Launching The Saddle Keyring

Launching The Saddle Keyring

If you followed my social media stories last weekend, you will have witnessed the launching of my Saddle Keyring. To be honest it was a fluke product, that developed through desperation. Inspiration At my very first leather workshop at Saddlers Den, we made a saddle-shaped keyring with a Saddler's Den pin attached. I loved it and still have it to this day. Since then I've always wanted to make my own. However, I knew it had to be different and I wanted it more detailed. I just couldn't get a design to stick in my head. Choosing The Right Leather Knowing that this product could not be made from Sedgwick Bridle Leather. I was determined to find a British equivalent of Russet Tooling leather. Whilst on Lockdown... So, whilst on lockdown, with little income coming in. It seemed the right time to look at how I can produce something new. Something that still challenges me and is able to be sold for a profit, yet still, affordable...
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National Saddlery Competition 2020

National Saddlery Competition 2020

The annual National Saddlery Competition 2020 took place at Saddlers' Hall in London on Monday (3rd Feb). I only entered the one class with my 17.5" GP Saddle that I made for my Level 3 saddle making qualification assessment last year. Amazingly, I WON my category and received a premium award too. HRH Princess Anne, who is a Perpetual Master of The Worshipful Company of Saddlers was in attendance also but unfortunately, I missed out shaking her hand and shook the Lord Mayors instead. Due to having a young family, we always drive down to London and back on the same day so we can be there for the children the next day but many stay over. The evening starts around 4.15 pm where we browse the entries and see what has potentially won a prize, but we never know who's won what until the actual prize-giving event. At 5.00 pm we were all ushered into the main hall for the prize-giving. Always a great spectacle....
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Girth Straps – Shiny Side Up or Shiny Side Down?

Girth Straps – Shiny Side Up or Shiny Side Down?

Back in March, I asked my Social Media followers a question regarding girth straps and which side is the 'right' side. Don't Shoot The Messenger Well, before you all shoot the messenger, what I am about to tell you is what is known as the 'correct' way. Ask your Saddler/Saddle Fitter This doesn't mean that you have to go straight out and have your straps changed. The 'Correct' Way Girth straps should be stitched onto the webbs of your saddle with the dull side up (shiny side facing down). An awful lot of saddles are made with the girth straps the other way round (shiny side up). This is predominantly due to consumer requests. Whilst training for my City and Guilds Saddle Making qualification, I was taught to do everything the correct way. This includes hand-stitching girth straps into saddles with the dull side up as this is the safest and most durable way for them to be done. Customer's Preference Most customers don't like the look of the girth straps...
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A Saddle Bag – Made From A Saddle

A Saddle Bag – Made From A Saddle

I've been working on a little project that has turned out to be something really quite special and I thought it was time I shared it with you all. Old Saddles "I'm loathed to throw these saddles away" Since starting my Saddler training, three years ago, I have had a few old saddles gifted to me to use as examples to work on without worrying about putting them back together accurately. All these saddles have seen better days and are not really suitable to use on horses anymore. I'm loathed to throw these saddles away and therefore, as a bit of an experiment, I had a go at up-cycling one. So, here is the saddle that I chose to use... A plain brown traditional style GP (general purpose) saddle made by Eldonian Brookes Limited who were based in Walsall, West Midlands in the 1970/80's. Pulling the Saddle Apart I dropped the panel out (the bit that actually lies on the back of a horse)... ...then removed the saddle flaps...
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