by Erin Corbett
I'd like to talk a little bit about why I do what I do with the model horse tack. I get a fair number of questions from new or aspiring tackmakers, and I get the feeling that some might think there's a secret involved in saddle creation, or some sort of key that I have that will unlock the mysteries of how a saddle goes together, or how tooling works, if only I would tell them what it is! I am sad to say that there really isn't. It's just years and years of practice and refining skills and ENDLESS frustration.
And a sharp x-acto knife!
I started making saddles when I was a teenager in the mid/late nineties, and it was firmly coming from a place of wanting to show performance and do well. I saw amazing saddles in the winner's circle and NAN win photos by HAR Ranch, Susan Bensema-Young, and Darleen Stoddard just to name a few.
|The Elk saddle by Susan Bensena Young|
I bought my first saddle kit and cried bitter tears of defeat trying get it put together with my dull box cutter knife and pair of kitchen shears, bent over an antique writing desk whose drawer I constantly banged my knees into. I'm not sure what happened to the first saddle I ever made, in fact - my memory of it is so hazy that I'm sure I probably gave it away. It was *not* pretty. Not even a little bit.
But I didn't give up, and I kept beating away at it. I begged my parents for a Rio Rondo order every Christmas and birthday, and kept a hand written wish list that I would pine over. I am not over-stating it to say that I was *terrible* at making saddles for a solid ten years, on and off.
Photographic evidence of mediocrity above! Then I was OK at it for a few more.
I've only been decent at it in the past few years now, and I am so thankful that I've had the time to keep trying for all those years.
|All around saddle owned by Jamie Stine|
|Pleasure saddle owned by Tiffany Purdy|
|Gaming saddle owned by Danielle Feldman|
|Working saddle owned by Erin Corbett|