Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ghosts of projects past

Two things I love are bargains and projects.  When you combine the two, it's almost impossible for me to resist.

That said, it's no surprise that I'm sorely tempted each and every time Kirsteen Haley lists a "you finish it" saddle on Model Horse $ales Pages.  Like Erin and Shannon, Kirsteen is one of the hobby's top Western saddle makers.  Her carving skills are undeniable, and it's a wonder that I've only succumbed to temptation twice.

Unfortunately, I'm a lot better at starting project than I am at finishing them.  Neither of those saddles have changed much since I bought them--at least not until today.
I wish I had thought to take a picture of the saddle pieces when I started.  Although beautifully tooled, the dye job left a lot to be desired.  It was a weird blotchy orange shade.  After a few attempts at fixing it, I decided it would be easier to dye everything dark brown.  I also abandoned the lumpy, handmade tree in favor of a customized Rio Rondo version. 
Several hours later, I have this to show for my efforts.  
It's not finished, but at least it looks like a saddle!
I've ordered some silver plated stirrups from The World of Model Horse Collecting so further progress is on hold until they arrive.  Still, I'm feeling pretty confident that this particular project is finally coming to fruition.  Hurray!  One down, one hundred ninety nine to go!


  1. That's beautiful, Jennifer! I really need to start working on the western saddle kit I got from Rio. I do admit, I'm hesitant to do it for fear I'll mess something up!!

  2. I love the colour! It looks like it's been used rather than just taken off the shelf. :D

  3. I hear you, Lindsay. I think that's the main reason why this has sat on my desk so long. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do it justice. Of course once I got my Erin and Shannon saddles, that didn't seem to matter so much. I no longer *needed* another pleasure saddle so it didn't matter as much if I goofed things up!

    Last Alliance--the color is just a happy accident. I wasn't trying for used as much as less blotchy. It is kind of pretty, though!

  4. Looks good!! Did you make the saddle tree too?
    The bottom side (2nd picture) looks a little unusual to me.

  5. The saddle tree in the top two photos came with the saddle pieces. I didn't use it. As you noted, it was a bit on the unusual side.

    Kirsteen does sell really nice saddle trees now. This kit is really old and doesn't reflect her current production,

  6. Well it worked out really well! :D

    I spotted this whilst browsing Flickr and thought of you - an interesting idea for a bridle, no?