• SMS Saddlery Competition

    On Monday last week (5th February ’18), my husband and I travelled down to London to attend the Society of Master Saddlers National Saddlery Competition evening presentation as earlier this year I had submitted an entry form. It is one of the most anticipated events of a Saddler’s diary especially if they have entered one or more of the various classes that are suitable for varying skills from Trainee/Apprentice Saddler to Master Saddler. I had originally entered three classes: Class 2b – double bridle made to Level 3 specification; Class 4 – Leather Girth and Class 5 – A monkey/grab (Oh Sh!t) strap. When it came to the final day…

  • Starting Level 3 in Bridle Making…

    A couple of weeks ago I attended my fourth week of training at The Saddlery Training Centre. Following my successful completion of Level 2 Bridle Making, I was now to go straight onto Level 3 (in Bridle Making). So for my first practical piece I was tasked with making a stallion in-hand bridle with a fixed nose band, fancy stitching and a clencher brow band. I chose a rich brown coloured leather called ‘Conker’ from the store and decided to use brass clenchers and buckles as well as stitch it in a yellow contrasting thread. I like working with a contrasting thread because if you go wrong it stands out…

  • Bridle Making week 2

    Bridle Making Week 2 – Mental Exhaustion

    I’m a little later than normal posting this [sorry for that] purely because I got in, called home and then crashed on the bed. Exhausted! It’s not even a physical exhaustion either as I’ve not done much walking like I had planned [will do better tomorrow] but instead it’s a mental exhaustion having to take it all in, having to make notes, having to plan what to do next. Its a tough workout on the old brain of mine. So, where am I in the process of making my snaffle bridle I hear you ask…well… …on day 3 I almost, almost completed it. I finished stitching the ‘London chape’ (this…

  • Training Week #2

    Hello… …it’s my first day back at the Saddlery Training Centre today (25th July) and I have picked straight up where I left off in May. If you remember I had completed the headcollar earlier than anticipated so I was allowed to go on and cut the straps for the next assessment piece – a snaffle bridle. I had managed to cut them all to length, shape the ends of each strap and then edge them. I had initially said I was going to finish the bridle at home (to assessment quality) so that I could get on with the practical and theory exams but life took over a little…