HannahT

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About HannahT

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    small projects, straps
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    all things leather

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  1. Thank you--you all have cleared up some confusion for me. My 3-year-old's back is changing a lot (and he's putting on some weight, which is changing it even more) and he's still getting used to having the saddle on his back. I'm going to go back out there armed with this information and take a closer look at exactly what's not sitting quite right on him. Last time I saddled him (he's only been saddled half a dozen times) he bucked as I tried to move him around on a short lunge line, but when he got past that (after I turned him loose in the round pen to sort it out) he moved with his head up in the air. He finally calmed down and carried his head lower. After being saddled awhile his back is only sweaty from about the middle of the saddle forward, and sometimes he has dry spots on his shoulders. I have a panel pad coming in the mail.
  2. Saddle fitting issues are the biggest motivator for me to build my own saddle on a tree I know will fit. Fit certainly is one of the most debated subjects! I think I may get one of those pads with the shims and experiment with it. I can move things around until I get a better fit. I really like that it's thick enough to use even without any shims.
  3. So, providing my saddle is actually big enough for him, can I combat the pinched-withers-and-rising-in-back problem by removing the shoulder shims from a panel pad? I haven't had much experience with young horses' backs--the other horse I ride has to have padding to fill in around his withers. I've been looking through the pads that Diamond Wool offers.
  4. HannahT

    First Saddle Design

    Yes, rdl123, all the advice everyone on here has given me has been great. I can hardly believe my luck, finding so many people who have had experience with leather and are willing to share what they know. Some people are kind of close-mouthed about how they do things, and I've run into lots of horse people who treated me like an idiot because I asked them something. From the looks of yours, it seems like we kind of have the same taste in saddles. I'm looking at the Ray Hunt wade tree--I don't really rope much, but there's something I like about the shape of it. I still haven't ordered my tree--I've changed what I wanted a few times, based on what I've learned about what I'll have to do to build on the different styles--but I've pretty well settled on a wade and I'll probably go with Sonny Felkins.
  5. I know this is an old post, but what Keith Seidel said toward the top of this discussion about the common problems with fitting a young horse (too tight in the shoulders, rising up in the back) is exactly what I'm having trouble with. I have a 3-year-old QH that I'm having trouble fitting, and he's obviously uncomfortable in the saddles I have, though my older horse doesn't really seem to have a problem with them. I don't want to have something made for him specifically, because I don't ride many young horses, so I'd like to find a pad that'll even my wade saddle out. I'm just starting to ride him, and the last thing I need is for him to be so uncomfortable with the saddle now that he bucks every time I put one on him. So my question is, what kind of pad is good for that kind of adjustment? I've had the same kind of trouble with pads that I've had with saddles--I've gone through a ton of them and none of them have been great. I'm willing to spend whatever I have to, just to get everything feeling good for him. I'd prefer to find something that I can use to also adjust for my 21-year-old Appaloosa, who generally needs extra shoulder padding but isn't have trouble with keeping weight on. Would a panel pad be the best, and how would I change the panels out to fit my little guy?
  6. HannahT

    First Saddle Design

    Oltoot, I've been reading a lot from all the saddle makers on here and totally agree with you now about fit. I have a couple horses and don't ride too many others, but I switch out every now and then and I'd like to have something that'll work for just about anything I get. I almost always ride the same kind horse, so it's not like I'll have to fit a Clydesdale, an Arab, and a TB or something. I may try some border stamping. I like Weaver for some hardware and things like that, but I sure don't want to take a chance on TR. I got some low grade HO once that wasn't good for ANYTHING. I'm looking pretty seriously at Montana Leather, if I go with HO.
  7. HannahT

    First Saddle Design

    I'm going to be super careful with the seat--I watched Bruce Cheaney's video and it helped me see some of how to make sure I don't cut out too much. Where do you guys get your Hermann Oak? I see that Montana Leather sells #1 11/13 oz for $225, which is cheaper than some of the other distributors. Hide House is about the same. Part of the reason I'd wanted to go with Wickett & Craig is because I could buy straight from them and avoid the mark-up (and I can't afford HO's minimum orders). And they're great to work with.
  8. HannahT

    First Saddle Design

    I really appreciate the advice I've gotten from all of you. It shows through that you're well accustomed to horses and riding and leather, and your experience and knowledge are exactly what I needed to help me understand what my saddle will have to be able to do for me. I look forward to posting progress pictures as I build.
  9. HannahT

    First Saddle Design

    I hope my first saddle turns out as well as yours! I have all 3 Stohlman books and I've ordered the Harry Adams book. Hopefully I can get everything right. I think I'm going to try a totally plain, smooth, wade with a straight cantle binding. I like the W&C drum dyed skirting so I may try that for this one. Squilchuck, did you cut your own stirrup leathers or buy them precut? I've seen HO leathers on a couple sites and if they're all I need of the heavy stuff, I may buy them as blanks. I'm really starting to get a feel for how complicated a saddle is. Luckily I don't want a show saddle--I just want to be able to trail ride and do a little occasional ranch work (not that there's much of it to do here in central Kentucky, but I enjoy it). I'm hoping that if I can give the tree maker a good enough idea about the kind of horses I ride, he can fit their general back type and then I can focus on not making too much of a mess.
  10. HannahT

    First Saddle Design

    It looks like I'm going to need several pieces of thinner leather, according to the Stohlman instructions. Would you guys say 2 sides of 10-12 oz and another of 8 or 9 would be my best bet? I don't have a splitter myself.
  11. I'm getting ready to start on my first saddle. Has anybody used any of the saddle kits that Bowden offers? My first thought, knowing the kind of materials that usually come with leather kits, was that it would be horrible. But the description says it includes Hermann Oak, I think #1 or #2, plus latigo, strainer plate, stirrups, and lots of other stuff. Some of the kits include a tree. They cost $1150, which doesn't sound too far off (if it was $600, I'd be worried). I know Bowden isn't Rick Reed or any of those tree makers by any means, but for a first saddle, would this be a good place to start? I'm not looking for a show piece--I'm expecting plenty of mistakes. I can send drawings of my horses' backs to them and have the tree fitted to that type of horse, and the kit with the tree allows you to choose the type you want (I'm considering a Ray Hunt wade).
  12. Hello! A client asked me to make a belt for her, and she was very specific about wanting a decorative hole pattern the whole length of it, like one she had. She picked out a piece of Wickett & Craig English bridle leather (10-12 oz.), which is gorgeous, but I'm wondering how many holes I can even put in it before it starts to stretch when she puts it on. And then she asked if I could just punch a hole part of the way, so it makes a little circle right on top instead of a hole. I'm not too crazy about that idea. All I have are circles (I don't have the oval punches). Has anybody tried to make a belt like this before? Am I just being paranoid? Any suggestions for getting all those holes even?
  13. HannahT

    First Saddle Design

    And BondoBob, I'm really seeing what you mean! If I hadn't started asking questions I'd have a HUGE mess on my hands.
  14. HannahT

    First Saddle Design

    Rktaylor, I'd been wondering about following one set of instructions. I'm glad you mentioned it. I'm thinking about following the Stohlman books as close as I can, though I'm going to need a LOT more clarification on ground seats. I'm looking at the Ray Hunt wades--I like of like the shape that I'm seeing on a lot of them.