Big Sioux Saddlery

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About Big Sioux Saddlery

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Profile Information

  • Location
    South Dakota
  • Interests
    Using and farming with Draft Horses

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Harness and Saddlery
  • Interested in learning about
    Anything that will make my job easier and faster
  • How did you find

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  1. I would assume it is clinched the same as the top nail. To access the clinch you'll have to loosen the front of the panel. They should be attached in the same manner as the rear. It's a real pain in the rear, which is yet another reason I hate working on English saddles.
  2. That was the funniest thing I've heard all day, and also the most true! None of them are cheap to keep, but the free one do seem to end up costing a pile! I am sorry about your husband's impending layoff. Tough to keep ahead of expenses when income is cut or disappears. Not having enough to budget for anything seems to be a common complaint these days! Everyone is scrambling for money.
  3. Almost any good saddlemaker will work with a long distance customer to get a good fit. It is a little more challenging than being able to see and fit the horse in person, but it is done all the time. If a custom saddle is in the budget, feel free to PM me to visit and for more info. Most of the tree companies will work off a set of tracings, but the guys handmaking trees often offer more options and provide a superior tree. There are exceptions however, because I just paid close to $700 for a handmade tree that not only has absolutely the poorest workmanship I've ever seen it wasn't even what I ordered. So it pays to do your homework.
  4. How to Dilute Pro Dye with water (use Borax)

    Personally I avoid dye jobs like the plague. For repair jobs like you are talking about, I will choose the tannery-dyed leather that comes the closest to the original color, and oil until it matches as closely as possible. Saves me time, money, and I usually end up with a better job than if I had tried dyeing the leather. Only if someone wants a two-tone job, or if the desired color is so far off anything I have available will I dye a whole piece.
  5. Your best bet would be to ask around in your area. Sooner or later someone will have a recommendation. I hesitate to recommend anyone whose work I haven't seen, or that i haven't been impressed with just by looking at pictures. I thought someone from that area might see your post and respond, but apparently not. There are some parts of the country that are more sparsely populated by saddle makers than others. Just a thought, you could try asking for a recommendation on social media. I am getting a larger and larger percentage of my work that way. Good luck.
  6. She is a very good looking mare under saddle. I could see the Percheron influence in the first picture. There are saddles out there that will be wide enough, but what I find with the drafts and crossbred horses is that the bar angles are wrong, even if the width works. I have personally not seen any good quality "draft saddles", so cannot comment on whether they come closer to fitting that an extra wide saddle made for light horses. So in short, the point I'm trying to make is that the bar angle and rock are going to be more important than the width. If the angle is correct, the change in width lowers or raises the front of the saddle. While your mare does have quite a bit of dip in her back, her topline may be able to be improved through muscle building exercise and training. My personal recommendation is to find a knowledgeable saddle maker in your area and enlist his help in determining what will end up fitting. Even though a custom, handmade saddle may be out of your budget, many makers will still help you find a correct fit in a used saddle. It will save you time, money and many headaches in the end if you can do so. I sincerely wish you the best of luck. I started out with Percherons, have owned many, and still have a great fondness for the breed. Your beautiful mare deserves the best chance you can give her in order to be a successful partner with your daughter.
  7. I would take the tracings and take them with you to look at saddles. What would you measure? There is really no reliable way to measure the width of a finished saddle, because there is no real reference point once the tree is covered up. Even holding tracings up under a saddle, I find to be of limited value. It will eliminate the ones that are the furthest from fitting, but the best option is to try saddles on horses. Your mare looks like she will be a challenge to fit. It looks to me like you are going to need a saddle with a lot of rock to the bars, and I daresay it's going to be next to impossible to find a factory saddle to fit. Is she a draft cross, and of what age is she?
  8. New SLC Video

    Good explanation and I can relate. Customer likes to think "But you can make stuff out of the scrap and make money".
  9. I very much like the contrast of colors! Yes there are imperfections to be seen by a practiced eye, but for this to be an early project, you did very well!!
  10. Best Leather Splitter/skiver?

    I love these old catalogs. Thank you for sharing!
  11. resolene

    My experience has been consistent with what Fredk said. Leather that is really smooth and burnished on the surface can be a problem also.
  12. Scalloped Edges

    The scalloped edge is created by use of a pinking punch. They come in a variety of sizes and I've seen them with both pointed and rounded scallops. They are like a half round punch, only scalloped. Bruce Johnson may have some for sale on his tool site. Otherwise, watch eBay for them and the tools for sale groups on FB. They aren't cheap.
  13. Pony Harness

    Usually the worst part, especially on the higher end type harness. Just curious if you still have your Landis #1, or if you stitched this on a different machine. It doesn't look like a set-up foot was used.
  14. Pony Harness

    That style of harness is a lot of fiddly, time consuming work. I've known people who have been "building harness" for decades and still can't do that level of work. Very nice job.