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Meet Apprentice Saddle Maker – Adrienne Hendricks: Helping Swiftsure Along the Way

By December 2, 2020Home page

Adrienne grew up in Boise, Idaho. As an avid English rider with a love for Sun Valley, the connection with Swiftsure Ranch is a match made in heaven. By trade, Adrienne is an apprentice saddle maker. Her goal is to become a fully recognized master saddler in England. In the meantime, she hasn’t let the circumstances of COVID-19 slow her down.

Recently, we were able to hop on the phone with Adrienne. It was an opportunity to learn more about her background, ambitions, and passions. A similar story to many modern-day entrepreneurs, Adrienne left the corporate world to pursue a lifelong passion. As an English horse rider with a devotion to leatherwork, saddlery was a natural fit for her. Ever since she took the leap from her previous career, she has worked on English saddles and saddle repairs. As you can imagine, this profession keeps Adrienne very busy. 

While we were chatting, we asked her what she enjoys about working with Swiftsure Ranch. Her answer was simple: “Working on English saddles helps marry my passions.” She mentioned it’s a great way for her to give back to individuals who may not be able to saddle up and ride by themselves. Horses are powerful healers, and using them as a tool for therapy is both an instrumental and meaningful way to give back. “Wow, I just got the chills,” Adrienne said. Talking about why she donates her time with saddle work is emotional — for all the right reasons.

Further along in the conversation, we asked Adrienne about working with Johnathon on the saddle innovations. She relayed that Paul, Swiftsure’s executive director, had shown her the western saddle that Swiftsure invented and wanted to create something similar for an English saddle. These days, Adrienne preps the saddle and leatherwork, then Johnathan welds in the elements needed for the innovative saddle. With the modifications, there is less material moving around for the rider. This modification assists those needing help with upper body control on horseback. In essence, it allows the rider to get into proper positioning — it’s the ideal balance point.   

To wrap up, Adrienne enlightened us on the benefits of English saddles versus Western saddles. There really are just a handful of differences. For example, the English saddle is traditionally lighter than a Western saddle. Additionally, the English saddle — due to its upright / ready-to-go position — helps the rider sit more forward. Ultimately, this leaves a smaller footprint on the horse, making it more comfortable for the animal. On the other hand, the Western saddle is geared for sit bones. It has a much larger surface on the horse’s back and cannot adjust as easily to fit the horse.

We had a wonderful conversation with Adrienne and hope to chat with her again soon. Thank you for all that you’re doing for Swiftsure Ranch, Adrienne. We truly appreciate all of the time and effort that you’re putting in! 

You can follow Adrienne on social or her website here: Instagram, Facebook, and Website.