Adventures in Saddle Making

Recently I was inspired to try making another English saddle. I don’t build saddles very often… I’ve mentioned before that I find them intimidating, but at the same time it’s something I want to do more often and want to get better at, and like so many other things I’m into, I won’t get better unless I PRACTICE.

I still don’t really know what I’m doing though.

So whenΒ Carrie Olguin of KeriOkie Entertainment posted some new how-to videos on her YouTube channel, I really wanted to give another saddle a go. I mean, I need all the help I can get. XD I’m a bit stubborn and like to figure out how to make things on my own, but I also see value in following tips and tutorials by other tack makers, as it provides an opportunity to gather new ideas and try things you may have never thought of trying before.

I didn’t get a chance to start working on the saddle till this week. It’s become my after-work project, and I’ve been enjoying working on small steps at a time.

The first few days were spent cutting, dyeing and preparing leather:

Another was spent putting together the panels:

Followed by the saddle flaps:

Now that the weekend’s here I’ve had a little more time for it. It’s starting to look like a saddle!

Here’s how it’s looking today:

I have done some things differently than what was shared in the tutorial. I’m using a heavier metal instead of an aluminum can for the tree, I dyed all my pieces after cutting them out, and my stirrup bars are different from what was shown, just to name a few.

But it’s been so much FUN to put together, which is what I need with tack making right now. πŸ™‚

5 thoughts on “Adventures in Saddle Making

  1. I find the tiny pegs (clothes pins in US?) also very useful as clamps whilst glue is setting πŸ™‚

    I may be the person (accidentally) responsible for the ‘soda can’ idea – back in the early 1990s I made and sold (through Cascade Models in the US) “English” saddle kits, which included ready-made aluminium trees, which were blue on one side – a similar colour to Pepsi blue. However, this was just co-incidental: the aluminium was a much heavier gauge than used in drinks cans, but I can see how people made the connection. I would never use nor recommend myself using drinks cans metal for Classic or Trad trees – it’s just too flimsy. However, a good gauge of aluminium is easy to find in most model stores.

    (Incidentally, we recently found stocks of those saddle kits in one of our attics, and will be selling them soon – as well as the original General Purpose saddle kit, there’s also a Side-saddle Kit, and a Saddleseat one. All are Trad πŸ™‚ )



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