Thursday, June 6, 2013

Completed Side Saddle Set

For once I've actually made a set relatively swiftly!! But knowing a set of tack will be shown at NAN on a beautiful custom that you'll soon be the proud owner of is very good motivation. This set was made to fit a Salinero custom but I think it looks good on my Hazel resin, Valkyrie, painted by Sheila Bishop. This was actually the first time I've ever tacked Valkyrie up, and she looks very smart despite the unplaited mane. I've been reading up and she could get away with depicting an Autumn hunting scene - apparently horses don't have to be plaited for Autumn hunting. 

90% of the leather in this set is kangaroo, from Packer Direct here in Australia. It is the bookbinding leather and required no skiving except at buckles etc. Hardware is all gold/brass coloured which really sets this havana colour off nicely. The panel is covered in linen, and the breastplate centre and sandwich case are lined with real sheepskin. I also developed a new pattern for this set including a new tree design with riveted fixed and leaping heads for durability and longevity. They are slightly flexible depending on the type of rider used. I also made a hunting crop with a braided leather leash complete with the standard red thong. Enjoy the pictures!


  1. Your comment in Christine's blog made me find yours- wow! Such beautiful work. I shall look at all your posts as soon as I have a bit sparetime at my hands.

  2. To. Die. For. Seriously, that is gorgeous!

  3. That is a beautiful set, and also a beautiful horse!

  4. Gah, I honestly don't know how you do it!

  5. Thanks everyone! Love getting comments, especially ones like these. Christine, the only answer I have for you is practice, and constantly trying to improve. Sometimes improvements can be made purely from finding new supplies, other times it's just studying the real thing (if only from pictures most of the time) and tweaking patterns.

  6. Yeah, I only manage to ride once a year if I'm lucky and the only show I ever attend is the Royal Highland Show so I usually take a few hundred photos for reference when I'm there. :P
    Because I only really collect Julips now I don't really aim for the same level of realism that I would if I were putting them on resins or whatever but I'd still like to get my tack looking consistent if nothing else!

    1. I only get to ride about once a year too, usually on holiday just going for a hack. But there is often real stuff (and very interesting) stuff at museums. Over here one of the museums has a couple of very old Aussie stock saddles just left on a fence so I can poke at them a bit!

      Another tip is to try not to rush. It's hard when you just want something finished but just a little extra time, thinking through each step thoroughly can really help. And developing your own good patterns will help with consistency.

  7. Just out of curiosity, where do you buy your sheepskin from?
    I also live in australia and I'm having troubles finding any?

  8. I was actually sent the sheepskin by a friend in the US. It is called pearl lambskin you may be able to find it now and again on ebay.