Friday, February 21, 2014

Tooled English saddles

I have to admit, the hunter snob in me winces every time I see a photo of a tooled English saddle.  
The tackmaker in me, however, has a completely different reaction.  Tooled English saddles represent a challenge I simply cannot resist--at least not when I have a friend like Erin Corbett to help me out!
Erin is one of the model horse hobby's premier Western saddle makers.  Her tooling skills are second to none, and I couldn't imagine a better collaborator for this particular project.  I sent her a couple pattern pieces, and this came back in return.
It took me almost a month to work up the courage to cut out...
and prepare the pieces.
Fortunately, I managed not to cut through any of Erin's hard work...
and the saddle went together very easily.
Panels off...
and panels on!
Stirrups and leathers off...
Stirrups and leathers on!
After so many months of talking about this, it's extremely satisfying to see the project to fruition.  Even the hunter snob in me approves!

P.S.  This saddle will be listed on My Auction Barn sometime in the next couple days.  Since neither Erin or I are taking commissions, this is a unique opportunity to own a piece by both of us.


  1. It looks GREAT!! Even better than the vision I had in my head when I popped those pieces in the mail. Well done!!

  2. I know everyone says this, but it really does look better in person. I want to keep it!


  3. Omg i love the details. So awesom work by both of you:-)

  4. So crazy xD One time, I need to buy a saddle of you.

  5. can you PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE do a tutorial on the panels and how to make them and put them on and also shape the seat the way you do it PLEASE! im a pretty good tack maker (or so i think) and i just need some help and would you consider selling your hunter/jumper patterns (photo copy them) for about $5? please consider both questions btw love your tack!

  6. Sorry but I don't sell my patterns. I've written a lot of tackmaking tutorials and published photos of my saddles in nearly every stage of the construction process. To my mind anyway, that's more than enough free help!

  7. Getting a tackmaker's patterns is sort of like getting a chef's secret ingredient. Some chefs sell them via recipe books (like Rio Rondo), but for most people it's a part of the process that was arrived at over years and years of trial and error, and is deeply customized and personal. Many of us started from 'recipe book' patterns and have heavily changed from there, and made up whole new ones. That's part of the process that I really believe has to be arrived at by each individual! They represent years of failures and triumphs, and are priceless.

  8. Even though I've ridden hunters since I was 7, I've never been a hunter snob. I would love to have a saddle like this, real or miniature. Stunning work!