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Hello All,

Here is saddle project #4 - This is a slick fork saddle I built for a friend on a Swanke tree.  Finished out at 15.5" seat.  4.5" handhole w/90 degree bars.

As per usual by this stage of project all I see is problems & mistakes.  I'd be very glad of input from other saddle makers as my goal is to improve my work continually/  My tooling is still very amateurish.  Trying to develop my own style but it seems to require a lot of practice!

Looking forward to hearing critiques and input!

saddle04-03.jpg.0965a1c7f9ae06e0b542f3a2c672a1de.jpgsaddle04-01.jpg.fce6f623e3bab0347c06b00e96cab7fb.jpgsaddle04-07.jpg.157a9a337cc26a747d6c598995c27598.jpgsaddle04-05.jpg.9c73e06ee7bc9bda6d18dc23e23bce50.jpgsaddle04-06.jpg.322a3df0f84e5cf0515f6b00a0a13251.jpgsaddle04-04.jpg.d73ca94b1e8d3db944373fcf56f10519.jpgsaddle04-02.jpg.415a913d0e6f5c93b623a45a75c6cdfa.jpg

Regards,

Ron L

 

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Wow,seems a shame to let someone use it, I would put it in a glass case in the lounge  and let visitors have a look

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I really don’t know anything about saddles, but I think you did a beautiful job on it!

Gary

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I don't know saddles, either, I think it's beautiful.

 

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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?

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Thanks for the kind words.

Horsemint:  I like to use softer chap type leather for my horn wraps as I find it doesn't slick up as fast as mule hide.  This was a piece of 'butter' colored glove tan and I skived edges down to help wrap go on nice.  Unfortunate the yellow doesn't go all the way through so I ended up with this strange affect - A few days of roping in the mud & rain and this wrap will just all go greyish brown (in theory)!

R

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I'm another that knows nothing about saddles but that sure looks good to me. The thought of sending that out into mud and rain puts tears in my eyes...

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Ron,

The saddle looks good, and your tooling came out good.  Gordon Andrus has an article in the last issue of the Leather Crafters Journal that talks about bar grounding.  I think you'd benefit from reading it.  I do have a couple of comments, but they are only my opinion.  I would have rounded the skirts on the inside of the rigging ring to allow for easier tying off of the latigo strap.  Your seat jockey could have been cut a little more forward (or fuller)  to cover the front rigging rings; there appears from the photos a little misalignment between the front and rear jockeys.  And, one last thought is that the center button tab maybe a little too high on the cantle.  For a straight up seat this is okay, but if you were to build a Cheyenne roll, it'll play hell fitting under the roll and installing your rosettes (been there, done that).

I can really tell that you're an individual that thinks out and designs every aspect of your project.  It shows in your work.  Really good job.

Ron

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On 7/19/2018 at 1:35 AM, chrisash said:

Wow,seems a shame to let someone use it, I would put it in a glass case in the lounge  and let visitors have a look

Yes!!! And make them pay to have a look! :) 

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Great looking saddle Ron! It looks to have a nice seat. Also a really nice job on the taps. I'm impressed (jealous might be a better word :)) of your horn and cantle binding, the stitching came out really nice. 

Thanks for sharing!

All the best, Josh

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Hello Goldshot,

Thanks for the pointers - I find them very helpful...

Regarding Gordon Andrus bar grounding tips - Was that in this issue?  http://leathercraftersjournal.com/store/product.cfm?product=1212  If so i'll try and buy a copy.

I really debated whether to round the leather inside of the rigging rings - I was torn between making the extra room for cinching up and keeping the skirt line smooth and flowing...In the end I decided to keep the line flowing through but I still question it - Maybe on next one I will round it and see how that looks!

I agree on the seat jockey and front jockey pointers - I really wish they were deeper and that the seat jockey came forward a bit...

On the misalignment of front & rear jockeys - This is an area I struggle with because I am never 100% sure how the saddle will sit on a broad selection of horses...as some horses are downhill and some built uphill (and I don't have enough experience to feel confident in how my saddle sits on the stand).  The horse this saddle is being used on primarily turned out to hold the saddle in such a way that they lined up horizontally pretty well.  However, If i was doing this saddle again I would drop my front jockey line 3/8" - 1/2" down more than likely.

I'll keep an eye on that center button tab - I would definitely move it down if doing a cheyenne roll!!

Once again Goldshot, I appreciate the help.  I believe constructive critiques are really important to making progress.  This forum has been a hug help to me in the past and continues to be.

Josh,

Thanks for the kind words - I think I have finally found a seat shape I like - My personal saddle has a seat shaped very similar to this one and I can put in really long days riding colts and feel pretty good afterwards!

Hand stitching is something I enjoy - The secret I think is to purchase very high quality awls, keep the points sharp and have good awl handles.  For cantle bindings I had a friend turn a awl handle that is quite large - Like the size of a medium sized orange - It really helps me control the blade and reduces pressure on my palm making the stitching far easier and more comfortable - That handle alone probably improved my cantle binding stitching by 50%.

Saddle got used this past weekend and sweated up the horse good.  Swanke tree was incorrectly stated as 4.5" handhole in main description - It is a 4.25" handhole with 90 degree bars.

Regards - Ron L

Saddle4_in-use.jpg

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Looks like a good time Ron! I must be getting old and soft, I pulled our horses shoes a few weeks back and don't plan on re-shoeing them until September. It's been HOT down here! 

Again, that's a great looking saddle! Even better looking sitting horseback!

All the best!

Josh

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Good looking saddle!  Really like your Taps- well done.

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Beautiful all round.

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Ron,

Another fine job. I have always appreciated your tooling and think it's far from amateurish. I notice elements that you use consistently, so I guess you are developing your style. The stitching looks awesome and thanks for the awl handle description. I have been wanting something different and I like what you described. Looking forward to seeing #5.

Randy

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 Very Nice...

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Absolutely beautiful Taps!!! Where did you get your  pattern?  Make it?

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Nice attention to detail, your beaded border looks very good.  Personally, I think the seat ear looks perfect.  If installing a Cheyenne roll, you take that into account when fitting your seat, but I like a real tight ear anyway.  I also like your tap pattern.  Very nice, it's amazing the quality of instruction we have today that allows a guy to build one like this on their 4th try.  I see guys that have built some 600 saddles and they seem to get worse with every one instead of better!

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Randy, thanks for the kind words!

SaddleBags:  I bought the pattern online somewhere and just cant remember from where - After building these I'd say if I did it again I would definitely want the eagle beak part moved ahead to help the stirrups hang a bit more level!  Also, after riding this saddle I don't know if I would want taps on my personal rig!  Sure drag on everything if you get into the brush.

Big Sioux:  Thanks for the encouragement, and yes, the quality of instruction available nowadays is amazing.  Between Dale Harwood's & Jeremiah Watt's DVD's there is very little excuse to do poor work!  The other thing I have observed is that most makers these days are quite helpful.  If you can arrange it, an hour or two, in person, with some of the good makers out there can really help a guy!

Regards - Ron

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