Saddle Lust… and making?

Lately I’ve found myself obsessing over tack and other “things” I would like for Cello. Probably because of this horrible riding weather and long hours working the past few weeks. If I miss my horse, I can at least spend time shopping for him in the middle of the night, right? Discretion usually kicks in and I don’t click on the buy option.

I ride right now in my Wintec All-Purpose (or as my previous trainer called it, my no-purpose.) It actually fits Cello GREAT, and I find it pretty comfortable, and it looks good.. but not as good as this:

I started drooling the minute I saw it- light weight, good for distance, comfort, looks like a secure seat and set up for a good leg position. USD price? Over $1600.

The reason I even looked up this saddle was a saddle fitting I went to. I’ve been to Schleese’s saddle fits a few times, and was always really impressed with their saddles. The fitting I watched recently was with a friends horse and an independent consultant. My poor friend’s custom saddle was pretty much ripped apart by the lady. And I found myself sucked into the details, again. A recent sewing project showed me I was crafty so wheels started turning. Why not learn about saddle making?

I e-mailed Bob Klenda from Klenda Saddlery to ask him about classes. One of the scheduled Schleese fittings didn’t happen at a stable I worked at, so Bob gave a talk on Western saddles and left me impressed. We are going to work together a bit this spring after I get a book-based foundation, and probably after I desconstruct a few used saddles. I’d like to make something similar to the Setzi saddle, custom to Cello and of course without mimicking their design (they worked hard and we aren’t those kind of people.) Setzi just opened me up to the idea of a light saddle that looks like 3/4 of an English! Plus I would want to make mine all synthetic. I’m pretty excited and really hoping there is time this spring to get a good chunk of it done. It’s going to be a back-burner project that will probably drag on forever, what with college, working full time, the Wild Horse Project, and… Cello!

In the meantime, can’t wait for that cheap craigslist saddle to pop up so I can begin tearing things apart… I’m too curious at heart for my own good, and definitely for my bank account!



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