History

The Saddle and Harness Makers Association of Australia Incorporated – a Brief History.

This Proud group of Tradesmen and Women carry forward the Proud Historic Trades of Saddler and Harness Maker in Australia.

The Australasian Saddle and Harness Makers Association came into being in approximately 1895 when Bishop & Co, Printers of Melbourne commenced printing the monthly Trade Journal for the Association.

The Association went into decline in the period after the Great War. With the advent of Motor Vehicles and Membership drifted into other area’s of Business, like Motor Coach Trimming, Footwear, Bicycles, Upholstery.

Well the late 1960’s and 70’s saw a resurgence in the use of Horses for pleasure and Show. Suddenly it was realized that there was a lack of Saddlers and Harness Makers able to service the growing Industry.

About this time, Old Jim Talty, Saddler of Sydney Fame suggested that the Saddlers should all get to-gether and form the Association again. If we can get all of the Saddlers (& Harness Makers) to-gether in one Room, swapping knowledge and ideas without squabbling. We would have a position of Strength to help the Trades prosper and carry forward the renowned Australian Tradition of Quality Workmanship in all fields of the Equestrian Products, TO-GETHER.

It took a few years of  talking around the various Saddlers in 4 States. Some would say it won’t work, others would laugh and say if you can get 10 to-gether we’ll come.

Well the upshot is that we actually found 16 Tradesmen who traveled to Victoria for the first Meeting and SHMAA became the re-incarnation of the original Australasian Saddle & Harness Makers Association. That was 35 years ago!

So our Members carry forward a long History of serving the Equine Industry still. We now have approximately 110 members, working in all States of Australia to cater for your special requirement properly.

As I am able the History of our Trades will be written up in this Page for your benefit and guidance. In order that you may see the advantage of Dealing with True Saddlers and Harness Makers making your Gear using the Best Methods that have stood the Test of Time.

Also if you have any interesting information concerning the History of our Trades in Australia, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

Kindest Regards.

Jim Beaton, Saddler & Harness Maker.
Archives Officer of Australian Saddlers & Harness Makers of Australia Inc.