I didn't read the whole thread but one thing I've done in the past that works very well without soaking the leather (you should have a decent in good condition, oiled saddle to do this, not sure how it would work with cheap leather).
1) put saddle on a saddle rack
2) get a 2x4, it needs to be at least 1 ft longer than the width of your saddle
3) get stirrup one, twist the direction you want them to stay, put the 2x4 in
4) go to the other side, do the same thing with the end of your wood
And your done! It needs to sit for a while but works great