Friday, April 15, 2016

d.i.y: saddle cover

I have a second saddle that I really like, but I've loaned out a couple times, and will probably be selling (I want the dressage version, not this AP model). I don't want to leave it naked and potentially scratch the saddle up moving it around. But the only cover I have for it is slippery, doesn't quite fit, is always sliding off, and just basically annoying and useless. So I decided to make a "fancy" saddle cover.

This requires precision skills. You'll need:
1. Beautiful, expensive fabric
2. A fancy sewing machine
3. Lots of specialized sewing notions
4. Perfect saddle measurements
5. Your undivided attention
6. Hours and hours of time

Oh, never mind. Who am I kidding? You'll need:
1. Random fabric (old flannel sheet, about 5x4)
2. Scissors
3. Some elastic (2yards for you fancy measuring types)
4. Newspaper/something for template
5. I was distracted by Big Bang Theory reruns
6. Total time: less than one hour.

You can be extra fancy and use things like an iron, or pins, or even a needle. I didn't need that stuff.

naked saddle!
roughly traced outline

Put saddle on a rack, or chair or whatever works. Roughly drape newspaper and trace an outline.

Add 6 inches. Try to account for depth of saddle and 1 inch "hem" line. I added a bit more in back because of the deep cantle on this particular saddle. If you keep packs you want to cover, I'd measure with those attached. Adjust accordingly.

pattern expanded onto fabric

Fold fabric in half, put down your template and cut it out.
fabric cut out before elastic installed

Now here is the hardest part…fold the hem over to the inside, cut a little hole through the double thickness, and stick your elastic through. This is where it is nice to have fabric that doesn't fray much, like a flannel or fleece. (I did another cover in orange polarfleece. Glorious.)

scissors + elastic + folded hem = weave together

Repeat. Every couple-three inches. A whole bunch. All the way around. Wow, you're back where you started! (78 times on this cover to be precise)

Pull the elastic to desired stretchiness and tie the ends together. I just tie a bow, so I can adjust if needed.

elastic all woven through and tied

Put it on your saddle.

much better with saddle cover!

Now you're fancy!


  1. Your diy cover rocks! Extra points for orangey polka dots. :D

    1. I was glad I had that old material. Usually old sheets become drop cloths, this one hadn't been destroyed yet!

  2. This is fantastic; love a no-sew project!

    Nice saddle too, really like that high & solid cantle.

    1. Thanks. It is a really secure and comfy saddle!

  3. I might do that, how clever and easy!
    Thanks for the step by step instructions !

  4. Great tutorial- I should really make one for my spare saddle. Ohh yes Freeform, I've heard much about them while I was treeless saddle shopping; would love to try one someday.

    1. If you make one be sure to post pictures! The Freeform is a great saddle, I just prefer to ride with a long leg and have a big knee roll, so hopefully the dressage version is in my future!

  5. Awesome post! I made my saddle cover this afternoon and am so thrilled at how it turned out! Can I post a link to your page on my blog as well so I can give you credit for the idea!! :)

    1. Glad it worked for you! Yes, please post a link back, I'd love to see your version!

    2. Thank you! :0 Here is the link to mine:

  6. Thank you! We're military moving overseas and I'm deathly nervous the movers are going to slaughter my saddles. Couldn't find anything to cover the dressage that wasn't uber pricey. This saves the day. :)