The Story of Dusty Johnson
and Pleasant Valley Saddle Shop
Dusty Johnson, of Pleasant Valley Saddle Shop, is one of the best-known cowboy saddlemakers of all time. His knowledge of horses came from working on cattle ranches, guest ranches and ownership of livery stables. He was a noted professional farrier for more than 35 years. Growing up in Arizona and living in the high mountains of Colorado gave him a deep appreciation and love of the Old West and all that it stood for.
He always showed a particular fondness for the tradition and symbolism portrayed by the movie cowboys of the 1950's and was Life Member #3 of the former Wild West Arts Club, an international organization devoted to preserving the movie west and the equipment of the stars. In March 2003, Dusty was honored with the Cactus Jack Safe Bet Trophy for Meritorious Service and the WWAC Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Wild West Arts Club.
Dusty also performed gun spinning, bull whip dexterity and magic on stage under the name "Deadshot Dusty" along with Sharon, his beautiful wife of over 50 years. It was family entertainment with a comedy flair and western flavor.
More than 50 years of leather working experience with some of the greatest masters of the industry gave him the knowledge to not only create fine leather products for his customers but to also operate a saddlemaking school for students from throughout world.
He has published many articles about leatherwork and is the author of numerous books and videos of instruction in the art of building saddles and horse related equipment. Dusty passed away in 2020 but his legacy as one of the world's foremost experts on saddle making and leathercraft will live on forever.