Another long delay in blogging; my apologies. Hopefully these pictures will make up for it!
I had the chance to do another all-out silver show saddle, like the one I did back in 2012 as a donation to Show for the Cure. My carving skills have improved remarkably in the intervening 4 years!
Another of September's three commissions was an english saddle for Moxie, along with a standing martingale and a full set of brushing boots. This was a pretty standard order, nothing unusual, but the standing martingale threw me -- but only temporarily. You see, buckles on my bridles are fixed and standing martingales have a buckle or loop that attaches to the underside of the noseband...if you're going the same place I did, you'll have realized by now that there's just no way to get that loop onto the noseband without a working buckle somewhere. Given the location of the buckle, that was unacceptable. I worked around it with a dab of Aleene's Tack It Over and Over glue. This is a repositionable craft glue, and while it DOES have to be reapplied over time it works beautifully on little things like boots and standing martingales. I put a dot on the tip of the strap and folded it over on itself, creating a self-adhering loop and viola! Problem solved.
I'm slowly refining the shape of the seat and panels as I go on - this saddle was a success. The seat has a slightly softer, fuller appearance thanks to an extra layer of leather over the tree, flesh-side up to give a little more cushion. The panels are a matter of shaping, I think, and learning what I need to do to get the right shape. I'll get closer with each and every saddle.
The last saddle in this post was actually the first one completed. The client sent me a reference photo to work from for this project, and I did my best to replicate it, down to the tiny feathers. The rounded skirt on a working set is a nice look, I think!