A San Angelo saddle maker is continuing a centuries-old tradition. Myles Coats has been making saddles for almost 15 years and learned the craft from his father. Three years ago he started his own saddle-making business, MAC Saddlery.
“It’s kind of a lost art,” said Myles Coats, founder of MAC Saddlery.
Myles Coats has been making custom saddles in the Concho Valley for nearly 15 years.
“The saddle shop was a daycare for me. Just raising up as a kid, it’s what I always did and always wanted to do,” explained Coats.
Every saddle Coats makes is different — each carefully designed and skillfully assembled.
“It takes me about 3 weeks. I do everything. I take the order, build it, put it together. It’s a one man shop,” added Coats.
Not many make saddles from scratch anymore. According to Coats, a lot of these are shipped from other countries. But there’s just something special about having a custom saddle made locally.
“It’s a lot of importance for a saddle to fit a horse so they can perform at the top of their ability and for the rider to be comfortable and enjoy the sport that they love,” continued Coats.
Although Coats does all of the saddle making himself, he owes much of his success to his wife, Amy.
“Every bit of it. She helps me keep my books and has supported me through the whole process,” Coats added.
When asked, Coats said he hopes the rare skill is passed down to future generations.
“Of course! Cheyenne’s in here tooling all the time, she has her own bench here in my saddle shop,” said Coats.
In addition to saddles, Coats does a lot of leather work. He can make purses, wallets and even shoes.
“If it’s made out of leather, I can build it,” added Coats.