A native of Utah, Dan Ames began his braiding and leatherwork career in 1971. As a rodeo contestant he learned to braid bull ropes to supplement his earnings. In 1973 one of his customers convinced him to apprentice in his saddle shop and build ropes on the side.
Rawhide had always been a mysterious creature and after many attempts to master even the smallest project, it was put to the side with only the occasional dabble.
In 2014 with the help of longtime friend and cohort Kelly Wahlen, he went back trying to master the craft. A class with Doug Groves in Elko lit the fire. Continuing with tutelage from braiders such a Kelly, Doug, Jack Armstrong, Bret Haskett, and Graeme Quisenberry, along with attending several Rawhide Gatherings, his journey continues. In 2018 he was awarded 2nd Place Peoples Choice award at the Gear Show at Elkos Poetry Gathering, for his rawhide martingale.
Dan recently retired as a Wildland Fire Manager for the State of Utah and spends 4 months of the year guiding Big Game hunters from all over the world in the fall.
Braiding gear now takes up most of his time, and he continues to build some leather items such as saddles, boots, and various other custom goods.