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Claire Davenport

Saddler & Harness Maker


Claire is a bench saddler who specialises in bridle-making.  She started her training in 2016 after struggling to find an off-the-peg bridle which fitted her horse correctly.  Since then, she has been lucky enough to train with both Capel Manor College, and with individual Master Saddlers in the trade.  Claire is also a LANTRA qualified bit-fitter.  She firmly believes that only when a horse is comfortable in their tack will they be able to perform to their best, whether they’re competing at the Olympics or hacking round the block.  To this end, Claire uses traditional tools, materials and methods to produce bridlework which fits to the individual features of each horse, from Shetlands to Shires.

Claire has been the lucky recipient of funding from the British Horse Society, the Worshipful Company of Loriners, and the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers.  Her work has also won prizes at the Society of Master Saddlers’ National Saddlery Competition.  In addition to her equine customers, Claire makes items for riders and their canine friends, and undertakes a wide range of repair work.

Following her move into a workshop at Grandey’s Place, Claire now runs short courses aimed at giving complete beginners an insight into the skills and techniques of saddlery.

Craft Spotlight

Bespoke Bridles

Bridlework made specifically for your horse or pony. It starts with a consultation visit to see the horse, including seeing them ridden. Claire will discuss what type of bridle is going to work best for you and your horse and take your horse’s measurements. You can personalise every aspect of your bridle: the leather, fittings, and any decoration.


Claire can repair a wide variety of tack. Repair work is usually turned around as quickly as possible and a collection service may be possible if you are based near Claire’s home or workshop locations in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

Other leatherwork

Like any traditional saddlery, Claire also makes leather items for riders, such as spur straps, sandwich boxes and flask cases. She also makes dog collars, leads and occasional fashion items, always with an equestrian twist.


Short courses are available aimed at beginners and giving a good grounding in the traditional methods used in saddlery: cutting, edging, staining, creasing, and of course, saddle-stitching, to name but a few. All tools and materials are supplied and no prior experience is necessary. You can either make a dog collar and lead on the two-day course, or make a headcollar on the four-day course. Please contact Claire directly for further details.

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