Thursday, October 14, 2010

Congratulations, it's a saddle!

It's a little bit silly how thrilled I am at completing my first saddle. For a couple days' work, I am very pleased with how it came out!

I received some larger pieces of 'roo leather a couple of days ago, and so I could finally make a start on the racing saddles I had promised to friends Lisa and Dan. So, using the pictures I had from Dan of a racing slip (including underside shots!) I was able to construct a pattern (held on here by the surcingle of the other racing saddle Lisa owns).

From there came a prototype.

Here you can see the stitchmarking I attempted (on the saddle I copied this from, the stitching is white). I also tried to full binding around the entire circumference of the saddle. Unfortunately that didn't work out so well - I ended up with glue everywhere. The little cut outs that cover the stirrup bars are also wonky, since I cut them freehand.

That's where I started from this morning. Today I redrew the patterns (adding in the surcingle slots and stirrup cover things, and started afresh.

While I was hassling discussing the project with Dan, we determined that the surcingle I was borrowing from Lisa's saddle was too wide (at about 9-10mm). I had a dig around in my supply box and found some 6mm elastic, which I used to create a new girth and surcingle.

(I'm pretty sure the surcingle is on upside down. Oops!)

I also tried the binding again, but only around the important bits (the seat and the pommel). I like the finished look it gives the saddle - from the side, at least. I need to work on being more careful and making sure it goes on straight!

While I was playing with Lisa's saddle, I also determined that tongue buckles on the girth and surcingle are much easier to use when working with elastic. Slip buckles literally slip out, so tongue buckles it is - all over!

My final note for the future is that I should probably use 2mm for the stirrup leathers; of course, I didn't think of that until after I was taking pictures. Oh well!

I think that despite a few glue marks and wonkiness, it's a pretty impressive saddle for me. It should make a good photo-showing saddle, too, if I can hold off from pulling it apart to reuse the stirrups!


  1. I think it looks very good! I like the edges and the stitch marking. That really gives it a finished look.

  2. Thank you, Notturna! I really like the look the binding gives it too - nice and clean.