This saddle has been teaching me so much. I wasn’t too excited about working on the stirrups, so I made sure to begin working on those next. In the end, I really loved how they turned out, and am so glad I didn’t cut corners and make them simple like my previous ones.
These were assembled using a method shared by Niki Hertzog on the Braymere blog. Thank you Niki!
The next step to tackle was attaching them to the fenders. I was very tempted to just glue them in place and call it done. But part of me wanted to figure out how to make them adjustable, so I did a little searching on the internet.
This particular video helped things click in my brain:
Reading tutorials with or without pictures helps, but video helps so much more. I’ve noticed that a lot of horse tack retailers and brands now have YouTube channels to show off/sell/show how to use their products, which I’ve found to be really helpful with creating this stuff in miniature.
So here are my mini adjustable stirrups!
A lot of western saddles use a blevins buckle on stirrups. I know someone in the hobby made these once but it was so long ago that I can’t remember who! I wasn’t brave enough to figure that out so I opted for a simple dee ring buckle instead.
Though I hope I’ll never have to take them off, it’s nice knowing that I can without having to rip glued pieces apart. This is especially helpful when the first thing you do is put the stirrups on backwards. *cough*
It might have been more practical to have the buckles on the outside, but I also like the idea of the buckle tongue not touching the horse, and having the excess leather tucked in the stirrup. Will this come back and bite me later? Maybe!
Also, there’s a weird slot in one of my fenders. I was going to have the straps that hold everything together threaded through the leather to keep it in place, but it wasn’t working and I didn’t want to risk wrecking the fender. So that’s why that stupid little hole is there, haha. (at least it’s mostly hidden)
Here’s another look:
The top of the fender is attached the the lace with both glue and thread. This is a stress point so fingers crossed it will hold up ok! But even if it does break in the future, the lace can be replaced without too much pain.
This tree (from The World of Model Horse Collecting on eBay) has slots in it for the stirrups.
They’re even, YAYYY!
(I’m also so tempted to tear the leather off that tree and start over….)
Here are a couple more pieces I’ve been working on. On earlier saddles I’ve made, I’ve put the two seat pieces (seat jockey?) right on top of the suede seat piece. All of my saddle references have the seat piece on top of the jockey though, and I’m not sure why I never noticed it before? Anyway it’s a chance to try something new, and if it doesn’t work I can chop it up.
It’s slowly coming together! I’ll admit that I’ve been nervous posting anything about this saddle, but I’ve decided to do it anyway and be as open about my process as possible. I hope that maybe someone out there will find it helpful!