Born on a ranch in souther Idaho, duff Severe grew up working with horses and watching his father and other cowboys fraft rawhide gear. In 1946 he apprenticed with Hamley Saddle Co. in Pendleton, OR, and 10yrs later he and his brother Bill started Severe Brothers Saddlery. Duff Severe's saddles are valued for their quality workmanship and strength. using hand-carved trees - the saddle's wooden skeleton- he cuts and shapes leather, custom fitting the saddle to conform to the rider and horse. With swivel cutters, veiners, shaders, and scores of other specialized tools, he carves and stamps intricate designs. "He's a real master," says his nephew Randy. "When he works on his bench, there's no waste, not in motion or materials. It's all fluid. It's really something to watch." The finished saddle-shining with silver inlay, leather relief, and braided rawhide - is prized by rodeo riders and working cowboys throughout the American West. "Ninety percent of the bronc riders are using Severe Saddles," says a rodeo cowboy. "They're the Mercedes-Benz of the business." Today, Duff's nephews and former apprentices, Randy and Robin Severe, run the family busines, carrying forward the Severe tradition of quality craftmanship.