Starting at a young age, Dennis learned that the world of tack needs to be approached from a “function over fashion” mindset. Surrounded by livestock on a small family ranch, and working at his father’s feedstore, three-year-old Dennis and his pony Tinker became a common sight along the streets in Goldthwaite, Texas. Through these early years of riding, cowboying, and watching local craftsmen, Dennis grew familiar with the ins and outs of what makes good leather, and how that leather can make exceptional tack.
Working on a ranch during his early 20′s, Dennis would frequent a saddle shop in Nebraska for the tack he needed.
The owner of the shop was always busy building saddles,” Dennis recalls. “I’d come in needing something built a certain way and he’d say ‘If you want it built that way, do it yourself.’”
So Dennis started doing just that. It wasn’t until he began crafting and selling his own tack that he realized he had something special. In 1976 Dennis started Dennis Moreland Enterprises, becoming the country’s first manufacturer of tack-only horse products.
In ’76 there wasn’t a single person in the U.S. that just built tack,” Dennis remembers. “Everyone built saddles and the tack was secondary.”
In 1990 Dennis Moreland Enterprises evolved into Cowboy Tack. The business sat in the top tier of the then maturing tack industry as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high quality tack. A pioneer in his own right, the specialization Dennis applied to his business allowed him to be innovative and creative when it came to designs. Breaking new ground, he introduced a number of firsts to the tack-making world, like the use of high-quality harness leather, that are industry standards today.
Dennis got out of the wholesale manufacturing business in 1998. Wanting to continue doing what he loved, but not wanting to operate on as large a scale as before, the accomplished tack maker started fresh.
In 2003 he began Dennis Moreland Tack. In addition to his lifelong love for horses, Dennis’ daily riding and training, along with regular showing, gives him the knowledge and understanding of what works well on a horse. This allows him to design and craft the hand-made equipment that riders keep coming back for.
Quality is not an accident,” Dennis says. “You don’t accidentally use only the best leather and the best buckles available.”
In the end, it all boils down to Dennis’ motto of function over fashion. While his tack is beautifully crafted and exquisite to look at, the function of each piece is what comes first.
Over the years, Dennis has been approached by riders and trainers alike, all wanting quality tack from an experienced craftsman. That his tack is still working well for them, after years of hard use, is the best compliment Dennis can get.