BLACKFOOT — When Kaden Doig isn’t competing in calf roping at a rodeo, or in class, he’s taking orders for all kinds of his handmade leather work.
Doig, 19, of Blackfoot has been working with leather since he was young and today he has his own business. The 2018 Blackfoot High School graduate is taking classes in animal science at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls.
Doig learned his leather working skills from his dad, Mark Doig, of Blackfoot. Some of the things he makes are belts, headstalls for horses, holsters for guns, chaps and cuffs — a leather bracelet that is popular right now among women.
“I pretty much make anything and I do a lot of saddle repairs, too,” he said.
A first-year student at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, he divides his time between Twin Falls and Blackfoot. Therefore, his business is mainly by order with his customers often selecting items from pictures he posts on his Instagram page at kd leatherwork. He credits his dad Mark Doig of Blackfoot and the owners of B Bar B Leather in Blackfoot for teaching him the leather working craft.
“I’ve been in it my whole life. I’ve learned a lot of from Jess Malan and Shawn Shield and Jeff Shield at B Bar B.”
His leather work is carved or tooled. His tooling is mostly done in a floral pattern.
“It takes me a few weeks once I get an order. I like to get it done,” he said.
Doig has first-hand knowledge about what cowboys and cowgirls want in custom leather work since he’s rodeoed much of his life. The bareback event was his first love but a broken arm during his second year at the Idaho State High School Rodeo finals and two surgeries later convinced him to switch to the calf roping event.
“I mostly go to independent rodeos like the Intermountain Pro Rodeo Association rodeos and the Rocky Mountain Professional Rodeo Association rodeos,” he said. “You definitely gotta love it and that (broken arm and surgeries) took my heart out of it. I’ve been riding horses all my life so I’m liking the timed event-side of rodeo now.”