Posts Tagged ‘western’

When I was leaving work last week, I spotted two robins.

I get really excited when I start seeing robins again, because to me, they are a reminder that yes, spring is coming and yes, winter will end. Even though this winter was unusually mild, some Montana winters definitely feel like they’re going to last forever.
Those two birds brought some much-needed hope after a horrible week.

With everything that’s been going on in the world, I’ve found it really hard to focus. Last week I was having panic attacks, and this week the anxiety has (so far) been replaced with anger, frustration and sadness, mostly towards people who still refuse to take this seriously. Working from home is not possible for me, but I don’t work with the public and can practice social distancing easily. Still, I’m stressed out about it, but trying to be grateful and careful. I’m feeling very uncertain about what will happen next.

Local news is about as much as I can take at the moment. I do try to keep an eye on what’s going on worldwide but it quickly becomes overwhelming.

At times I’ve found it necessary to shut everything off so I can focus on reading or model horse tack instead. I’ve been wanting to make a show headstall to match the western saddle I made last year, so that’s been my current project. I finished it up yesterday.

This one I made to fit my Zippo, and I tried really hard to make sure everything fit correctly.

I’m really glad I had enough silver beads to make two ear loops.

Off the horse:

Like the saddle, I tried to cram as much detail in this piece as I possibly could.

The curb strap took at least two hours to put together because my first attempt was too big and bulky. It’s glued in place, so it can’t be adjusted, but I never want to have to adjust it anyway!

The reins annoy me… I might go back and notch the folds so they aren’t so tight in the bit. But aside from that I’m really pleased with how this bridle turned out. It is a personal piece and will not be for sale.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope that you’re well and staying safe. ❤️

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Finally, this saddle is finished!

I can’t say this is the same saddle that I started four years ago, because it isn’t. It had to be completely re-worked. However, the vision I had for it remained the same, and honestly? I think it came out a lot better than it would have if I had made it four years ago.

I learned a lot from it though, and it’s the nicest saddle I’ve made so far. Any issues I see with it will only help me make the next one better. I think this is the 6th western saddle I’ve built, and the first in 5 years. (almost to the exact day, that’s really weird!)

Here it is on Lady Phase/Truly Unsurpassed: (who is probably my favorite LP ever, she’s gorgeous!)

Some detail shots… this silver is so hard to photograph!

On Roxy:

And the ISH:

How does it look on Zippo?

Here’s a comparison shot I took mostly for myself. The left is my second saddle, pretty much straight from a Rio Rondo kit. Made it in 2007.. ish? I’m pretty sure I used a thumbtack for the stitch marking and I can’t believe the silver tape plates are still on. 😀

It helps me to compare old work with new work, to see that yes, I have improved, and to not be so hard on myself. ❤

Even with this saddle's challenges I still had a lot of fun putting it together. I'm so glad I decided to re-start this project and see it through to the end!

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The next step was to cover the seat piece. To give a little more shape to the seat, I added a crescent shaped piece of felt:

I used a thin faux suede fabric to cover the seat. It doesn’t fray easily, but I did go around the edges with black Edge Kote just in case. Because it was so thin, it fit around the felt shape pretty nicely, and I’m really happy with how that looks:

Then it was time to create the cantle piece. I got that smooth edge on one side by skiving down the edge and folding it underneath:

Once all that was attached and done, I realized that I made my upper skirt too short. Now it sticks out and I can’t un-see it UGHHHHH!! Too late now, keep going forward!

The last pieces I worked on were the off billet…

And the girth:

As of today, this saddle is DONE. It just needs some stirrup training and proper photos!

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