Bennett - the one piece fork cover and seat piece is inlaid with ostrich leather - the conchos are Susan B. Anthony silver dollars. Rigged and rideable! Presented on a Manzanita saddle stand. The carved phrases state the ultimate American Dreams:
"Land of the free" "Home of the Brave" "Liberty and Justice For All" "Let Freedom Ring"
** Scroll down to see our ambitious project CASTING this very saddle into a bronze **
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See below the latest creation in our Collection Series. It is titled "BUCKAROOS". The imagery highlights Lisa's masterful art depicting longhorn cattle and working cowboys. Notice the "cowboys" are borrowed from Charles Russell's iconic work! The images and western scroll are all hand carved, hand painted, and antiqued, with the backgrounds hand painted!
All edges are finished with kangaroo lace....buck-stitched or Spanish Plait. 500 feet of lace were used, and also covers the rigging 'D's. We've used Sunset Trails Silver to honor the CLASSIC silver look of the 1930's. Notice the sterling, hand engraved conchos with their overlay of longhorn and buckaroo horsemen! These center overlays were actually "struck" from the 1920's dies!
Over 600 hours went into this work. It includes a magnificent large handcrafted wooden stand built by master wood worker Andy Sanchez, complete with inlays of longhorn design (see the stand in the slideshow below).
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We gave ourselves permission to follow our hearts on this one! It includes all the elements that we love to do.....and challenge us always. Lisa's artwork expands on the over-sized fender and the seamless seat and rear jockey combination. The hand tooling creates realistic shapes and hair detail....finished with intricate painting. Even the border stamping is hand painted for that turquoise beaded affect.
Loren's lacing completes the edges with both edge braiding and buck-stitching. We've lined the skirts with hair-on buffalo, and used buffalo in the padded seat to keep to the theme. The extraordinary conchos were created by Sunset trails silver company....using dies from the 1920's to form the buffalo and chieftain head themes. Finally, why stop now, the stirrups are assembled from 2000 year old alligator juniper collected in the New Mexican desert.
This collection saddle will give the serious collector huge bragging rights!! Sold with magnificent display stand also made of alligator juniper (not pictured).
SOLD ! Thank you, Burns Cowboy Shop, Park City, Utah
This Vaquero-style saddle features an antique Mexican saddle tree, angora goat hides collected in our travels from the Altai mountains, Siberia, and sterling silver showcasing a wide variety of turquoise. Buddy Lee made the silver pieces more than 25 years ago...and is known for his iconic style in Santa Fe, NM. The tooling is a combination of swirling hand cuts and hand stamping.....with each dot painted individually. It is currently featured in the Manitou gallery on canyon road Santa Fe.
Shania Twain's Farewell tour saddle
In The summer of 2015 SHANIA TWAIN introduced her "Rock This Country Tour" which spanned 60 cities. She needed a special saddle to ride high above her fans on an extended boom. She hired us to design and build this saddle! It features 1500 silver spots, 250 silver stars, red patent leather stars and dots, her iconic ST on the tapadero stirrups, skyhorse famous silver braided cantle edge and front, and long red fringe to enhance the "flying effect"! To see the show in action search her tour on youtube.
*NOT AVAILABLE* click on image below for a slideshow of the Shania saddle being built.
"Queen of the Cowgirls"
"Queen for a day" or for a lifetime...this saddle will light up any COWGIRl'S heart! Lisa Skyhorse has been inspired by horses and her "cowgirl way" for her whole life; and now explains it in such a dramatic way! The hand carved retro cowgirl scenes will keep a smile on her face, and in her heart. The conchos are constructed out of vintage cowgirl postcards. The silver braided cantle edge and horn are a SKYHORSE iconic feature. Special inscriptions on the back of the tapadero stirrups read: "I am not afraid, I was born to do this" and "you don't win a belt buckle for a clean house".
SOLD! Thank you, Manitou Gallery, Santa Fe!
"We Are All Related"
We named this piece for the flock of animals carved into the pattern. There are 33 quarter-sized fetish animals enclosed within the fully carved pattern. Lisa designed this with one foot in the traditional world and the other in the world of contemporary leather work.
Another look unique to Skyhorse saddles is Loren's trademark silver edge braiding. Every edge is round-edge braided with fine silver lace - more pure than sterling silver. There is 460 inches of silver braiding on this saddle, which consumed 460 feet of fine silver lace!
World renown Navajo jeweler Thomas Singer made 150 sterling silver pieces for this saddle. Each sterling silver feather is accented with a turquoise stone and these pieces accent the full set of saddle, bridle, breast collar and reins.
This museum quality set is built in the fashion of all of the Skyhorse's high quality custom saddles, and is fully rideable.
Winner of Best Accents at the Southwest Design Conference in Santa Fe, NM 2005, and Western Design Conference, 2005.
SOLD! Thank you, Burns Cowboy Shop, Carmel, California!
"Good Luck Sidesaddle"
Each flower and leaf of the Good Luck Sidesaddle has been drawn, carved and pushed up from behind to create high relief. Then we hand painted all the carving. Click on the image below to see the same affect for the classic horse head and tournament of roses collar.
Loren framed all the edges of the saddle with his famous round edge braiding, using kangaroo leather lace. The 530 inches of edges used 530 feet of kangaroo lacing, taking 80 hours of careful braiding.
The horns and seat and all the linings are padded with bright red, full-quill ostrich leather. The inlaid conchos are sterling silver. The hand braided reins are also kangaroo leather, and were made by renowned braider Jeff Minor.
This is our most romantic saddle yet—and as always, it is also rideable!
The set includes a matching bridle, breast collar, bit, reins and saddle blanket. A carved portfolio is also included and documents the making of the set.
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Fleischer collection saddle
This saddle was commissioned for a private collection. At the time it was the only "contemporary" saddle among hundreds of collectible saddles. Notice the custom tooling on the fenders....an artistic "blossom" of three horse heads! The repose'd silver was made by the famous Jeff Georgantes who is the head of the jewelry department at Dartmouth University. Lisa's tooling is hand cut, beveled, then carefully painted. The proprietary fine silver braiding on all the edges was done by Loren Skyhorse.
A good example of how "custom" our work can be!!!
"All You Need is Love"
We love telling stories with our saddles and this one says it all: speak kindly, embrace beauty, love generously, and care deeply.
The Number 3 Saddle in the Skyhorse Collection Series took over 700 hours to create.
Every single edge is hand braided by Loren - there is not one single machine stitch in the entire set! Each image is raised and painted by Lisa and inlaid into the saddle with small silver dots. Even the lining of the fenders and the tapaderos is fully tooled basket stamped.
The conchos are solid sterling silver with jewelers bronze cowboy scenes. These are handmade classic Navajo "Storyteller" style and each concho is a different detailed cowboy scene.
The set is complimented with a matching headstall, all buckstitched and sporting matching Navajo silver conchos and buckle/tip/loop sets. The mecate is horsehair, hand made by "Blind Bob", a master rope maker who is no longer living. The saddle stand is fully tooled to match and the base is titled and commemorates our 800th saddle!
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The Yellowstone is the forth piece in The Skyhorse Collection series. This edition is presented in two pieces - each featuring a Yellowstone National Park animal. The first two pieces are a bear and a buffalo.
The large seat piece is called a mochila and is typical of an early California style saddle. This mochila is a single piece of leather which is hand carved, sculpted and painted and very high relief. A large tapadero stirrup is also fully carved, braided, silver coin mounted and fully lined.
The 8-strand edge braiding is done with kangaroo lace. There is 125 feet of leather lacing on each piece.
Thirty nine medallions of fine silver rim each side of the saddle. The two Troy ounce pieces are a limited edition of the North American Wildlife Series that are no longer in mint. The smaller medallions are 1 Troy ounce each. Together there are over 3 1/2 pounds of .999 pure silver medallions on each side. Each coin pictures a different North American bird or animal.
Each side is mounted on an aspen log which mounts on the wall. A silver coin is inlaid into each log, showing the back side of the coin which is engraved with the North American Wildlife series logo.
$22,000.00 …..each piece, bear or buffalo
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"Big 5" African Wildlife Collection Saddle
The “Big 5” was inspired by our month in Africa and the fierceness and uniqueness of the animals there. The "Big 5" are not only spectacular; they are considered among the most difficult to hunt. They are the: elephant, black rhino, cape buffalo, lion, and leopard.
The entire saddle is overlaid in genuine elephant leather - legally harvested in Zimbabwe. The conchos are all handmade of solid sterling silver and each one is inlaid with the back leather of Nile crocodile. The inlaid seat is a beautifully tanned belly-cut Nile crocodile leather.
Each animal portrait is an original piece of hand made leather art. We start with a oak-tanned leather that is malleable when wet. Lisa draws each animal, carves it into the leather complete with all the texturing, and then sculpts it from the back - making the portrait three-dimensional. Then plugs are made out of more leather and ﬁt into the back to permanently hold the shape and the leather is again worked from the top to mold around the plugs. More tooling is done to accentuate the look of the animal. When the leather dries, Lisa paints in the details of the animals. The entire saddle is lined and then hand carved by Lisa.
This "Zebra Braid" on the edges is done with a piece of pure silver lacing. The cantle and horn are laced with Loren's iconic woven silver edge braid. All the animal borders and edges are lined with actual Colt 45 cartriges that are set into the leather. As in every collection saddle, we build every piece of this saddle with our own hands.
This saddle comes on its own saddle stand. Like all of our Collection Saddles, it is signed and titled on the skirt under the fender and is a rideable saddle. $48000.00
Farber Collection Saddle
This saddle was commissioned to become a family heirloom. They wanted to honor the designs of the plains indians by choosing the bison and war horse images. The personal inscription on the back of the cantle shows a concern for how peoples actions become their legacy....it reads "We will be known forever by the tracks we leave". We've kept the native american theme strong by carving animal tracks and feathers. The edges braided in a fine kangaroo lace, and the hand made Navajo silver work gives the saddle a striking Skyhorse look. Finally, the proprietary lightning bolt tooling calls in the forces of nature. As with all of our work, we collaborate with our clients to create their vision!
This unique, one-of-a-kind piece is an incredible collaboration of Lisa and Loren Skyhorse's leatherwork and Andy Sanchez's woodwork - their version of a Vaquero style saddle.
Andy Sanchez carved the saddle tree from 2000 year old Alligator juniper wood and finished it to a satin sheen. The curved saddle stand is a beautiful compliment to the piece.
The leather is hand carved and painted and accented with a set of antique Mexican sterling silver - over 40 years old. The saddle bags are finished with a traditional curly sheepskin.
"Tree of Life"
Our cosmic, poetic version of a traditional Native American saddle. This is one of the few pieces we have built that cannot be ridden,but tells a story.
The “on-side” tells of the cycle of the winged ones, from eggs through eagles and back to the nest. Looking through to the lining reads “Dare To Dream Dare To Fly”. The opposite side is the hoofed animals and their tracks and the lining reads “We will be known forever by the tracks that we leave”.
Each panel is Lisaʼs hand carved and sculpted story telling. A Navajo seat spans the panels and it is all buckstitched together with deer skin fringe.
The woodwork is by Andy Sanchez - it is 2000 year old salvaged alligator juniper with Andyʼs meticulous inlays of stones and fossils.
The medicine purse hanging on the front is a raven. Lift his wing and find the fetish necklace inside.
Winner – 2012 Western Design Conference: Exhibitor's Choice AND Best Accents!
"The Patriot Saddle"
Every inch of this piece is significant! The horn is an eagle head - beautifully sculpted by Bill Bennett and cast in solid sterling silver, with a gold beak and eyes inlaid with small diamonds. The wings down the swells are also sculpted with amazing feather detail and cast in solid sterling silver. Each carved leather piece pictures a different animal, sculpted in relief and hand painted. The skirt portraits are inlaid into the skirts with kangaroo leather braiding and the portraits are ringed with Indian head nickels.
Every edge is finished with Lorenʼs iconic silver braiding. The seat is inlaid with buffalo leather and buck stitching and says "Home of the Brave" and the cantle back has a 3D American flag. The lining of the fenders is carved with an entire Teddy Roosevelt speech. The saddle stand is carved to match, and the base of the stand says "The outside of horse is good for the inside of a man." Each concho is a limited edition medallion of pure silver of different North American wildlife and set into a sterling silver bezel.
"The Electric Horseman"
"The Electric Horseman" was a whimsical labor of love! Loren used his knowledge of electricity to create this all-electric motorcycle, and Lisa had fun dressing it up. The side panels unsnap to expose the batteries. This motorcycle is fully functional and turns heads while not even making a sound.