SADDLE RESTORATION & REPAIR
REPAIRS are charged based upon materials used and labor ($15.00 per hour). John keeps detailed time card records of every repair or project that he does. Since every saddle is made differently, it is difficult to give an accurate estimate for some repairs, though John will try to give a “ball-park” estimate for people who can bring the saddle in for an idea of what repairs need to be done. If John runs into a problem due to the way a saddle was constructed originally, he will contact you and tell you of the problem, the anticipated solution, and the adjusted price based on his “findings” once the saddle has been disassemble for repair, prior to continuing the repair.
Complete RESTORATION of a saddle is often less cost effective than buying a new custom saddle. The example of the “child saddle” and the “Ortiz” saddle (see photos) were “extreme” renovations, but were done because of the sentimental value and history of each saddle. In the case of the “Ortiz” saddle, John tore apart the saddle to repair it, only to find that the saddle tree itself was broken! Mr. Ortiz was heart-broken that his grandfather’s saddle essentially was not safe to repair, due to the broken tree; he did not want to “give up” on this saddle, so John asked his tree maker if he could make a duplicate tree, copying the Ortiz tree. The tree maker said “yes,” which required that John send him the broken tree to duplicate. It did take several months to get the new, duplicate tree back, but, lo and behold, John was able to successfully sew all of the original leather pieces onto the new, duplicate tree (with a few new needed pieces of leather)!
In the “child saddle” restoration, the converse occurred. All of the existing leather was unusable, but upon removal of the leather, the tree was still in good shape. In this case, John copied every existing leather piece to make a pattern of each piece, and these patterns were used to cut new leather pieces. The owner allowed John creative license on this project, so John made a completely different looking saddle using rough out leather and child appropriate in-set black designs.
EXAMPLE BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS
(click any photo for a slide show)