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As of April, 2017, our video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basicsis available!!  Our new website is www.westernsaddlefit.com, and we'll be continuing our blog over on that site. 

And thus begins...

Posted by RodandDenise on November 2, 2015

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the long goodbye…

Rod has spent a lot of time on the phone over the last week calling customers,

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Around the shop today

Posted by RodandDenise on October 27, 2015

2015 Oct 26 1 four saddle trees drying.jpg

Yup, we’re still working around the shop. Just haven’t been taking the time to post pictures lately.

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Saddle fit video

Posted by RodandDenise on October 17, 2015

Rod and I are thinking about putting together a video on saddle fit from a tree maker’s perspective.  We are looking for any feedback people would like to share about what you want to see in such a video, any ideas on the best way to present it, and just what you think about the idea.  Comments here are great or you can contact us directly.

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How do you spell "relief"?

Posted by RodandDenise on October 12, 2015

You can now purchase our 67 minute video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, by going to our new website, westernsaddlefit.com. We also have a 7 minute YouTube video on Western Saddle Fit - The Essentials.  Enjoy!

2015 Oct 5 1a 2 crown on front bar pad.jpg 2015 Oct 5 1b edge on front bar pad.jpg 2015 Oct 5 1c flare.jpg

Is the allusion to a very old commercial showing my age? Anyway… We had a question recently from someone wanting to clarify the difference between crown, flare and relief. Since they are all terms relating to curves on the bottom of the bar, how do you differentiate them?

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It's been a wood post swell fork month...

Posted by RodandDenise on September 8, 2015

2015 Sept 8 1 Rod pounding seams on a saddle tree.jpg

It really does seem like things come in groups. We make a fair number of wood post swell forks – about twenty percent or so of our total output – but they are a relatively new innovation in the long history of saddles. We don’t know for sure when they started to appear, but we were quite surprised to find the date of 1986 on an old tree we duplicated a while ago. Looking at the construction on that one, it is likely it was a very early model.

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You know things are changing when...

Posted by RodandDenise on September 1, 2015

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you look out at the shop in the morning...

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Visiting, visitors and what we've been doing in between

Posted by RodandDenise on August 28, 2015

2015 Aug 28 1 new deck stairs!.jpg

Shortly after “the student” left, we took a week away. (I told you it was an intensive course! We needed a break…) Actually, we had been planning for a while to go visit Rod’s parents in southern BC since we hadn’t seen them for a while. It was a good visit, and while there Rod was able do some odd jobs to help them out, including rebuilding the stairs to their deck which were starting to rot. Thus, the background for the picture.

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"The student"

Posted by RodandDenise on August 21, 2015

2015 Aug 20 1 Vern rasping a bar.jpg

The last couple weeks of July we hosted Vern Rempel of VR Saddlery as we taught him how to build trees for his own saddles. Vern has been a long-time customer, having ordered the third tree Rod ever sold, and a longer term friend. He finally decided that he wanted to build his own trees. Any saddle maker we have talked with who builds his own trees has told us that it isn’t for financial reasons. The cost of equipment, setting up a tree shop and education, the learning curve needed, the time it takes to build a tree when you don’t build lots of them – all of these mean that even in the long run it is more economic to purchase trees than build your own.

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Rethinking saddle fit and shoulder blade movement

Posted by RodandDenise on July 25, 2015

You can now purchase our 67 minute video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, by going to our new website, westernsaddlefit.com. We also have a 7 minute YouTube video on Western Saddle Fit - The Essentials.  Enjoy!

2015 July 25 1 leg exended shoulder blade movement.jpg

If you read anything about saddle fit and the shoulders, you will learn that the top of the shoulder blade rotates backwards when the horse extends their leg forward. This is often demonstrated by lifting and pulling the leg forward to show you how far the shoulder blade can rotate back. You are then told you have to put your saddle behind that farthest most point or you will interfere with the movement of the shoulder blade. Sounds good in theory. Not necessary in practice. Why? The first issue is that the shoulder blade doesn't go that far when the horse moves it (and we talked about that here). The second and more important point is that it doesn’t matter anyway. Really and truly, honest! Let me explain…  (You'll have seen this fact in a previous post if you were watching carefully.)

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Yup, we're still working away...

Posted by RodandDenise on July 16, 2015

2015 July 15 1 Rod cutting out saddle trees.jpg

I noticed that it has been a while since I posted anything about what had been going on around the shop work wise. Rod is still going at normal rate building trees. We had about 5 ½ or so month’s orders ahead of us when we got the diagnosis of his arthritis, so we have all those orders to fill for the time we had promised them before he can slow down at all. Other than the changes in how he uses his hands that we talked about before, it is pretty much same old, same old around here…

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