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Al Stohlman saddle in miniature

My latest saddle pattern is a reproduction from the Al Stohlman volumes of saddle making. I think I may have chosen the most complicated one. But I really love the flat plate which is incorporated into the saddle, one of my more successful 3D printing efforts. Rather a shame then, after all that work, its covered by a fender!

Even though I was struggling with leather which wasn’t quite right, it was plenty good enough for a test saddle, just working through how everything went together without any pressure to get the quality spot on. So I was happy to persevere and learn a bit more. Making something with many different pieces is an odd process, even more so with this new pattern. Many times I thought it’s never going to come together, literally! Nothing seemed to fit, the leather pieces seemed too small, I thought I might have to botch a few things and adjust the patterns for the next, proper saddle. But in the end the leather seems to stretch and change shape over time, conforming to the saddle tree and the shape of the horse, coming together actually really well. This way of working has happened each time I’ve made one of these, to some degree or other, but having all these ups and downs keeps it interesting.

Find more photos of the construction on my Flickr site