A saddle is a seat for a rider on a horse, most commonly. The right saddle provides the horse rider with the support, security, and control they need. By allowing the rider to sit above the horse’s point of balance, the saddle enables the rider to maintain equilibrium with the animal. Read more to know the process of how to make a horse saddle.
A basic saddle consists of a “tree” or base frame, a seat for the rider, skirts, panels, and flaps to shield the horse from the rider’s legs and vice versa, a girth to secure the saddle to the horse’s stomach, and stirrups for the rider’s feet.
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The flesh side and the grain side are the two sides of the leather. The hides are given to a currier, who slowly works tallow, cod oil, various greases, wax, and other substances into the leather by hand. The leather is given color, flexibility, durability, and waterproofing through this process.
The Saddle Tree
The stiff tree and the spring tree are the two most common types of saddle trees, and both may support either a straight or dipped seat. While the Western saddle typically has a hard tree, the new English saddle typically has a spring tree. Steel plates are positioned below the saddle tree from the pommel (the head) to the cantle to strengthen it (the rear part of the saddle, which projects upward). At the head and gullet of the tree, the steel plates are fastened above and below the pommel.
Next, stirrup bars are fastened. Under the tree’s head on the tree’s point, a three-inch wide prong-line metal bracket is fastened on (the forward-most point of the saddle). The bar itself and a moveable catch, sometimes known as a “thumb piece,” that is set into the bar are the two components that make up a bar. This catch operates under the assumption that it can be opened when the stirrup leather is placed in place and that, in the event that the rider falls, it will, in principle, open and release the leather. The stirrup leather extends from the stirrups back down to the top of the bar.
To create a foundation, a thick muslin cloth is draped across the tree from the pommel to the cantle. After that, pitch paint is used to weatherproof it. Then, from the pommel of the tree to the cantle, strips of white serge, a woolen fabric, are stretched and firmly secured with tiny nails. The stretch canvas is then laid over the serge and fastened with nails. This serves as the seat’s foundation.
To prevent the seat from falling away at the edges when it is eventually created, little pieces of shaped felt and leather are affixed to the edges of the tree at the widest section of the seat. The seat is then formed by carefully stretching and stitching a piece of serge to the canvas covering. The under panel is sewn and attached to the tree in order to shield the horse from the girths. Typically, grained cowhide or pigskin leather is used for the under the panel.
The saddle’s girth straps are then fastened. These straps are quite short and made of soft leather. The girths that are attached to them serve to hold the saddle firmly in place by being fastened around the horse’s belly. These girths are available in sizes that are 7/8-inch or one-inch thick, with lengths that range from 36 inches for little ponies to 54 inches for large horses. Girths are constructed of nylon, mohair, or soft leather.
The leather outer panels are wrapped with leather, serge, or linen and filled with felt, wool, or plastic foam. They are fastened to the saddle’s bottom. Then, immediately above the outer panel, leather skirts are stitched. The saddle is currently fastened with D-rings. The rawhide D-rings, which are typically one inch wide, have strings fastened to them.
The next stage is oil. A thick layer of pure neatsfoot oil is applied to each component individually, and over the course of many days, additional oil is added to give the saddle a uniform appearance.
Now that everything has been put back together, wrapping the horn is the only thing left to do. Latigo, chap leather, or mule skin can all be used for this. We stretch the leather as we go around the horn. To remove all the stretch, this may need to be rewrapped multiple times. It should then be smoothed out and secured with a chinaman strap.