New Design & Finished Stuff

I have such original post names, don't I? I'm horrible at naming these things! Any time I try to think of something clever, I get a headache.  If I DO think of something, it's usually stupid.  So we're going to take the easiest route and name it something obvious, like "New Design & Finished Stuff".  No surprises, just right out there telling you what's up.

A word on the new design...I hated the way that the old one(s) didn't really match my website.  Most of my traffic comes from Jennifer Buxton's amazing blog (which I am insanely grateful for!), but for the few who venture over here from my website, I want a cohesive look.  I finally found something that works, and I apologize to anyone who lived through the afternoon of playing around! I think I went through four or five designs and variations of them before I settled on this one, and those are just the ones you SAW!

Also, thanks for the response to the new tutorial! I'm plugging away at it, slowly, and hope to have it finished in the next month or so.  There was a little hang up with the first test saddle...some genius *cough*me*cough* cut the stirrup keeper slots wrong and didn't notice until she was about to glue the seat on.  

So after all that rambling, I guess you'd like to know what I finished, right? I could tell you...but showing is so much more fun!

These saddles are a trade with Kim Beecker of Total Image Equine for two paint jobs.  Kim worked her magic on my Mindy and EquinArt cutting horse and I cannot WAIT to get them home!

A note on the english set: all but the bell boots are up there on their own power! If I do it right, the wire-reinforced galloping/splint boots don't require stickywax to stay on.  As a tack maker I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief, so I can't imagine how happy those who show performance will be!  I have the photos I need to do a walk through, just have to put it all together.  Making the boots is REALLY simple, too!

There's a bit of a lag between orders right now, so I'm taking the opportunity to work on my personal show string.  After my first live show experience in 2007 or 08, I wasn't very interested in trying it again.  I caught the showing bug when I visited AHL last weekend and with an entire year to plan I think I can pull it off!  Right now I'm working on a dressage saddle and a western show saddle.  It's the most detailed carving I've done so  far, and as long as I don't screw it up it should turn out nicely.  More on those soon, though, probably tomorrow!


  1. Wow, both saddles are stunning! Well done!!

  2. Gorgeous! I can't wait for the tutorial. I love the stay-on boots too- that is such a simple yet BRILLIANT idea! Do the reins stay up on their own in a similar way, or is that just stiff leather and sticky wax?

    I'm excited to hear that you are going to be showing... I was so incredulous when you said on either Blab or Fallen Leaves that you didn't show- you, the creator of such beautiful show quality tack!

  3. Thank you!

    The wire reinforcements was suggested by a customer, actually, and what a brilliant idea it was!

    The reins are actually pretty soft and are held up with a dab of stickywax on either side of the neck and one more on the shoulder. Once I dye the underside they'll be a little bit stiffer. While they dry, I'll probably put the bridle on my blank copy of the resin and position them properly. If stored properly afterwords, that will help them keep their shape. They could be resoftened, of course, which would probably be a good idea. Stiff reins don't drape well and can look pretty funky.

    There aren't very many shows in my area, and the few we have are really competitive. As far as I know, there's only American Heartland Live within an hour's drive. I think there's one slated for Omaha next year, but that's 3-4 hours away and it's scheduled for a Sunday. Not likely that I'll make it.

  4. Ah, that makes sense. Do you photo show at all?

    So do you dye your leather after making the tack? I thought the general way was to do it beforehand, so I'm curious how and why you do it after.

  5. I just haven't had time to sit down and take pictures for photo showing, but it's something I've been toying with. With all of the tack that goes through here, photo showing is a pretty good idea.

    I do dye everything first; glue will prevent dye from absorbing properly if you try to dye after assembling. I just forgot to do the underside of the reins this time. I'll use a paintbrush to go over it and the edges of the bridle.

  6. Ooooh, looking GOOD! (although I'm not really surprised :P)
    I'm waiting on that tutorial with baited breath - I've got several WBs needing new clothes! XD

  7. I might - if everything goes smoothly this weekend - have the tutorial ready for testing by Tuesday. I just finished the first saddle with the tutorial pattern and I'll be making the necessary changes tonight. If the light's good tomorrow, I'll start on another saddle and document the progress. I'll also do it in something besides black, so that people can see what I'm doing!