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...
Read More
Saddlery Competition 2019

Saddlery Competition 2019

This years National Saddlery Competition took place in February 2019. Organised by the Society of Master Saddlers it takes place every year at Saddlers Hall in London and is one of the main events of the year. My Entries This year, I entered four separate items into the following class categories: 2b - Level 3 In-hand Stallion Bridle 3a - Level 2 Trainee Saddle 5 - Special Open Class - Dressage Stirrup Leathers13 - The President's Choice Beta International One of the category's, 'The President's Choice', was displayed at BETA International during the 19th - 21st January 2019, to allow the public to vote their favourite. Can you spot mine amongst the other fantastic box work displayed? London Bound On Monday 4th February, my husband and I embarked on our 3.5-hour car journey down to London. We got there, had a meander around, and looked at all the entries including mine. There was some stunning work completed by trainee's, qualified and Master Saddlers. Prize Winners The prize winners were distinguished by a...
Read More
Beta International 2019

Beta International 2019

On Sunday, I attended the Beta International event at the NEC in Birmingham. The BETA Group "The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) represents more than 800 British suppliers and retailers. Members include producers of famous brands and more than 400 tack shops across the UK. It supports riders and horse owners by striving for excellence on behalf of equestrian shops and shoppers - and protects consumers by making sure that only tack shops run in a professional manner are allowed to become members and display the trade association's logo."BETA Group Trade Exhibition BETA International is a world-leading trade exhibition that supports the equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet product sectors. In this particular year they are also celebrating its 40th anniversary. Usually held at this time of year [January] the event is on for three days and offers the ideal networking opportunity for members of the industry as well as a chance to see hundreds of the most exciting and innovative new products that are...
Read More
The British Leather Industry

The British Leather Industry

The British Leather Industry became a global importance around the late 19th Century. Walsall, a town located in the West Midlands, became known as the centre of the British leather industry, producing and exporting saddles, bridles and harness. Why Walsall? It is unclear as to why Walsall became the centre for the British leather industry. Maybe it was due to the town already having an established Lorinery or Saddlers Ironmongery industry. What is Lorinery or Saddlers Ironmongery? Lorinery or Saddlers Ironmongery are specialist blacksmiths who produce horse-related metalwork such as stirrups, bits, buckles, spurs and saddle trees. In the 1830s it was a local Loriner ‘Thomas Newton’ who claimed to produce the towns first ready-made riding saddle. The Introduction of the Sewing Machine Around 1860 the sewing machine was introduced, which sped up the production of some leather items, particularly harness traces. By 1861 there were 60 known companies in Walsall making bridles, saddles and harness, as well as 15 Tanneries and Currying works that actually produced the leather. Export...
Read More