The Velvet

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3B Visalia-style old-timer saddle The Velvet was built for customer Maura, who lives off the grid and raises horses in Italy. Velvet is both the name of the horse for which this saddle was built, and the name of her favorite childhood fictional character, Velvet Brown from National Velvet.

In the story, Velvet bows three times to the full moon and asks to be the best rider in England. This image stuck with Maura and she's always loved the romance of the moon and moonstones.

This is a classic 3B saddle.

Finished weight just 28 lbs.

3B Visalia-style old-timer saddle

Custom, handmade wood/rawhide tree from Rod Nikkel
3-1/2" fork
5" Taylor cantle, 40 degrees and 1" dish
3-1/2" tall horn
5/8 single ring "spider" rigging
All-leather ground seat
Bronze hardware from Herb Bork
Hermann Oak skirting, Big Horn latigo
Cantle binding and horn cap stitched with coad-waxed Irish linen
Rawhide-laced stainless steel hobble ring
Nettles walnut stirrups
Weight fully loaded 28 lbs

3B Visalia-style old-timer saddle 3B Visalia-style old-timer saddle  
3B Visalia-style old-timer saddle with inlaid agate 3B Visalia-style old-timer saddle  
3B Visalia-style old-timer saddle with 5/8 rigging

rod nikkel saddle tree

The Rod Nikkel tree in this saddle - custom built for both horse and rider

 

moonstone inlaid in cantleback

The cantle back and horn cap have inlaid rainbow moonstones that flouresce colorfully in sunlight.

moonstone inlaid in horn cap  
3B saddle in Italy

 

This is the Velvet at home - with the hills and mountains of Italy in the background and a set of soft, comfortable elk chinks on the fencepost.

"Usually when I put a saddle on Stella she lays her ears back a bit and gets a disgusted look in her eye...momentarily.  This time, the first time...not.  She stood calmly and relaxed.   I cinched it--the first center fire rigging ever--and she seemed alert and curious and like...'hmmmmm, hmmmmmm, this is nice'.  No irritation at all in her demeanor--seemed happy."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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