On Thursday 12th September, I attended my very first ‘Society of Master Saddlers‘ AGM.
An AGM is commonly known as an Annual General Meeting where members of a society, association or club attend a meeting once a year to hear about how it as performed.
I’ve never attended this Society’s meeting before because I’ve always felt I’ve not been qualified enough to attend.
In actual fact the Society welcomes all levels of saddlers and saddle fitters as long as you are a paid member.
This year, Capel Manor College in Enfield, London was the venue.
This is currently the only college in the UK that offers a full-time Saddlery course.
However, they also provide other leather work courses too such as, shoe making.
I’m not an experienced train traveller and my personal anxieties would be on overdrive. So being as the college is located just off the M25, I chose to drive.
It was a pleasant trip from the Midlands down to Enfield and I only really experienced a slight build up of traffic on the M25.
Once at the Meeting
Upon arrival there was a secondhand tool and leather sale taking place alongside the meeting.
Once refreshments were given, we all sat down and listened to the varying reports from key members of the Society.
Most importantly, the AGM is where the current President stands down and the new President (who was last year’s Vice President) steps up.
Last year’s President, Chris Taylor (from Saddlers Den – my first mentor), stepped down and handed over the ‘reins’ (pun intended), to Ted Boggis of RB Equestrian.
The Vice President elected for this forthcoming year is Beatrice Blakeman of Crewe Saddlery and both of them will be in post for the next 12 months.
Society of Master Saddlers
The Society works extremely hard to raise the profile of the society and continues to support Saddlers and Saddle fitters in both the UK and abroad.
New courses continue to be put on so we can keep ourselves up-to-date with new research developments.
Whilst there I also learnt the Society of Master Saddler’s strap line, which is:
“Our members, for you, for the horse”
It is very important that we all remember the Society is around to promote both the horse and rider’s welfare.
They ensure saddles are well made and fitted correctly, by offering members the opportunity to update their skills and/or knowledge.
If in any doubt when it comes to your leather work or saddle fitting, remember to always ‘Look for the badge!’