Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Aussie Saddle

Highly appropriately one of the last saddles I made before travelling down under was an Australian Stock Saddle. I had made one once before but that one had a swinging fender and a horn, so was more western in appearance. I had used a modified western tree for that one, with cut down swells. This one looks more like an english saddle but with the addition of the thigh pads called poleys. You can see a picture of it in progress in a previous post.

So with a new tree must come a new pattern. This one was pretty tricky given the skirts are combined with the flap. So the cut-out for the stirrup bars must be in the right place and the flap must fit over the poleys with no creases or rucks. Took a bit of time to get it right. I then added the stitchmarks, the slot for the overgirth and some decorative tooling at the bottom of the flaps. I love little subtle details like the tooling that really brings it alive. I say tooling, I should say carving, as I don't tend to use stamps unless I think they're properly in scale.

The panels were interesting to make. I used felt as most aussie saddles have a serge panel (or a western-style sheepskin panel). They were a little tricky to get symmetrical but seems to have worked. An aussie saddle sits quite high above a horse's back compared to english saddles, espcially when new and then they can settle by a couple of inches when used regularly. That way the serge moulds itself to the horses back. This way, you didn't have to be so precise when ordering a new saddle. Given the distances involved in bush travel you can see why someone would want a saddle to fit right straight out the box.

Back to my saddle. I got the colour wrong. I only kind of realised it once I had attached the flaps, but it just wasn't red enough. So this saddle is a prototype, I'll probably keep it for myself. The next one will be in the right colour!


  1. I always love seeing tack makers produce aussie stock saddles, even though I don't necessarily like riding in the real thing.
    It's a beautiful saddle and reminds me very much of one in the tack room at home except that the bigger one had royal blue wool lining the panels.

  2. I think I'll make the next one with the more traditional blue panels, they seem to be a bit more common (or maybe its just some brands that use blue?). The only stock saddle I've sat on was in the Wild West Saloon bar in Kalgoorlie! It was tiny too.

  3. I'm not sure about the blue panels in relation to the brand thing though from memory all three of the stock saddles at work have blue panels and I'd say most of the ones I have seen also have blue.
    I'm not sure where it started but it does look smart.
    Would it be possible to get one made to fit the Equorum SHP? I show mine as a stock horse and she needs a nice stock saddle.

  4. Yes it would be possible to make one to fit an Equorum SHP, but it would have less detail due to the smaller scale. I also usually make Equorum tack a bit simpler than my normal LSQ tack to help make them good value and to be more in-keeping with the Equorum style. I can't take any more orders until about February though as all my gear is still in shipping :-(