I came home from Portland with a pair of Western saddles that needed a bit of tlc. The first one was this beautiful pleasure saddle by Janet Edington. There's not much wrong with this besides a missing silver plate. That was an easy fix, and I've really enjoyed having the opportunity to study this saddle up close. The other saddle was a bit more challenging. This trophy saddle is dated 1993, and besides the missing stirrup it is old and stiff with age.
The breastcollar's black tug straps were thick and clumsy and the handmade buckles detracted from the overall look. I carefully skived the backsides of the fenders and billets and treated both with a non-staining leather conditioner. I continued doing this until the leather had regained its suppleness. At that point I reattached the stirrups and added hobble straps. The fenders now hang straight down against the horse's sides.
I replaced the breastcollar's black tug straps with some that matched color of the saddle, and I also revamped the strap that runs from the center ring to the cinch.