Friday, June 7, 2013

Show and tell with SBY

For the second year in a row, I had the the great pleasure of hosting a tack show and tell day with my friend, Susan Bensema Young.  Here's how my kitchen table looked before she arrived.  Believe me, it didn't stay this neat and organized for long!
Not surprisingly, we started by showing each other our newest acquisitions.  Sue got to see my new full size bridle, Roundapony and my Evelyn Munday saddle.  In turn, she showed me her Shannon Granger barrel saddle...
and a braided bridle by Danielle Hart.   This is the first time I've seen Danielle's work in person, and I was not disappointed.  In fact, I can hardly wait until my own Designs by Hart bridle is completed!
Sue bought this Candy Evans saddle more than a decade ago, so it's not new.  However, it's new to me, and I spent a long time looking at it...
and marveling over the inset diamonds. 
I'm usually pretty good at figuring out how things are made, but this one holds its secrets tightly.
The more I looked, the more mysterious it became!
Accompanying the Candy Evans set is this equally amazing saddle blanket made by Sue herself.  This is not your average cross-stitch pad.  It's made on a twenty eight point linen canvas and is wonderfully soft and completely in scale.
Rounding out the Western tack by other tackmakers is this lovely Heather Moreton bridle.  I remembered this one from last year's visit, but it's nice enough to merit blog space this year as well.
As much as I enjoyed the Western tack, I was extremely happy that Sue brought some English tack as well.  This blue and black hunt saddle was made by Fara Shimbo.
Fara was an early pioneer in the field of model horse English saddlery.  I almost met her once many, many years ago, but I was too shy to say hello. 
Sue's other English saddle was built by Kelly Vandeman (now Neve).  
Like Fara, Kelly was another one of my secret saddle making mentors.  I remember spending hours looking at the pictures on her website, trying to figure out how she made her saddles look so real.  After all this time, it was nice to finally see her work in person.  I'm not a big fan of the half panels, but despite that, I would still consider this saddle top LSQ.  It has such a nice shape and actually feels like a full scale saddle.
Of course, Sue also brought a pile of Timaru Star II tack, but pictures of those items will have to wait until another day! 


  1. Wow! Such beautiful tack!! Someday I'll be able to have stuff that nice. :)

  2. Wow the Candy Evan saddle is probably my favorite. What do you use to fill the panels on your english saddles? I was going to just use a peice of tooling leather wrapped with skiver but it doesn't seem thick enough especially on my dressage saddle.

    1. My panel are made from several pieces of tooling leather and felt and are covered in skiver. I've experimented with other materials, but I always come back to tooling leather and felt in the end.

      Hope this helps!

  3. Yes, this does help alot, thank you!

  4. If it helps any, I do full panels now! That saddle's at least 10 years old - as close to "vintage" as my stuff gets, lol

    The braidwork is gorgeous! If you guys ever want to do tack day closer to Iowa, be sure to let me know

  5. I just found this today! LOL THank you so much for mentioning me and my braided bridle! I love the photo of it on your guy.. I'm super proud of that bit because I made it myself..

  6. I'd beat dollars to doughnuts that the inlay you like so much is a stamp from tandy ( I have it) and she painted the inside that color. Gonna have to try this now! Never occurred to me to use it that way!!

    1. Just happen to see this reply, thanks to a good friend, and you are not quite correct.
      There is a stamp being used, but the 'diamonds' are inset. Just as Jennifer said.
      Dyed a different color...but, inset.
      Candy Evans

  7. Too bad you didn't say hello! I don't bite except on Tuesdays. :)