Thursday, May 7, 2015

Six years of Corbett artistry

As of this past Monday, I am the proud owner of three Western saddles by Erin Corbett.
They represent six years of Erin's tackmaking career...
having been built in 2009, 2011 and 2015. 
I met Erin for the first time in April 2009 when I judged Hearts N Horses in Portland, OR. After the show, we spent a day hanging out in her studio. Because it was obvious to me that she was a tackmaker to watch, I decided to invest in her career by ordering a saddle. The Dogwood Western Pleasure saddle was the happy result of that long ago trade.
My next Corbett saddle, the Hummingbird, arrived two years later. In term of the tooling, it's more like two light years. The Dogwood's tooling isn't bad, but the Hummingbird's is so much better.
I didn't think there was much room for improvement, but the new saddle is better in just about every possible way. This is another reason I don't mind waiting for custom items. Artists get better over time. If Erin had made this saddle when I ordered it, it would not be this awesome.
Nowhere is the improvement more evident than in the stirrups. The Dogwood's are nice and neat but so very basic. Hummingbird's are pretty but fragile. The stirrups on the Chocolate and Pink Crystal saddle are complex, beautiful and sturdy. 
Here's the pleasure saddle face-off. This shot clearly shows the customizing I did to the saddle tree. 
And here's a couple more before and after close-ups. 
What an amazing difference six years and hundreds of hours of practice make! 
I love all three of my Corbett saddles and am already planning number four. I'll probably have to wait a couple years, but that's okay. I can't wait to see how much better she'll be by then!


  1. Couldn't agree more! And it's a nice touch to be able to see them so closely. A lot of tack isn't shot very close, to put it mildly. The photographer has practiced too. : )

    1. I can hardly stand to look at the photos in some of my older blog posts. Time and practice have helped me, too!

  2. I agree. It really is fun to watch someone grow and develop their skills in any craft. Whether it's tacking making, photography, sports, music, etc. Even though some people act like they'll never mature, it's quite amazing some of the things people are capable of.