Monday night I had the opportunity to drop my saddle off with Betty-Lynn Tattersall. What an amazing lady.
They have a little workshop on their farm that had so many different sewing machines, rolls of leather, pictures and all kinds of other neat stuff to look at. She was working on a new saddle when I arrived. When I brought my saddle in Betty-lynn and her husband began to look over every detail of my saddle. It was so interesting to listen to. They think my saddle is much older than was originally thought. I was told the saddle was 10-20 years old but upon inspection, Betty-Lynn thinks the saddle is closer to being made in the 1920's. How neat is that? She said that the quality of the leather and the fine stitching details were non-existent in saddles of today. We don't have that kind of leather anymore (different tanning processes) nor do we have the sewing machines they did back then.
It turns out that not all that much needed to be done to the saddle to fix it up. She was going to patch some holes in the linen underside, replace/lengthen the overgirth (I can baaarely get it done up as is!), touch up some stitching that's come undone, replace the sandwich case D's and replace some nails that have come out in the gullet.
I'm supposed to go back tomorrow to pick my saddle up. I'm really excited to see it and I'm even more excited to be able to stay a bit longer visiting with them this time. I didn't get a chance to see Betty-Lynn's sidesaddle "museum". She has a large collection of sidesaddles that she's acquired over the years and fixed up. I can't wait to see it! She was telling me that she has a set of matching saddles; a man's western and a lady's sidesaddle. How neat!
I asked her how she got into making her own sidesaddles and she told me that she got one sidesaddle that was in such bad shape that she just started taking it apart. Once she had it apart and started to repair it and put it back together she said "I can do this!" and found a tree maker to get her started. And the rest is history! She's sold her saddles all over the world.
She also makes sidesaddle outfits and showed me a binder full of pictures of what she's made. I think I need another couple of outfits........ hehe
It seemed like I was only there for a short period of time but in reality it was over an hour. I really didn't want to leave but I had to meet up with a coworker. It was so neat to have someone that shares the same passion for sidesaddles to talk to in person. I could have sat there all night listening and learning.
Anyways, that's all for tonight! It's been a long day and I'm tuckered out!