First up, I had to prep, prime and paint those saddle trees. I want my tack to be durable, so I spent a long time on these using many, many thin layers of paint followed by several coats of protective spray finish.
You've probably noticed by now that "Kellye's saddle" has two trees... There's a reason for that. I'm actually planning to make two Charro saddles--one for Kellye and one for me!
While the trees were drying, I dyed a good sized piece of leather. I want to make sure that I have more than enough for two saddles including some inevitable "mistake pieces."Not shown, but also included in the preparing stage are pattern making and silver gathering. When all this is finished, I will finally be ready to start the building stage.
I also spent a long time working out exactly how I'm going to embellish these saddles. I'm realistic enough to know that I can't precisely recreate the embroidered pitiada decoration. Still, I want to do something that is reminiscent of that. Here I am trying out a geometric pattern that is commonly seen on Mexican saddle pads and breastcollars. At this stage I'm not aiming for perfection. Mostly I'm trying to see if this is a doable pattern.