TIMOTHY McLachlan never thought helping his grandfather after school would lead to taking on the family business. 

But for the past 28 years, the Brisbane-based saddle maker has been using the skills he learnt as a teenager to hand-make leather saddles and sell them for a living, just like his grandfather.

Timothy, owner of TPM Saddles, said he had fond memories of learning the trade.

"My grandfather was a saddler and he owned a saddlery shop in NSW when I was young," he said.

"I went to work with him after I left school, but I'd never planned to start making my own saddles as a profession. I've been involved in horses all of my life but working in my granddad's shop was meant to just be something to do between finding an apprenticeship or full-time job but I got really into it and never left.

"I just love this job because it gives me the freedom to do what I want and combines my passion for horses. If you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life and I agree."

Timothy, 47, said he had made thousands of saddles over the years but was in the process of making the most meaningful saddle yet.

"I make around 60 saddles a year and each saddle takes a week to do," he said.

"I'm in the process of designing a saddle for a 21-year-old man who has a disability and wants to ride. I've had to make the saddle around him and his horse, so this saddle is different to ones I've previously made but it's going to help someone live their life to the fullest so it's very meaningful."

Timothy is displaying his saddles at Beef Australia.


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