The first improvised saddle for a horse appeared even at the moment when a person first began to use this graceful animal for his own purposes. For example, during the time of Alexander the Great, the back of the horses was simply covered with the skin of animals, securing it with a rope through the chest of the animal. Over time, saddle making technology has leaped forward. In this article, we will talk about how to make a saddle for a horse with your own hands, so that it turns out as comfortable and convenient as possible.
What you need to know before manufacturing?
Before proceeding with the manufacture of a saddle for a horse, it is necessary to measure the animal, since the quality of the future product will depend on this. If you make the saddle too large, it will constantly slide off the mount and rub it on its sides, which will hurt the animal and the rider will be uncomfortable. A too small saddle simply will not fit on the animal. Therefore, carefully consider taking measurements, so that later you do not have to redo the entire structure.
In addition, you should determine in advance the type of saddle that you will manufacture. There are quite a few varieties of products, each of which has a specific purpose. For example, English saddles are designed for sports, while cavalry saddles have a special design that allows you to ride for a long time.
If you decide to make a saddle for a horse, then first we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the main varieties of products and their purpose. This information will be presented in the following sections. Choose the type of future saddle wisely, as it will depend on how comfortable you will feel while riding.
This product is also called sports, because it is often used in professional races or in fox hunting. The design of the saddle is not intended for long trips, but it is very comfortable to sit in it when the horse switches to galloping gait.
Design features of the product are the absence of shelves and the presence of special pillows that strongly press on the horse’s back by reducing the area of contact. Such differences in design are strictly fundamental, since they allow the rider to develop fast speed.
A significant drawback of sports saddles for horses is that pillows have to be constantly stuffed with new material. In addition, if you still decide to buy the product in the store, then get ready to run into a crooked lenok - a frequent marriage at the heart of the saddle.
The most ancient product, which has in its design two curved parts, which are called shelves (hence the name). Nowadays, such a saddle can be met extremely rarely, but its undeniable advantage is the simplicity of making it yourself.
Shelf saddles also have several varieties:
You can also add hunting saddles for horses to this list, which are a modification of shepherd designs. Each of these varieties allows the rider to ride a horse for a rather long time. Unlike English saddles, shelf structures distribute the load on the horse’s back more evenly, making it very comfortable to ride.
What other types of saddles for horses exist? Perhaps it is time to mention a pack product, which is considered one of the most comfortable in the whole world. The original design of such a saddle was a wooden frame with a rather thick pillow, which was stuffed with various soft materials (usually straw). Modern designs are quite similar to the shelving, but they lack the upper part. Also, the product includes special support stands for side packs that allow you to perform complex maneuvers on horseback. Many modern devices have several fasteners designed to secure the load. This kind of saddle is one of the best, but it will be very difficult to make it at home.
Decided to make a saddle for a horse with your own hands? For starters, it is strongly recommended that you familiarize yourself with the main components of this design. Otherwise, you will not be able to understand the actions that will be described in the product manufacturing instructions.
Here are the basic parts of a saddle for a horse that most modern varieties have:
- lenchik - the basis of any design;
- wing - a place for the knee of the rider;
- girths - straps for fixing;
- bows - the front of the saddle;
- stirrup - a place for the leg.
With an understanding of all the other parts, special problems should not arise. Upholstery is used so that the saddle is less susceptible to rain and softens the impact of the product on the horse’s back, and the connecting straps allow rigid fixation of the structure on the horse. Felt lining is designed to adjust the height of the product.
Do it yourself
Thinking about how to make saddles for horses? This work can hardly be called simple, since the master must follow not only the size of the horse, but also his own individual preferences. If you decide to start manufacturing such a structure for the first time, it is best to start with a shelf saddle (Cossack or cavalry), since making it yourself will be much easier than English or pack. However, be prepared for the fact that you may need outside help. For example, if you do not have a welding machine at home or you do not know how to use it, you will have to turn to a professional so that the quality of the structure does not suffer as a result of inept work. The following sections provide a detailed description of each step in the manufacture of a saddle with your own hands.
We make lench
As soon as you manage to remove the dimensions for the saddle from the horse, it is necessary to draw up a drawing of the future design and begin the manufacturing process. Of course, you should start with the basics - cutting out the shape for the lenok. It is best to use for this purpose a full-fledged piece of wood that is easy to process (birch or pine). But it is best to immediately abandon the idea of using plywood, since this material cannot be bent to the desired position. In addition, repairing a wooden saddle will be quite simple - you only need to plan the broken off piece and glue it with good glue. Feel free to check the quality of the design by trying it several times on a horse. The better the lunchbox will sit at the initial stage, the less work will have to be done later.
We master live bait
It is best to perform this element from rawhide, as this material provides comfort not only for the rider, but also for the horse. What is live bait? This is a wide strip of skin, which is fixed at the upper points of the front and back arches of the lenok. The width can be adjusted depending on the individual preferences of the rider and the anatomical features of the horse.
Also, on each shelf of the lense, it is necessary to drill eight holes, which will be used to weave a thin leather tape inside. However, for this it is recommended to first soak the material in warm water so that it acquires good elasticity. After that, it remains only to make another sixteen holes in a wide strip and twist all the details together in any way convenient for you.
So that the shelves of lenochka do not strongly press on the stallion, it is necessary to knock them out with some soft material. It is best to use for this insole felt, which is used in the manufacture of shoes. Distinguishing quality material is quite simple - you need to rub a piece between your palms. If the villi begin to move under your fingers, then someone is trying to sell you a cheap fake that will not work for padding a saddle.
Some riders prefer to make felt removable by nailing it to the shelves, but for the first time it will be enough to use ordinary shoe glue, but in large quantities. Glue the felt in parts to achieve a secure fit. Remember that the important role is played not by the time of pressing two surfaces against each other, but by force.
Sides and Cinchs
A spider is a belt that is "tightly" attached to the base of the saddle and is used to fix the structure to the animal. A circular girth is a long belt of fabric or leather that spans the chest of a horse. Whatever kind of saddle you decide to make, there will always be two girths, but the number of strings can vary from four to eight. To adjust the height, it is recommended to use metal straps, which can be purchased at a specialized store.
It is best to attach the strings directly to the lenok, using small nails for this. You must achieve such an arrangement of the elements that in the process of using the saddle the cinch does not twist and does not cause horse discomfort. Nursery of good skin is no longer left in stock, then you can use gel cinch. This option is wider, but also provides a reliable fixation of the saddle with the horse's body.
Make a sweatshirt
If you decide to make the saddle for the horse as high quality as possible, then you just can not do without a sweatshirt, which prevents rubbing live bait on the back of the horse. You can make it using the same felt that is used to pad the shelves of the saddle. However, in order to ensure better safety of this material, it is recommended to sew a thin layer of calfskin onto the felt (a rather expensive option). As a skin substitute, a normal canvas cloth or canvas is suitable. In order to secure the shelves of the saddle with the sweatshirt more reliably, special straps with straps are sewn to the cover.
It is best to sew a sweatshirt from two pieces of felt, and make a pattern so that the front piece of material “peeks out” from under the shelves (no more than three to five centimeters). On the sides of the sweatshirt should cover half of the horse's body, protecting the body from pressure buckles cinch. Also, during the fitting work, it is necessary to tighten the sweatshirt so that a small "house" is formed on top. This is to prevent the protective element from sliding down in the event of a fast ride.
A few words in conclusion
The article made recommendations on how to make a saddle for a horse (photo of the products can be found in the previous sections). In the video below, the master tells how he made a Cossack saddle for his own horse-riding, based on dragoon shelves. This information will be useful to both a novice rider and a professional.
As you can see, making a quality saddle for a horse is quite difficult, but not impossible. Beginner riders are encouraged to learn more information on this subject and learn from professionals. If you are constantly interested in the design of various varieties of saddles, and also not afraid to apply knowledge in practice, then by all means learn how to create products that simply will not be equal. Buying a saddle in the store today is not a big problem, but no one gives a guarantee that it will ideally fit the shape of your stallion, in contrast to a saddle made by yourself, for specific measurements.