Before Tom Balding moved to Sheridan from L.A. in 1980, he operated a precision welding company, primarily fabricating stainless steel parts for sailboats. He enjoyed the work but as Southern California morphed from a series of rustic communities into a sprawling, nervous, metroplex, he needed to find a new home. “I drove all around the intermountain West, but when I found Sheridan, I just knew this was it.”
Tom’s was not a simple journey of immediate success, but Tom Balding Bits and Spurs is now widely recognized throughout the world of western horsemanship. Several stars of the cutting horse world enthusiastically endorse Balding’s products, as well as county music icons who pride themselves on horsemanship skills. Balding once struck up a conversation with a man while attending a horseshow in Germany. The German man was familiar with Sheridan, Wyoming, saying “Tom Balding lives in Sheridan, Wyoming.” It took Tom several minutes, and a business card his wallet, to convince the German he was speaking to the Tom Balding.
Beginning by attending horseshows and selling product from his car, Balding and his 5 employees now ship thousands of pieces annually. While Tom strives to get better, he shies from plans to grow bigger. He considers his employees family and after 3 decades, still loves living in Sheridan. “I came to Sheridan because I was looking for a place in the country.”
Balding will celebrate 30 years in business this Summer by hosting a bicycle race on the 2-mile mountain bike trail he has constructed on his property.