Tom Balding Bits & Spurs
Known by horsemen and trainers alike as the industry leader in quality bits and spurs, Tom Balding’s reputation for superior craftsmanship has spread worldwide. Discovery Channels How It’s Made filmed three segments documented the elaborate process of hand-crafting a belt buckle, bit and spurs. Stop by for a personal tour and see the process first hand!
Tom makes all his bits and spurs from scratch. By treating his small staff like family, and instilling in them the same respect for high quality, he is able to maintain the standards he founded the business on.
Tom has always been drawn to working with metal. First it was building custom hot rod parts. Then it was aluminum backpack frames, which led Tom to open his own welding and fabrication shop at the age of 23. Mainly specializing in certified aircraft welding and Hobie Cat sail boat hardware parts.
In the early 1980s Tom had an epiphany when a rode a neighbor’s horse that immediately bucked him into the dirt. The event crystallized his need for change. After exploring the west, he settled down outside Buffalo, Wyoming and worked as a ranch hand. He also purchased, and broke his first horse.
In 1984, a woman asked him to repair a broken bit. The task took only a few minutes but acted as a revelation for Tom: from that moment on, he would build bits and spurs.
Success did not arrive overnight. Eventually, in 1998, a multiple winner of American Quarter Horse Association World Championships, started using Tom’s bits. Word got around the western horse circuit that Tom’s bits were the best that money could buy.
In addition to his standard line of bits and spurs (which includes all disciplines of riding), he does custom work for professional horsemen and women around the world. Feedback from clients is essential. Because a part of Tom is still that curious kid fascinated by innovation, pushing metal to its limits, and perfecting his product.