Thursday, February 3, 2011


Tackmaking can be very tedious.  This is especially true when you're talking about the early stages of saddle construction.  All those hours of dyeing and skiving leather, cutting pattern pieces, treating edges, adding stitchmarks, punching holes, sewing and gluing parts together...  It feels like busywork.  There comes a point--usually near the end of the first day--when I wonder why I do this.

Fortunately, there's another point--usually near the end of the second day--when all those parts and pieces come together and suddenly, I have a saddle.  Even after seven years, this still seems like magic.
These dressage saddles look more finished than they really are.  In fact, they've probably got full day's worth of work left in them.  That's ok.  Once I've reached the magic stage, it really does start to be fun again.  After all, I'm no longer doing tedious busywork--I'm making saddles!


  1. Like the pinstriping... I so need to you to make a mini version of my Duett :) I won't make you do removable knee rolls though :D

  2. The piping is sort of a flight of fancy on my part. It's not a normal feature for a modern dressage saddle, but you know, sometimes it's fun to play!

    If you ever want to loan me the Duett, I'd be delighted to have it sitting in my studio for a bit. I've been known to set up a saddle rack here before. Even though I'm pretty well acquainted with the real thing, it's always nice to have one an arm's length away!

  3. Next time I'm out of state, the Duett can be yours for that time :) Or if Flick's lame/off - but that happens less frequently than me being out on a trip, not withstanding last summer/fall...

  4. You know, in your hands it is magic!

  5. wow! i only just realised after staring at these saddles for a full 10 mintues they are the same ones as in progress in the last post!!! it really IS magic!!

    may i ask, how much does it cost to get a saddle/bridle set made by you?? i have a saddle here i want a mini version of (it as my old pony's) to go with my portrait model (see my blog for her mini version, please follow her/subscribe to the blog! sub for sub! lol!)

  6. These look great!

    I'd like to get into some sort of tack making and equine sculpture. Sculpting would be good to learn from a course of some sort but the tack making.. geez I wish they had courses devoted entirely toward the subject!

    I have no idea how to make saddles let alone ones this good but I've tried at bridles and they're great when you look at the finished product. You get a real sense of achievement from it.