Earlier this year, I spent a day with Bobbie Allen. She and her husband own a laser cutter, and although we discussed its possible hobby applications at length, to the best of my recollection, tack was not mentioned.
Less than a week later, I toured the robotics lab at Ryan's high school. We looked at the laser cutter, and Ryan told me, "Mom, it cuts leather." I didn't pay much attention. I just couldn't see how a laser cutter could help me make tack.
Last weekend, I met Cheryl Campbell at the Models in the Mountains weekend retreat. Her table was covered with a whole host of laser cut props.She had several barns...
including this big multi-stall stablemate stable...
with its own carriage room...
and tack stall.
There were also jumps...
and all sorts of carts and carriages.
Cheryl uses the laser cutter to cut out and decorate the carriage pieces.
These were all the kind of things that Bobbie and I had discussed in April. I was excited to see them in person, but none of these props really surprised me.
Then Cheryl told me that she uses the laser cutter to make tack.
Okay, that surprised me.
All the leather pieces of these small scale Western saddles were tooled and cut with the laser cutter.
This classic scale bridle was made the same way. The laser even "punched" the holes on the throatlatch!
It took me a while, but thanks to Cheryl, I have finally grasped the real, life changing possibilities of laser cutting technology. Ryan is already well versed in the programs used to run this machine, and I guarantee it's just a matter of time before he and I made something together. I can not wait!