Thursday, April 22, 2021

Throwback Thursday

Long before Braymere Custom Saddlery was even a twinkle in my eye, Linda Spiesschaert's Kitchen Table Stables was setting the standard for hobby tack.

Linda Spiesschaert in May 2015
Like most hobbyists, I was introduced to her work through this 1985 article in Just About Horses. I can not tell you how many hours I spent mooning over these photos and wishing that someday I might own something half that exquisite.
Linda passed away earlier this year, and her daughter has been tasked with dispersing her collection. It's a big job, and to make things easier, a lot of the goods have been sold via estate sales. Ruth Sheridan kindly offered to pick up a few items for me. I really wanted an Arabian costume, but those were gone, so instead, she scored me a big bag labeled "Tack Patterns." 
The bag arrived in Colorado today. Here's what it contained.
This 1982 issue of Nutshell News was chockfull of vintage hobby goodness.
There were articles about model stables, model carriages, remaking and...
Oh, what a treat it is to see full color photos from this era!
Other publications included this 1995 booklet on tack making by Lillian Ryan-Shupe.
Most of the instructions are extremely basic by today's standards, but there are some fun projects in there.
These tack making flyers are undated and unattributed, but kind of remind me of extremely early Rio Rondo instruction booklets.
The rest of the bag was made up of Linda's actual patterns.
Most of the pages were for doll clothes, rather than tack.
However, there were a pieces with saddle patterns.
The decades old tracing paper is extremely fragile. I'm glad they're all safely tucked into page protectors.
I absolutely love this neat overlay of pattern pieces. What a great look into Linda's artistic process!
The envelopes contained more English saddle pattern pieces.
This one actually includes most of an unassembled classic scale saddle.
This tiny saddleseat girth with its perfectly shaped handmade buckles is the only finished piece of tack in the bag. It's not an Arabian costume, but I will treasure it anyway.
Thank you again, Ruth, for sending these things my way. I am so happy to own them and look forward to giving everything a more in depth look when I have more time.


  1. What a treasure trove - just perfect for you!! I'm sure Linda would be pleased to know that they are in your hands now.

  2. This is a wonderful post. I agree with Lynn! That issue of NSN happens to be one which influenced me a great deal. Patterns are the heart of a tackmaker's skill and inheritance. I am fortunate to have some of her tack. Five dollars?!? That's gotta be the bargain of the year.

    1. Hehehe they spelt your name wrong in the photo credits. :^P~