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JC Javelle

Tooling English Stirrup Leathers

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I am making my own stirrup leathers for my dressage saddle, and since these are for me, I had thought about tooling them. They started 1" wide, a little less after beveling and smoothing the edges. As narrow as they are, would tooling them cause any issues with sturdiness and strength of the tooled area?

Wisdom much appreciated. :notworthy:

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Other than the fact that you are cutting halfway through the leather that you may have to depend on for your life, leathers are supposed to be rough side out. The strongest side goes toward the stirrup bar and iron.

The leather used for stirrup leathers SHOULD be too dense to tool.

That's all I can come up with right now,

Kevin

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Other than the fact that you are cutting halfway through the leather that you may have to depend on for your life, leathers are supposed to be rough side out. The strongest side goes toward the stirrup bar and iron.

The leather used for stirrup leathers SHOULD be too dense to tool.

That's all I can come up with right now,

Kevin

That is odd to me, as the only English discipline that I have witnessed riding with rough side out are saddle seat (gaited) riders. I hadn't planned on taking a swivel knife to the leathers, just stamping a short pattern down them. Thank you though.

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Kevin is correct. The proper construction of English stirrups is for the flesh or rough-out side to be on the outside. Also, English stirrup leathers require a specific tannage called stirrup butt. A stirrup butt will cost around $300.00. Any other type of leather should not be used for your safety.

Respectfully,

Bob

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That is odd to me, as the only English discipline that I have witnessed riding with rough side out are saddle seat (gaited) riders. I hadn't planned on taking a swivel knife to the leathers, just stamping a short pattern down them. Thank you though.

I agree with Kevin and Bob, flesh side out on English stirrup leathers. Also, if the leather in your stirrup leathers is worth the name the tooling will be very shallow, so I recommend that you use your tooling skills on something else.

/ Knut

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I do not believe the leather I am using is stirrup leather, although when I bought the strips, they were hanging next to pre cut stirrup leather strips. I passed, as I do not have the tools to cut the much wider stirrup leather strips. I assume the leather I bought is not prestretched, and I know it will stretch if I use them over a long time. These stirrup leathers are not long term, just a project I wanted to work on until I can order professionally made ones. Like I said, these are for me, I can't/won't use them in a show, and I think the buckles I picked out maybe to large under the jockeys, so I probably can't even use them in my riding lessons.

It is just a project to work on. There is no how to on making stirrup leathers that I can find, so I am winging it. They won't be used to mount, and if used for any length of time, it will be at walking and trotting paces on a TWH in a sandy, fenced arena with a few other riders. I mainly want to see if I made them the right length for my leg (I'm 5'11" with no butt or thigh, so in a saddle, I have a really long leg). The leathers on the saddle I use in my lessons, I am on the second to last hole, with maybe 3 inches of leather hanging loose under my leg, so it never makes it to the retainer on the flap. I realize now the ones I am working on probably aren't strong enough for overly exertive or extensive use, so I will probably wear them flesh side out, if I finish them (if I can't match the dye to my saddle, I probably won't any time soon). I still have to buy actual stirrups as well.

I do a bit of bareback riding, I take lessons bareback with a vaulting surcingle, I like riding in my saddle without stirrups, and when I do ride with stirrups, I usually lose my left stirrup (my weaker leg) at least once a lesson (working on that). I have good balance and a decent seat, so I am somewhat prepared for the occasion if these leathers do happen to break on me. The leather is good, and pretty thick (thicker than most of the professional made stirrup leathers available in the barn). I always wear a helmet. And I take your warnings to heart.

I still want to know if stamping the leathers will weaken them?

Thank you. =)

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The answer is no, stamping won´t weaken them.

/ Knut

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The answer is no, stamping won´t weaken them.

/ Knut

Thank you. :)

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As others have said, DON'T tool them, it will weaken them, we even have to use oval punches to make the holes in them as this helps stops the holes elongating with use. The reason that the flesh side of the hide faces out is to have the grain side sitting against the wearing surfaces of the metal eye in the stirrup irons and the buckle tongue on the buckle. Good saddles also have the flesh side facing out on the girth straps for the same reason and if I got a penny for every time a customer has said to me you have put my new girth straps on the wrong way round I'd be a rich man by now!

Stirrups should be made from stirrup butt about 5mm thick, I use Oak Bark tanned, make my own 6 cord hemp threads and use stainless steel buckles for strength.

Oz :)

English Traditional Country Saddler

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