Saddle Repairs

January 31, 2014

I have two saddles with some damage to their seats.

One is a 17 1/2 medium Crobsy Mark VI.  Its an older saddle, that I only use on rare occasion, but it fits just about anything and its not really worth selling because of the damage to the seat.  Other than the damage its in rather good condition.  But the seat is really messed up.  It had ripped along the seam on each side of the seat, which has continued to grow, and then to spider web across the seat.

The other one is Poe’s saddle. Its an 18 inch medium Ainsley Chester Cross Country Saddle. It is in fantastic condition  and is incredibly comfortable.  I love it.  But it has a small rip in the seat along the seam.

I did a little internet research, talked to a few leather workers and some people who specialize in saddle repairs.  With my mind set, I called a leather supply company and explained what I had in mind, and they selected and mailed me some butter soft leather and a specific cement glue.

Last night, I jumped in with both feet and got busy.  I cut a piece of the leather to patch the Ainsley.  I cut is quite a bit wider and longer, so it would more than fully cover the rip.  I cleaned the area, applied a little of the glue into the rip, and allowed it to harden, and then pressed it closed.  Then I applied glue to the saddle’s ripped area, and the back of the leather patch.  I allowed them to harden some, and then delicately applied the patch and then pressed it tightly.

Then I moved onto the Crosby.  I was originally going to patch the rips on both sides, but since it had spider webbed through the center I decided to cover the whole area.  I cut the leather to the right size, applied the glue, allowed it to harden, and the placed the patch.  I then spent a few minutes pressing down on the patch.

Now they just need to sit over night and I’ll give the Ainsley a try tomorrow.  yea!

They actually came out a lot better than I expected, and look much better in person than in the photos.

A little tid-bit I learned in this experience is that these rips are caused by riding in jeans.  The inner seam of the jeans rubs and puts pressure on this delicate part of the seat which eventually breaks down the leather and leads to a split.  I personally can’t stand riding in jeans.  That same seam rubs the delicate skin on my leg, just like the saddle.  But all of my saddles have come to me used, so apparently some of their previous owners did ride in jeans.

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