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Prairie Wolf

From Cow to Braided Horse Gear

Ever since Geri and I met in 1987 the one interest that held her attention more than Primitive Living was horses. She came with two and we've since added one (and a few others in between). I like horses - don't get me wrong. It's just that I see them as a tool, something that I can climb aboard and drive to accomplish whatever task would be at hand. Raising and training horses come secondary to my primary interests. In fact, I'd much rather walk in most cases because then I can go where and when I want - something that most horses can't. Most times when hiking around out west I have a rope slung over my shoulders to get me (both in and out) of where I otherwise couldn't venture. Yeah, horses have their place but my back gives me about two hours horseback - something that I first discovered about two hours out in the Big Horn Mountains.

Geri also came armed with a few books devoted to rawhide braiding horse gear. It took several years but when our lifestyle switched a bit from Primitive Skills 24/7, she broke out the books. It wasn't long before she discovered that having the proper tools made for an easier, more professional go of it. When I built the Log Cabin which I wrote a book about I really didn't have a use in mind for it. Geri did! It soon housed her tools for splitting, cutting and beveling rawhide and other various tools of the braiding trade. Her earliest rawhide came from cows that neighbors lost - most skinned on the spot where they died - one that I shot (at the rancher's request). The amount of time she spent in skinning, fleshing, dehairing, cutting into strips, splitting, more cutting, more splitting, final cutting and then beveling made the process pretty time intensive - before the braiding even began. Whew!

Well, over the years she's had some good advice, positive feedback and has had no trouble in selling everything that she has made. She began by selling thru the Custer Battlefield Trading Post run by friends of ours of many years. She since has had fewer and fewer items left to send to Montana due to word of mouth of the quality of her work getting around and she has more orders than she does time to make up the gear.

The separate knot was cut off because it wasn't "quite right".

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