Dove Saddles was established by Graham Turner in 1976.
In 1971 I spent some time as an apprentice in Masterton New Zealand and then
moved to W.Wiggins Ltd where I worked for four years. I then decided to go to
Sydney Australia where I worked for Bexley Saddlery. After that I decided to
return to New Zealand where I continued to work for W.Wiggins Ltd until June
1976 then I went into business setting up at my parents place in Wellington. I
worked there for 7 years before moving to Raumati on the Kapiti Coast where I
shared a workshop for 3 years with boot and shoemaker Tex Bell.
In 1986 I moved to my own building in Reikorangi
Waikanae where we built a workshop showroom on our property where we enjoy the
rural lifestyle. During my time I have trained three apprentices.
I started building Western saddles in 1977 and then
decided to up skill at Robin Yates School run by that old and now famous
bushman, poet and saddle maker Jack Drake who now lives in Australia. After
making saddles the conventional way and realizing sales were not happening
overnight I went into manufacturing dog collars and leads for Masterpet
Corporation for about 20 years only to slowly move back to where I always
desired to be which is building middle cost western saddles and seeing a need
for them. With the closing down and passing of Charlie Leach I decided to step
into that gap.
An expensive risk was setting up business along the
lines of the American saddle factories using bulk bought leather from New
Zealand and Argentina along with high tensil plastic moulded saddle trees,
press cut parts, some press patterns and specialty machinery to get the prices
down where we have remained even with the cheap overseas Mexican, Chinese and
We back up all that we sell because we make saddles
for you, not for us. We never sell a saddle until you and your horse are happy