Laurence Pearman and Mark Romain

Course objective

This is a four day course intended for saddlers who have gained their City & Guilds Level 2 and 3 Saddle Making qualifications. The objective is to increase skills and knowledge in the adjustment and alteration of saddle panels of differing types and also to show other methods of achieving a well fitting saddle. The course will consist of three days in the workshop, candidates are encouraged to bring saddles with them that may be worked on and discussed with other candidates on the course. It is hoped that many differing types of saddles, panels and trees will be seen throughout the course. The fourth day will be spent fitting saddles to horses and candidates will have the opportunity to put all of the skills and knowledge gained into practice by carrying out reflocking and adding flocking to existing saddles and to see the differences in fit that may be achieved.

Syllabus Days 1, 2 and 3

Each candidate will complete the following-
Completely strip out old flocking and reflock a saddle.
Add flock to a saddle.
Widen the gullet of a panel.
Completely strip out old flocking and then line the panel with felt or foam before reflocking.
Fit point straps onto the tree and also webbing to accept a point strap.
Fit balance straps to saddle.
Fit V straps to saddle.
Renew/replace flexible points.

Discussion points-

All candidates will be involved in discussing the following-
Different styles of tree, width fittings and alterations, renewing rivets, changing head and gullet plates, replacing stirrup bars and safety catches.
Different styles of panels, flocked, close contact, flair etc, also different types of flock, foam felt etc.

Day 4

There will be several horses and a range of saddles available, each candidate will have the opportunity to-
Try several saddles on the horses, discussing the fit, bearing area, condition of flocking and balance. See the horses ridden.
Completely strip out the old flocking and reflock a panel, assessing the fit of the saddle before and after.
Add flocking to an existing panel assessing the fit of the saddle before and after.

Discussion points-

All candidates will be involved in discussing the following-
See a selection of different styles and types of saddle trees fitted to the horses.
See different panel designs, gullet widths, bearing areas and gussets.
See saddles with point, balance and V girth arrangements.
See balanced and unbalanced saddles fitted to horses with and without riders.


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