Pounding and Finishing.jpg

We are no longer building saddle trees. We have two saddle fit videos available on our westernsaddlefit.com websiteWestern Saddle Fit - The Basics, aimed at riders, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo while the six hour series Well Beyond the Basics, aimed more for professionals but understandable by anyone, is available by streaming on Vimeo. (We left this website up because we have had many requests to keep the information available.)

Pounding Trees and Finishing

Now for the time consuming and very boring chore of pounding trees.  We count on it taking two weeks for a tree to fully dry, depending on hide thickness and humidity.  And they get “babysat” that whole time.

PF_1.jpg PF_2.jpg
The trees are dried on flat pieces of marble and weighted to keep them from twisting
as the rawhide dries.
PF_3.jpg PF_4.jpg
Initially, the seams need to be pounded twice a day so they lay flat.
PF_5.jpg PF_6.jpg
As the trees dry, tensor bandages are used on the horns for part of the days to allow time for the hide to dry and yet keep the rawhide tight to the horn. At just the right stage of drying, the nails are put into the seat.  Earlier and they can cause bunching
of the rawhide.
PF_7.jpg PF_8.jpg
There is a stage when it looks like the seams are as dry as they can get.  But they are fooling you. That’s the time if you really get after them, they flatten out fully and stay that way.
PF_9.jpg PF_10.jpg
The rawhide loses thickness as it dries, so the nails have to be reset at least daily. And when you think you are done – you have to reset them again…
PF_11.jpg PF_12.jpg
Once the nails have been good for a few days, the trees get two coats of marine varnish to protect the rawhide and they are ready to ship.