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About the Braider, Gail Hought

Full-time artist, businesswoman and equestrian, Gail Hought is a native Californian, mother and grandmother. Gail's love of riding began at an early age on the family dairy farm. What does a little girl do who wants to ride, but does not have a horse? Of course, she rides her favorite cow. Gail's enthusiasm and passion for riding swayed her parents to purchase a horse for her. Thereafter she participated in gymkhana, rodeos and horse shows. Over the years, Gail's equestrian interests have broadened to include four Levi Ride & Ties and endurance riding. A lifelong dream of competing in the Western States Trail Ride-Tevis Cup-a one day 100 mile endurance ride, earned her three completion buckles between 1999 and 2001.

After her marriage to Eric in 1966, Gail continued her education and became a registered nurse. After working in the nursing field for some time, the need to stay home became increasingly important, though it meant a financial sacrifice. Her household had expanded to four children, thus the decision to stay home was made.

Gail had an interest in leatherwork even before her decision. With the thought of someday learning to braid, she purchased Bruce Grant's, Encyclopedia of Rawhide and Leather Braiding, but it sat on a shelf, unopened, in her home for over ten years. As the children grew, more free time became available for the pursuit of her own interests, one of which was a continuing attraction to leatherwork. Using the tools from a previously purchased Tandy Leather Kit, Gail decided it was time to try her hand at braiding. With Bruce Grant's book as a guide, she taught herself to first braid rawhide and then leather. She discovered she truly enjoyed the process and found she had a talent and a facility for the skills it required. Since Gail continued to feel the need to financially contribute to the family, an in-home business combining her love of horses, aptitude for braiding and gift for art seemed like a logical next step. Thereafter, Gail's talents flourished and Hought Western Tack, now Hought Fine Art and Leather, was established.

Gail is primarily known for her artistic leather braiding skills. The western world recognized her exceptional talents, when the first of several articles appeared in WESTERN HORSEMAN magazine. Featured were examples of braided tack that included bosal sets, for which she is most noted, romal reins and several styles of headstalls.

The art community acknowledged Gail for her watercolor paintings with honors at the juried show at the California State Fair. Her braided work received the People's Choice Award and Best of Show Award for three dimensional art at the Big Bend Trappings, Sul Ross University at Alpine, Texas. She juried the braiding category on two occasions at the "Trappings of the American West" in Flagstaff, Arizona, and was an invited guest speaker in 1998 at Sul Ross University's annual show. Collectors have recognized Gail as a leading creator of complete sets of artistically braided tack. Those with a knowledgeable eye, who collect her work, have seen it rapidly appreciate in value.

Gail has written three articles for WESTERN HORSEMAN magazine and a project oriented braiding series for LEATHER CRAFTER'S JOURNAL. In the last several years, photographs of her work have appeared in many horse related magazines. In 2002 WORLD ENDURANCE NEWS featured an article focusing on her watercolor painting.

Since 1996, Gail has taught numerous braiding workshops. Encouraged by interest shown in her work, she has written an illustrated series of braiding books for the braiding enthusiast: The Art of Braiding, The Basics, The Art of Braiding, The Bosal I, The Art of Braiding, The Basics-Revised Edition, The Art of Braiding, The Bosal II and The Art of Braiding Romal Reins I.

Gail's many artistic talents have served her well over the years, braiding is but one. She creates pencil drawings, pen and inks and watercolor paintings with a focus on animals. Web site design is another of her interests. Gail's understanding of art and the computer has given her the tools to create interesting and innovative web sites for herself and others. A passion for endurance riding combined with the knowledge of the sport and tack construction skills, has motivated Gail to create attractive functional biothane tack that is comfortable for the horse and easily used by the rider.

Eric, a retired teacher, has been married to Gail for over 40 years. He became interested in leatherwork in 1973 along with Gail. In the early years, Gail continued her braiding craft while Eric taught school. He contributed his leather skills, as time would allow, until he retired to devote his full-time energies to creating tack. His strapwork has been the foundation for Gail's braiding. Today Eric, an accomplished horseman, devotes most of his time raising and training horses for himself and others, and writes many training technique articles.

By combining artistic talent with her skill as a horsewoman, Gail brings individuality to her craft. Her unique qualities have given her the ability to produce superior products that are not only beautiful in appearance, but functional and easy to use.

 Email - hought@hought.com

 Copyright ©1997 - 2017 by Gail Hought. All Rights Reserved.