Masterpieces, a unique western retail store west of Madisonville, Tx., held its grand opening the evening of February 22 with more than 250 people in attendance. Owned by Gala and Ronnie Nettles, the store has an unusual western flair, mixing western décor and western tack, sometimes even integrating the two together.
The Nettles are deeply immersed in the equine industry. Gala has written articles, columns and books for the industry for 20 years while Ronnie, a Hall of Fame cutting horse trainer, has trained horses and given cutting lessons for decades. Twenty-one years ago, he designed the Nettles laminated oak stirrup and that’s when Masterpieces was really born, although unnamed. Gala Nettles began manning a booth filled with the stirrups made on the Nettles Ranch and the books she had written, at major NCHA competitions.
“As the years passed, I added a few gift items to the booth, things that I enjoyed,” explained Gala Nettles. “First, it was a few gift items, then the guys building our stirrups started building a few things such as stirrup clocks, shelves, etc. ”
The merchandise grew and before long, it seemed only natural to build a permanent store. Today, Masterpieces is not only home to Gala’s 15 books along with Nettles Stirrups and other high quality tack, it is also home to furniture accessories such as cowhide rugs, pewter, crystal and anything else Gala can find that is unique.
The 2000 square foot store shares a building with the Nettles Stirrups Manufacturing Company and sits in front of the round pens where Ronnie Nettles daily trains cutting horses. The entire complex, known as Nettles Country and located three miles west of Madisonville is definitely a unique western experience.
In addition to Ronnie's extensive Training and Showing Accomplishments, he created the renowned Nettles Stirrups. Not only did he create the final product, but in the same fashion that he trains his horses, he uses custom designed tools and practices that didn't exist before he invented them. Ronnie's methodical approach to machinery, efficiency and quality permeates throughout his stirrup manufacturing business.
Several pieces of custom designed machinery were developed by Ronnie for producing his stirrups. Whether a quick glance, or a lengthy evaluation of his stirrups, the high quality and consistency of his manufacturing processes is obvious.
Visit the training link on this website to see Ronnie's Cutting accomplishments, or stop by Madisonville to view his stirrup facility.
Author and Keynote Speaker Gala Nettles brings joy and laughter to any crowd or presentation. With the completion of her book Fame and Glory, Gala has published fourteen books. She is a guru on equine history and a familiar face in the equine industry. A writer for a majority of its magazines, she also pens threee columns and has written 8 instructional books, to date.
Should she ever need fodder for her writing, her husband, Ronnie Nettles, a past NCHA Futurity Champion and Super Stakes Co-Champion, operates a busy training operation only a stone's throw from her office. The couple also owns the Nettles Stirrups Manufacturing Company.
Her compasionate and deep understanding of what makes the horse tick gives her a depth of understanding that is rare in equine circles. Click on the "Publications" and "Articles" links to see her handywork.