If you follow my Facebook feed, you'll already know that I bought a Vtoo, that she arrived last week, and that I consider her to be absolutely massive. If you follow the blog on a regular basis, you'll have probably figured out that I find the thought of making a saddle for her intimidating. I would also like to apologize in advance for the lack of photos: my camera battery decided that it needed to be recharged this morning.
I knew that Vtoo was a Little Bits/Paddock Pals/Pebbles sized model to start with. I knew that. I just haven't seen a Little Bits/Paddock Pals/Pebbles model in person for a couple years, easily, not since I got rid of my bodies (which I now know was a stupid thing to do). Before I got rid of them, I had a few Paddock Pals/Little Bits and one Pebbles Saddlebred. There was a noticeable difference in size - the Pebble was larger and more substantial than any of the Paddock Pals. Even without having them on hand for comparison, I think it's safe to say that Vtoo is closer to Pebbles than Little Bit.
Still - I must press on. There were a few decisions to make before I could really start prototyping, most involving how much detail I wanted to include. In Stablemate tack, I sacrifice* a lot of real tack details for the sake of reducing bulk, keeping things in scale, and making it easier to use. This includes but is not limited to non-adjustable stirrups, no sweat flaps, and no billets. Some of the things that I can get away with on Stablemates may not translate well to Vtoo. I doubt that sticky waxing the browband of the bridle will be acceptable. Since I don't have a live show around to test the theory personally, that's one area where I'll be playing it safe.
I do think that I can safely continue to leave sweat flaps and billets off. After all, judges won't be looking under the flaps, will they? My life is a lot easier when I don't have to worry about billets, sweat flaps, and buckles on the girth and it certainly doesn't hurt the person showing the tack. I have decided to use adjustable stirrup leathers and cast bits and stirrups, but I'll continue to make my own tongue buckles. This, of course, means that I need to locate a supplier of said cast items. Horsing Around will be my first stop - I'm still thrilled with how nicely done their Stablemate stirrups are, but I don't know if they offer things in Vtoo size.
I started prototyping the pattern last week based on my standard WeeJay/Babysitter pattern. There were a few false starts, but I think I have workable flaps now. I've spent my morning thus far checking out Jennifer Buxton's blog for some insight on her process with larger scales. Her adjustable stirrup leather how-to is high on my list of reference materials. I've got a very informative post on trees and patterns to read later, too. For now, it's off to the drawing board until I have to get ready for work!
*I say sacrifice with tongue firmly in cheek, because all of the changes make life easier for me and for the customer.