Horsemint

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About Horsemint

  • Rank
    Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    East Texas

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Dog and horse harness
  • Interested in learning about
    Saddlery
  1. Thanks, I appreciate it!
  2. In April/May I attended the Montana Horseman Saddle Building School that Dale Moore runs in Belgrade. I completed my first saddle there (and had a great time). I've been busy since getting my own little saddle shop together and putting miles on it since then, but now that I'm about to start #2 I thought I'd share. It's a 16" seat with flat plate rigging and what Dale has terms a "balanced ride" stirrup strap setup. Maybe there's another name. Basically instead of forming a loop around the bars, the stirrup strap is severed at the bars and the buckle connects to a separate strap that hinges a couple inches forward on the tree. The idea is that it allows more free forward swing. I set my "regular" stirrup strap to a more equitation-friendly position than normal. Riding in it, it's been easy both to keep my feet under me without being restrictive, so it worked out the way I wanted it. The tree is from Timberline ("Montana Horseman" bars... which are a slightly more Hape Hape bar), the leather is "russet" W/C (it's been oiled and sun-tanned a bit). The designs are mine. The layout suffered a from time crunch, but I like it fine. They're deer, by the way... something about at least the bucks really says "unicorn" to some people, which is alright I guess although it wasn't my intention. There are many things I would do different on it, but as a first saddle I think it came out well. It is honestly the most comfortable saddle I've ridden in (me not having had a custom saddle before), and my less-than-tolerant mount hasn't offered any objections either, even after about 50 miles in it. The difference was really kind of shocking-- getting much better movement out of a horse you've known for years just by throwing a better saddle on is enough to give you a pang of conscience. I rode in my old production saddle once since and was more surprised than I thought I would be, to find it... wanting. Haha. While I was in Belgrade I also had the pleasure of becoming friends with Rick Reed and his wife Halli of Double R saddle trees, by pure coincidence. Their trees are simply works of art... Rick is much too modest to ever say that about his own work, but after working on one of Randy's semi-custom trees (which are good-- and Randy himself is as nice as can be too) it's clear that handmades are on a different level. I was favored with their kindness and mentorship over a couple weeks and have nothing but good things to say about them.
  3. Saddle #4 - 3B Slick Fork

    Your cantle binding looks amazing and I really like how your rear skirts and back jockeys go together. I'm wondering about the yellow stripe on your horn wrap though. What's the story there?
  4. I love the splotchy dye jobs! They still look really clean too.
  5. RR Track Anvil

    Looks like some work went into that! Thanks for sharing ya'lls specimens... I have mine sitting on a piece of 1/2" rubber mat to mute it somewhat. There's actually some foam mat between the floor and the workbench too-- It's on a second story with hard floors and tends to sound like I'm demolishing the apartment when I'm working. Or it did, using the anvil for punching instead of the bench top really cuts the noise down, besides making quicker work of it.
  6. That's a good tip! Makes sense, it's more natural for me to hold it close to the head, but with my feathery yellow poly mallet that's not to much effect!
  7. RR Track Anvil

    I think it's great. You can't ever have too much cowbell though!
  8. I had a custom order for a cuff bracelet a few weeks ago that demanded cows, chickens, and their brand. Thus it was done: She was thrilled, but I wasn't really happy with how the daisy centers went, so I drew up another flower design to make myself feel better: I like the overall effect. When and if I use this design again I might add a bit more texture to the leaves, but I didn't want to overwork it since orange blossoms are kind of a smooth and simple affair. I think it might look good on a belt where you can see the whole sweep of the branches... Not sure if I'm ready to tackle it yet though! Still trying to make friends with my bar grounders too. Might could use a heavier mallet. Putting your back into it with every strike takes it out of you after a while! Critiques are welcome...
  9. Those are super nice. I really like the red thread/dark brown combo.
  10. RR Track Anvil

    Sometimes when it's dark in the room except for the one lamp, I can see it shining in the corner as I walk past. I wish more sun came through that window! Lol I made a point of not working all the imperfections out. It's got some drips and some huge pits in the metal (the thing has got to be 100 years old). I expect it to get some new scars over getting tools thrown on it. It's got that well-worn/loved look about it already Thanks!
  11. Fantasy Scale Lamellae Cuirass

    That's really cool. Are the scales scraps left over from cutting out other pieces?
  12. RR Track Anvil

    I needed a sturdy surface for doing rivets and such, and ended up with a free piece of railroad track. I abused my body shop employee privileges to get it fixed up. As I got it: After getting the tetanus ground off and being exfoliated in the blasting cabinet: I had it painted and cleared with flakes, then the working surfaced polished again: It is one sparkly sucker-- the pictures don't quite do it justice. I love the thing and am thrilled to have it taking up real estate on my tiny workbench. (Don't look too close at the sheath, it was a quick and dirty excuse to play with the anvil.)
  13. Season 4 in my saddle

    I'm curious too, about the potential points of failure on their saddles. I don't have any experience saddlemaking other than the reading up I've done lately and the critical inspections I've been giving to my (not fancy) trail saddle. Which is to say, next to none. I have abused that particular saddle now and then dragging things/ponying obstinate horses off of it without incident, and once got it jammed under a bowed tree so hard that the plastic tree flexed a good half inch backwards. But having recently taken it apart for the educational value and seeing that it's held together with about four screws, some light riveted leather and a multitude of staples in a plastic tree, all of which has been subject to a lot of wear, I can't to trust it to do anything but stay on a horse (probably). It has in skirt rigging, which still seems tight at the rings but I imagine that's not much use when you're a couple stripped out screw holes from being forcibly parted from your mount... I personally would rather have a saddle that can stand up to the occasional heavy duty moment if it has to, that's for sure, even though I do little resembling "hard work" on horseback.
  14. New project, Woolly Chinks

    I love the two color fringe. Awesome
  15. Season 4 in my saddle

    I love it. Did you use beaver tail for the bucking rolls?