Friday, October 26, 2012

Saddles and dolls

I finished assembling Jane's saddle today.
Jane is a doll maker, so I know this saddle will be used with a rider doll.  
It is surprisingly difficult to build a model sized saddle that looks good and fits the Breyer rider doll well.  After years of small adjustments, I think I've finally found a good balance between these two somewhat contradictory goals.
I am especially pleased with the way the doll's leg rests evenly against the saddle...
with only minor gaps behind the knees.  
I still think my saddles could be a bit prettier, but I'm working on that, too.  I'm pretty sure the solution will come one small adjustment at a time.  That's how things go for this particular model tackmaker.


  1. WOW - gorgeous! I think Jane will be thrilled with her "mini-me" saddle. :-)

  2. I have to say, the idea that your saddles could be prettier is laughable. They are so gorgeous! Absolute works of art! I would loooove to have a portrait of my first saddle! It's just starting to fall apart now- the leather is splitting off the seat :P Not to mention that I outgrew it 5+ years ago and insist on using it anyway....

  3. See, I have a saddle made by one of the hobby's top tackmakers on my desk, and I do think it's prettier than mine. It's narrower in the seat and twist and looks just a bit more elegant. However, it doesn't fit dolls as well. It's much gappy-er, and I do think that's a result of the smaller seat size.

    Since most of my customers show with dolls, I've made the decision to sacrifice a little bit of pretty for a lot more fit. I just wish I could have both!

  4. I know what you mean about prettier! The twist is something I really struggle with on my saddles. That and dolls...ugh, dolls! Thrills me that I don't have to deal with them as often as you, but when I do it's a doozy.

    I think sacrificing form for function is for the best! A pretty saddle won't do any good if it causes the rider to sit oddly.

  5. I feel the same way about the western saddles I make. The other saddle makers seem to have way better saddles than I could ever make. But my skills are improving! I know that with lots of practice I can make something just as pretty.

  6. I'm lucky that my western saddles easily hold my dolls. I've tried making English saddles but they just don't come out well! So I bought a saddle made by kerioke on eBay and I love it! But I do wish I could learn how to tool my saddles! I can put silver on but I havnt tooled cause I don't know what tools I need! I think saying your saddles could be prettier is not possible! I would buy that in a heartbeat and if she isn't happy, something must be wrong

  7. I AM thrilled! And can't wait to see it in person!