My first horse experience.  It’s been an obsession ever since. 

I was born and raised in NW Oregon.  My Dad bought me my pony when I was 5.  I started making things out of leather as a young girl in the tack room at our farm.  Just fiddling around on the gloomy days, which were a lot, with broken straps turning them into something useful.  Little did I know I would end up spending my life making things out of leather. 

I worked at a shoe/tack repair shop for a little over a year.  Making strap goods and repairing saddles. I learned the basics of saddle construction but wanted to know more.  I found a saddle maker, Dusty Johnson, and signed up for his class.   Short and to the point, Dusty taught me how to properly construct a basic custom built saddle.  From that point on I have made saddles and then some!  I literally have made everything under the sun.  In the past 13 years on my own I’ve made simple things, such as watch bands, to things as complex as the thorough braces and the front and back boot on a stage coach.

After various locations around the Portland metro area, I eventually opened up a shop in Vernonia.  The front half is the store and the back half is the shop. 

I spend my free time trail riding and gaming with the Vernonia Ridge Riders and working with my mules. 

3 years old at Knott’s Berry Farm


The shop

Gretchen’s Saddlery LLC

715 Bridge St. Vernonia, Or 97064  503-928-1722

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