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daviD A Morris

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About daviD A Morris

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Saddle Maker / Saddle Tree Maker

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  1. BKM, That makes sense, I'd never analysed it like that. And I just assumed all right handers who were taught in the trade lay the stitches the same way. Saddlers' pricking irons are all layed the same way, however "port-manto" pricking irons used by lugage and case makers go the other way. They prick both sides of their work.
  2. When hand stitching, a person stitching right-handed is best using a "right-hand lay" or "S" twisted thread. If you use a "left-lay" thread it tends to come un-twisted. I'd been stitching for 14 years before I went to england and found that out. When I started in the trade we made all our own threads and naturaly enough they were right hand twist, thats how you make them. I've been having trouble sourcing right-hand lay linen thread here in Australia. #29 ouchmyfinger can you tell me where were you looking to scource it? thanks dam
  3. member Singermania here on this forum is your man to help. I think he knows more about these old BUSM machines than anyone else on the planet. He also has parts and is getting some parts made. BTW my pearson #6 has the identical stand as your machine regards dam
  4. So, having said that. Do the Juki, Cowboy and other 441 clones use the same set of thread diameters and pitches as Singer, or is it "hit and miss" , some are same and some are outside of all other standards? dam
  5. I hear that Alain Eon has published a book titled "Restoring Vintage Western Saddles". Apperently it has over 300 photos in it and a bunch of antique saddles. I have Alain's poster that he produced back in about 1989 and I'll be getting this book, but may have to wait till Christmass!! In the meantime has anyone seen this book yet. I'd be interested in hearing what people have to say about it. Regards dam
  6. Saddlebag, You are not alone in that thought. I've have heard lots of anecdotal evidence about how and how much horse's backs change shape throughout the season and over the years, and I think most of what people say is pretty true, but now I can actualy measure and keep a record of the shapes to see how much they realy change. And when they change past a certain point we'll know its time to change saddle or pads or whatever. Regards dam
  7. Roo, Great write-up and photos, thanks. In the world of saddlers Merv Rowland does the best, and most consistent welted seams that I have ever seen anywhere, he could teach a lot of saddlers a thing or two! Just for those who may be wondering what a "welted seam" is: here is a photo of a Merv Rowland saddle. You can see the seams where the "smooth out" is joined to the Rough-out on the knee pad also where the seat jockey joins to the seat. Can you tell us who the other teachers in the photo are? Thanks dam
  8. I certainly agree about the rock being affected by how the horse is standing, and bending the head and neck to one side or the other also affects it. And with the horse standing up squarely we have measured quite a few that are different on the other side. However, the final result we are trying to achieve is to categorie horses that need extra front-to-rear rock in the bars of the trees or flatter front-to-rear rock and ocassionally we are now finding horses even flatter than the R6. Thus, for comparison I think we need to focuss on measuring them all while they are standing up square. And if I have any doubts I ask the person who is doing the measuring to take photo of the horse with the cards on it. regards dam
  9. Great minds think alike (or is it "dummies don't differ!!) Notice that the "C" card in this case is "3 profile" card, thats from 3 years ago. I found that these were all great excercises that helped my understanding of the shapes of horses backs, how the change with movement and how they vary from one horse to the next. Looking back now at my post that says "we are not promoting the use of the cards in this way", I am now thinking that we should promote this kind of investigation/analysis amoung saddlemakers and treemakers. And then discuss it all here, (with photos) others can learn from what we have done, and then don't start from scratch, going over ground that has already been covered. dam
  10. Oh yeah this can be done. Over the years in development of the Dennis Lane Cards, we have investigated multitudes of potential adaptions, configurations etc etc etc. Using the cards in this way will tell you one thing:-- IF THE TREE DOES NOT FIT THE CARDS IT DEFINITELY WILL NOT FIT THE HORSE! However:- It is possible that the saddle might appear to fit the cards, but not fit the horse. Reasons why we are not promoting the use of the cards in this way: 1/ Just because the inverse of the cards used in this way do not show up any problems with the saddle fit, does not mean that there will not be any problems with this tree on a horse whose back has these card-size measurements. 2/ The cards measure 4 profiles of the horse’s back. We believe this is sufficient information, achieved at an economical cost for the practical purposes of what I call effective "Macro-fitting” of saddles to horse’s backs. For “micro-fitting”, more detailed shape measureing can be achieved with other measuring devices or casting methods, but at considerably higher cost. Cost not only in price of equipment but also expertise in using the equipment. 3/ If we promote using the cards this way and someone checks a saddle for fitting their horse in this manner, prior to purchase and then that saddle hurts their horse, Dennis and Dave will be very unpopular! Despite the fact that there are many other factors which could be causing the problem, such things as rigging or padding, factors which also are being discussed at length in topics of their own on this forum. 4/ There is a fair degree of interpretation required to successfully use the cards in this way, which experience treemakers and saddlers can handle, however the average person with limmitted knowledge and experience will be far more prone to error. 5/ It is a big enough chalenge for me to write the instructions for the cards as they are now, adding instructions for your suggested features and explained at a level at which the general public could understand and implement them effectively is beyond me! We are not saying “do not use the cards in this way” just saying that we are not promoting their use in this way. Regards dam
  11. I think that it is a good idea to walk a horse around and observe and more importantly feel what changes in the horse’s back as it moves. I find it benefits my understanding. Once again I’ll refer to Pete Gorrell. Pete has people in his saddle fit class walk around beside the horse while it is being led, and they can feel with their hands on the horse and then also holding their hands down on a bare tree which is placed on the horse’s back as it walks. You feel the top-rear edge of the shoulder blade moving back under the front of the tree and also how much the tree is pushed around by the changing horse’s back. It would be great if someone else who has been in Pete’s class could chime in here with their experience and thoughts. One thing that this exercise revealed to me when I first did it, is that as soon as the leg becomes unweighted the top rear of the scapula (the cartlage elongation of the scapula) blends in with the surrounding muscles, it is no longer as prominent, or causing a bulge as it moves back under the front of the tree or saddle. I’ve seen “saddle fitters” of english style saddles lift a horse’s leg forward to demonstrate how far back that top-rear of the scapula actualy moves, and then say that the saddle should not bear any weight in the region where the scapula moves. My issue with this is, there is then not enough room to left to actualy fit a western saddle tree. I’m sure that there have been lots of western saddles and pack saddles that have applied weight in the area where the scapula moves back to and they have not crippled the horse. What do other people think? However, having said that, I’ve been told that if the saddle is too narrow over the area where the top of the scapula moves back to, that it can make the horses “paddle” with their front legs as they move, because by swinging their legs wide, the top of the scapula moves in closer to the spine and thus relieves pressure against the inside of the channel area of a too narrow of a saddle. I’d be interested to hear what Blake has to say on this, he has a wealth of experience for us to draw on. Regards dam
  12. I just hope that my descriptions are making sense. Please question if they don't. dam
  13. where is "behind the horse's shoulder blade"? Directly, behind it one finger width, two finger widths? We have found that, immediately behind the scapula, or upto 1.25 inches behind the scapula, will get you the same measurement for the “A” cross-section. But if you change from immediately behind the scapula to, up on top of the sacapula, then you get a significant difference in measurement. On narrower horses, down around S4 – S7, measuring behind the scapula or up on top of it can make 2 or 3 size differences. Mostly on the D8, D9 horses, there might not be a difference in size whether you measure behind or over the top of the scapula. Of course what it does make a difference to is that length measured from the “A” position to the “B” position. The reason that we chose just behind the scapula is that it is relavent to those people who believe that the saddle should be placed behind the scapula. And for those who want their saddles to fit further forward, either just over or right up over the scapula, then the point measured is still under the saddle. Whereas, if the measurement is taken on top of the scapula then it will not be relevent to those who fit their saddles further back. Regards dam
  14. The way we set it up, “B” is the 1st datum point. And should be (as far as practicaly posible in the real life situation) at the 13th/14th thoracic vertebrae T14. The reasons for choosing this location for the #1 anatomical datum point are: A) It is a location that everyone can find to the degree of accuracy required. When the horse is standing level this is the lowest point of the horse’s spine. Pete Gorrell does a great demonstation in his classes on saddle fit, where he puts a ball on the horse’s back and lets it rolls to the lowest point. B/ There are theories that the horse’s center of mass (COM) is directly below T14. There are those who theorise that the COM is below the T12. C) T14 (sometimes T13) is the anticlinal vertebrae, the ones in front of it lean backwards the ones behind it slope forwards and T14 is staight up and down (anticlinal). I could go on, but anyways we decided that because there is so much refernce to it that, T14, is the ideal #1 anatomical datum point for us to start from. In practice using the DL cards, if you take your “B” measurement an inch forward or an inch behind this location it will not make a difference to the “B” cross-section measurement. However, it will alter the “S” measurement which is the distance from the “B” cross-section to the back of the scapula (cross-section "A"), and I will address this issue and the history benind the "S" measurement in another post. Thankyou dam
  15. Allan, All good questions, and I’ve been working on an article to go on the DL website to explain some of these very questions, but now having someone actualy asking the questions might make it easier for me to write the info. With regards to:- 1. point B and the back edge of the stirrup slot”, And 2. point A in relation to; - the "deepest" part of the swell or - where the bar should leave room for the shoulder movement. The DL cards are striclty a tool to measure, categorise and compare the shapes of horse’s backs, which then in turn assists the saddle and tree maker in achieving the saddle fit which they desire. Deciding the location on the horse’s back where the saddle/tree SHOULD be designed to be placed, and thus fit, is still up to for debate between riders, saddle makers and tree makers. Some say the saddle should be behind the scapula while others say the rider should be further forward over T12, and a lot of very well respected practioners including yourself address those issues in detail in other topics on this forum. For example http://leatherworker.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=16300 http://leatherworker.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=2913 and many others. Thus I don’t see it as Dave Morris’ or Dennis Lanes’ jobs to tell others where they should be placing their saddles on their horses. The DL cards measure the horses. I’ll address your other points in more posts, just as quick as I can. Thanks dam
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