Master saddlemaker and leather-worker Al Gould has over fifty years of experience in building functional California-style saddles. Beginning his career in Clovis, California, in the 1950s, Al learned his trade from H.R. Beavers and C.H. “Slim” Mavis. He has extensive experience, both professionally and recreationally, working with horses and cattle, and horse and mule packing and mountain guiding. Al received the Al Stohlman Award for Achievement in Leathercraft in 2009.
As a master artist in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program in 2010, Al condcuted an apprenticeship with apprentice Shon Walter. Shon—a master rawhider—apprenticed with Al to construct a functional western style saddle with traditional techniques and designs including floral, basket and geometric patterns. Al guided Shon through his saddlemaking production sequence and developed Shon’s proficiency in saddle and stamping tools, resulting in Shon’s first self-made California stock saddle.