What I can do for you.

What I can do for you.

Every day, I have messages from people asking me all kinds of questions regarding leatherwork. So, I thought it was about time I put it into a blog post of 'what I can do for you'. INDIVIDUAL SIZED BRIDLE PIECES The above image is of our 11hh Welsh Pony, called Jakey. Whom we once owned when the children were young and interested in riding. I can remember struggling to get him a bridle from a saddlery shop that actually fitted him correctly. In the end we had to buy two complete bridles. Two, in different 'off-the-shelf' sizes, just to make up one bridle that fitted correctly. Now that I'm a Saddler and I know what I'm looking at, I cannot stand seeing ponies in ill-fitting bridles. Mostly I see them with the cheek piece buckles sitting right up by their browbands. This is far too close to their temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Although it won't cause a lot of 'pain' it certainly cannot be comfortable having...
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Gaining The ‘SMS Qualified’ Status

Gaining The ‘SMS Qualified’ Status

Ever since I started my journey back in 2015, my desire has always been to become a Master Saddler. Not just any Master Saddler; one that makes a difference and contributes to the future of saddlery and leatherwork. Since then my goal has been to gain as much knowledge, experience and qualifications along the way. This has consequently led me to become a fully-fledged City and Guilds (Level 3) qualified Saddle and Bridle Maker. My Student Years During my student years, I was adamant to find the very best support, guidance and knowledge I could find. Being an adult trainee saddler without an apprenticeship or placement with a Master Saddler was always going to be a difficult road to follow. Nevertheless, I was determined to succeed. Becoming A Member Of The Society From the start I was determined to become a member of the Society of Master Saddlers (or the SMS as they are commonly known). They provide advice and guidance, support and...
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The Stirrup Handbag

The Stirrup Handbag

You may have already seen the Stirrup handbag for sale over in my online shop. Its design had been swimming around in my mind for a little while. You should have gathered from the website, by now, that all my items are handmade using traditional saddler skills and techniques. With this in mind, I thought it would be nice to show you how I made this bag. The Design Usually I get a design for a new product pop into my head when I am doing something totally unrelated to work. In this case I had the stirrup handbag come to mind when I was cleaning my horse's saddle. I was removing the stirrup irons from their leathers ready to give them all a good clean, when whilst holding the irons in my hand. The idea of being able to hold the irons through the stirrup leather's hole came to me. When I had a moment to myself, I quickly sketched out the design in my...
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5 Reasons Why The Saddle Keyring Is So Popular

5 Reasons Why The Saddle Keyring Is So Popular

Since the Coronavirus pandemic took hold and effectively locked us away in our homes, online shopping has become the new norm. Here are 5 reasons why the Saddle Keyring is so popular. Amidst the uncertain future we presently face, I have had to rethink my business plan. For me, the potential to earn some income is better than none at all. As a consequence, I decided to craft a product that is both fun to make and unique in its own right. Making sure it is affordable to a whole new group of potential customers was another reason for designing this product. Five years ago, when I started training to become a Saddler, I made a small saddle keyring. I absolutely adore it and still have it on my car keys today. However, as I am very aware of copyright, I didn't want to 'copy' the same design. So, I carried out some research and sketched a few possibilities. 1) Designs To Suit...
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Designing Equestrian-Themed Bags

Designing Equestrian-Themed Bags

Since starting my leatherwork journey all those years ago I have been passionate about designing bespoke equestrian-themed bags. The Stirrup Handbag Most recently, I designed the Stirrup bag, which depicts the shape of an English stirrup iron. Hand cut from natural russet leather. The design is carved and tooled to form the shape and definition of a stirrup iron, by hand. The stirrup design is painted in acrylic silver. Also the middle of the stirrup design is stained in a deep black dye to finish the look. Before the bag is constructed the front panels are lined in a beautiful black suede. Finally, the black soft leather gusset is handstitched in a silver waxed linen thread. Horseshoe Barrel Bag Last year, I made the Horseshoe Barrel bag as my entry to the 'President's Choice' class, at the National Saddlery Competition, in London. I had previously received a pair of very old bowls bags that were in desperate need of repair and restoration. Whilst the bags...
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