Posts Tagged ‘model horse tack’

This saddle is being a pain in every way possible but for some reason I haven’t given up on it yet. I’ve had to leave it alone for a few days at a time, and am also at the point where I’d love to start working on other things I’ve been daydreaming about. It’s so close to being done… and still so far.

I knew the lower skirt was going to have to be remade completely. Did I even pay attention to my reference when I first created the pattern? Or actually plan out where all the silver would go? NOPE. Because what I had was WAY off. Way, way, way off.

Sooo I fixed the shape of the skirt, extending it, mostly. (now I’m worried it’s too long but too late for that now!) Then I fired up Photoshop, dusted off my drawing tablet and re-drew all of the tooling flowers and swirly things.

Here is the finished piece, after tooling and adding extra details, and finally, some silver!

This is my favorite part… details!

And the underside:

I was really excited after finishing this piece. I fit all the leather pieces together to get an idea of how it would look, only to find out that the seat piece wasn’t fitting right. Sooo I had to alter the pattern a second time, transferred it to leather, tooled it, etc and…

It was close, but still off. I could have made it work, but I knew it would bug me forever. The only thing that didn’t make me sick about having to tool this piece a third time was that I was never really happy with the second piece’s tooling. At least that’s what I kept telling myself.

I got the new pattern for it made, as well as for the upper skirt:

The paper pieces fit ok:

Third time’s a charm, right? This time the seat fits much better. I prefer the tooling of the first but oh well. Tooling is tricky. I’m trying to figure out the right balance of leather dampness, deepness of the cuts and how much pressure to use. It still manages to disappear after sealing ughhhh.

The more I look at saddles the more details I find. This adds more work of course but it’s worth it, I think. I totally forgot about the lacing in the lower skirt, and was tempted to just leave it off. But it started nagging at me. Punching those holes was SCARY after all the work I had put into the skirt. (my first reject seat was a nice test piece) In a brief moment of insanity I considered using leather lace instead of embroidery thread. Maybe another time.

Also look, the upper skirt is done! This piece was the most well-behaved of the lot!

After getting through all that, I noticed ANOTHER Problem. The cantle on this tree is very low, and finally seeing that was really discouraging.

Luckily it turned out to be an easy fix, with a skived piece of tooling leather glued to the front:

And a piece of skiver glued to the back to cover it up. I had another moment where I thought about tooling that piece but shut it down very quickly. NOPE!

SO. After putting 6+ hours into it today (everything hurts help) here’s how it’s looking right now:

I felt it was safe to start pinning together. I’ve only got one side done because I’m at the “over it” point for the day, but but but! It’s looking ok maybe? I’m trying very hard not to point out all the issues I have with it. ^_^

I can say that I’m really happy with the scalloped leather bits under the conchos. I’ll share a post on how I made those here soon.

There’s still a lot left to do but the end is in sight!

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A couple weeks ago I started working on a new dress sheet/show cooler. I made a few of them nearly four years ago, but I’ve been wanting to try again with some new ideas.

Typically these are made from wool or fleece, but I stuck with cotton. One of my goals was to get the binding thinner. This is thinner than what’s on my recent blankets, but not by much, so I’ll have to keep trying.

When it came to the hip ornaments, I quickly remembered why I haven’t made dress sheets in four years. These things… ugh.
Fun fact: the loopy bits are based off of “frog” fastenings which can be found on historical and some Asian styled clothing. Figuring that out helped a bit, but the braided part was another challenge. In the end, my version imitates the real thing but is not braided the same way, and that annoys me to no end because I want it to be just like the REAL THING UGHHH.

It is better than my earlier attempts though, so I suppose I’ll be content with it for now.

I added a hidden belly surcingle to it:

And gave it a leather buckle in the front:

This is a personal/test piece (it’s got issues… there’s a reason why I haven’t shown the other side hahaha) so it won’t be available for sale.

I’m hoping to create a few more in different color combinations though, because I still think there’s room for improvement.

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Last week I couldn’t find one of my western cinches. My collection of tack is completely unorganized and chaotic, so this was no surprise. But it left me frustrated enough that I decided that SOMETHING needed to be done.

So I collected all of my tack (plus a few Breyer pieces and a handful from other artists ❀ ) and dumped it on my bed.

My first thought was, "WHY DID I DO THIS NOW IT'S EVEN WORSE" which then switched over to thoughts of, "Wow, that's a lot.” and also, “That’s IT? I’ve been doing this for nearly 15 years and this is all I have??”

Well, there is a huge chunk of my work missing that’s been sold, donated or gifted, so I obviously can’t include all that, but still.

I knew going through it was going to be a pain, but I didn’t expect it to have this weird emotional affect on me. The majority of this stuff is old work, pieces that are unusable or frustrating to use, and experiments/first attempts. There are many pieces that I think turned out well though, yay!

This July marks the 10 year anniversary of this blog and “Desktop Stables.” This hobby has been such a huge part of my life for nearly 15 years, so seeing some of these really early tack pieces brought back a lot of memories. Or rather, memories of feelings, if that makes sense, and the enthusiasm I had for tack making in general. I wasn’t so hard on myself and it didn’t matter if the piece was incorrect. If it resembled real tack in some way I was happy and very proud of myself. (I uh, still feel that way sometimes… >_>)

I guess it’s a feeling of nostalgia? Like when you hear a song or smell something that instantly takes you back, even just for a second. I’m sure those of you who have been in the hobby much, much longer than me (and are probably laughing – 15 years? Psh!) can relate? Kind of maybe sort of?

Back to organizing. I started by grouping everything by type… saddles with saddles…

… Arabian tack…

… bridles and halters…

… boots…

… the saddle pad problem…

… and so on and so forth. The next step was to separate everything into different groups: Keep, Sell, Recycle for Parts, and Toss. A lot of pieces I can’t part with, but I did put together a group of things that I’ll be listing to my Etsy shop once I get them properly photographed. (no saddles but some Arabian tack and boots and stuff) I sometimes find it really hard to part with my work, but I’m not using these pieces for anything so I’d rather them go to someone who’d like them.

My tack boxes are looking much better now!

By the way, I did end up finding the cinch. πŸ™‚

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