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That looks as professional as one would pay for(y):cool:(y):cool:

Did you have to order the latigo strings? If so, I might have ordered a whole spool, if you have a place to keep it weather proofed.

A little OT but not where the weather is concerned: I don’t have 20,000 miles on the tires on my Saturn; they weren’t cheap either.

It sits in the garage all the time yet the tires dry rotted and DH just put new Yokahamas on it. How do tires dry rot sitting in the garage? I don’t expect an answer to that but I am befuddled by it:oops:
 

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Nice repair. I expect you have to replace laces pretty often. Definitely more than I do!

My dad stayed friends with a fellow student from high school. The man became a priest and worked in Nicaragua for years. Once he asked for saddles. I really scrounged finding the best I could.

He apologized when he got them because he said they really only needed the trees. That the leather would rot off within months of use in jungle humidity and rain.

He later sent a picture of one. All the leather gone. Covered with woven plant fiber. With a woven surcingle to hold it in place. They rode burros. Fascinating.

What do the locals use in your area?
 

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I snapped my stirrup just above the fender on my western saddle. The leather lacing snapped. Currently it's tied with a string, but I was wondering how I could repair it... A single layer of leather lacing seems insufficient. Thanks for the timely post. Looks like that should work.

Fortunately for me, it snapped when I was mounting and my other leg was close to the ground so I landed on my feet. Otherwise it could have been a wreck. Amazing how much we rely on leather lacing - check those latigo straps too! Tiny bit of leather lacing holding your latigo to your saddle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice repair. I expect you have to replace laces pretty often. Definitely more than I do!

My dad stayed friends with a fellow student from high school. The man became a priest and worked in Nicaragua for years. Once he asked for saddles. I really scrounged finding the best I could.

He apologized when he got them because he said they really only needed the trees. That the leather would rot off within months of use in jungle humidity and rain.

He later sent a picture of one. All the leather gone. Covered with woven plant fiber. With a woven surcingle to hold it in place. They rode burros. Fascinating.

What do the locals use in your area?
our specific area has no real organic horse culture. No one I know here has a saddle. The ones who have horses keep them as exotic status symbols. Anyone who rides simply hops on bareback or throws a grain sack onto the horse and runs around for a little bit just for excitement.

Higher in the mountains above us, there is the tourist area of Baguio. They were heavily influenced by the American miners of the early 1900s who were mostly from western states. The indigenous people there enthusiastically embraced American Cowboy culture, and ride western saddles. Many of them are still made on an A fork tree as the early western saddles were.

On the island of Masbate, there is a long standing cattle and horse culture. It is the home of the Philippine National Finals Rodeo. I took some photos of the saddles I saw there a couple years ago.
 

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Hi Cord, long time . . .

I wonder about putting leather lacing back in your saddles, particularly when you have already seen it disintegrate from heat and humidity. I'd be inclined to look for alternative materials. Cosmetics aside, even that cheap plastic lacing might be a better choice in the long run. I'm tempted to suggest Nylon P-cord, but that might actually abrade the underlying leather if there was any movement between the leather pieces it was securing.
Looking at your foto, I see a lot of blackening in the old laces, and on the underlying leather. Makes me think there is more going on than just age and humidity; some reaction from residual chemicals involved in the tanning process maybe? I wonder if it would help to thoroughly soak/wash the lacing before use, maybe even use a little baking soda in the wash water to help neutralize any acidic residue?
But your lacing looks great. That is an artform in its own right. I once watched Dave from Synergist Saddles install some decorative lacing along the back of a seat. Zip, zip, zip, clip, and it was done. Would have taken me hours, if I could have done it at all.
A little OT but not where the weather is concerned: I don’t have 20,000 miles on the tires on my Saturn; they weren’t cheap either.

It sits in the garage all the time yet the tires dry rotted and DH just put new Yokahamas on it. How do tires dry rot sitting in the garage? I don’t expect an answer to that but I am befuddled by it:oops:
Hi Walk

Tires will "dry-rot" just sitting on the rack in the tire store. It's not really "rot" as we think of it, but a loss thru evaporation of solvents in the synthetic rubber. That's why you always want to check the production date on new tires. If the store is selling you tires that are already several years old . . .
Curiously, the high-end tires, the ones with nice supple sidewalls, that advertise a "smooth, quiet ride" are the ones that age fastest. Michelins are horrible this way, while the cheap-o Kumhos and Hankooks I generally get seem to last twice as long.
About the only thing I've heard of that slows the process is putting the tire in a plastic bag, and storing it in a cool, dark environment. Not really an option if you hope to roll around on it once in awhile.
Being a born cynic, I kinda wonder if the chemists who design tire compounds aren't being tasked with building in a "ticking clock" to more or less force consumers to buy new tires every few years. I certainly don't recall dry-rot being much of an issue with tires from yesteryear; seems like only in the last couple of decades that it has become a serious concern.
 

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@george the mule thank you for taking the time to give such a great (and easy to understand) explanation (y)(y)

I agree 200% with all of your cynicism:p:p

If They can make paper towels and toillet paper thinner, put less on the rolls, There are engineers who can figure out how to make tires deteriorate faster than they should, forcing us to spend money sooner:poop:
 
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I wonder if treating leather laces with a hot wax would help it last longer? I think it's equal parts camp fuel and parrafin wax. I've treated a lot of leather in it and it seems to help repel moisture and tighten the fibres up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hello George! Good to see you back.

My Best guess from the history of this saddle is that the leather was heavily treated when it lived in the arid climate of Colorado. Then it moved to the humid Southeast. My understanding of leather and the treatments for it is that the skin cells absorb moisture, either from the treatment or the atmosphere. With too much moisture, they expand to the point that the piece loses its structural integrity.

I bought it while I was still in Virginia. I was only able to use it once because I couldn’t find a horse that the antique Hope tree would fit. The lacing was still in pretty good shape then, but I could see trouble on the horizon. I got a spool of lacing from Tandy against this repair job.

When we shipped our stuff here, the saddle lived in a box for at least a year before I could get to it. The lacing essentially turned to jelly.

The original lacing was much more intricate and decorative than my rather practical style. But I’m anxious to start using this saddle again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I finished up the lacing this morning. My old, achey hands won’t allow me to do more than one section in a day. I had done the front sections some time ago. I couldn’t get the lacing needle up any higher without pulling the nails from the antique wooden tree. So I stopped there. I think it will hold.

The saddle is safe to ride again. You can see a bit of paracord attached to the rear chinch ring. That’s the best way I can think of to attach a crupper without a significant modification to the cantle.
1116354
 

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I finished up the lacing this morning. My old, achey hands won’t allow me to do more than one section in a day. I had done the front sections some time ago. I couldn’t get the lacing needle up any higher without pulling the nails from the antique wooden tree. So I stopped there. I think it will hold.

The saddle is safe to ride again. You can see a bit of paracord attached to the rear chinch ring. That’s the best way I can think of to attach a crupper without a significant modification to the cantle.
View attachment 1116354
Wow, looks great!
 

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You did a fantastic repair job and the saddle looks great(y)(y)

But —— I gotta say, that saddle looks about as comfortable as a cement block, my back hurts just looking at it, lollol

It makes me glad I can ride (used to anyway) without a saddle:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You did a fantastic repair job and the saddle looks great(y)(y)

But —— I gotta say, that saddle looks about as comfortable as a cement block, my back hurts just looking at it, lollol

It makes me glad I can ride (used to anyway) without a saddle:p
Thanks.

Oddly, it’s the most comfortable saddle I own. It sits me right where I need to be, with the stirrups in just the right place. Could be because I learned to ride in one of those old A-fork saddles as a kid.

As a teen, I had a nice show saddle, but my favorite was an old, hard seat, light, and small youth saddle. I used that one on all the rough critters I rode. Deep seat, small pommel, plenty of movement in the stirrup leathers.

Then, I spent most every day for two years in a McClellan with the cavalry. I went home on leave during that time and rode my old show saddle. It felt like I was 10 feet away from the horse’s back. I’ve not really cared for those cowboy easy chairs since then.
 

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I have no doubts your repairs will outlive the rest of the saddle:)

Skippy, as usual, looks like she is ready to hit the trails - she is such a cutie😘
 
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