ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Arts and Design»
  • Crafts & Handiwork

Western Saddle. How to Replace Padded Saddle Seat, Step by Step.

Updated on April 16, 2015
Original western saddle padded seat before replacement
Original western saddle padded seat before replacement

How to replace a western saddle padded seat.

In this article, I will show you the steps I went through to replace a padded seat on a western saddle. There was not anything wrong with this one except the customer wanted the seat to be suede. It's a personal preference on what type of leather to use but suede does offer more grip. If you are planning on replacing your seat, please understand that skills working with leather and understanding basic construction of a saddle is a must. Please don't tear apart a 3 to 4 thousand dollar saddle just because you want a different color without some experience in such work. I would recommend working on a few old, inexpensive, saddles first to develop your skills. Proceed at your own risk.

View under seat leather of western saddle after removal
View under seat leather of western saddle after removal

Removing the seat.

My first step was to remove the seat leather.

1. I removed the 2 conchos under each side of the cantle (rear of seat).

2. Then I removed the 2 conchos and carriers at front of saddle.

3. There are 2 more screws under the pommel (swells) that were removed.

4. I cut the stitching that attached the seat to the Cheyenne roll or cantle binding. An exacto knife works well for this.

5. I was then able to remove the entire seat piece.

Seat leather of western saddle after removing
Seat leather of western saddle after removing

Seat leather removed

A picture of the seat leather removed from the saddle.

1. With the seat removed, I proceeded to cut the stitching on the existing padded seat.

2. Once removed, you have to pull all the string remnants from the stitch holes.

3. You can use the old piece as a general pattern for your new seat but I don't cut it to fit at this point.

Pattern for western saddle seat decorative stitching
Pattern for western saddle seat decorative stitching

Pattern for decorative stitching

Decorative Stitching

My customer wanted a simple decorative stitch pattern sewn in the seat.

1. I just drew out a pattern for my stitching on heavy poster board.

2. It may take a few try's but it is not too difficult to come up with an eye pleasing pattern.

3. To transfer the pattern, you punch holes in the pattern which I do by running it through my sewing machine without thread.

Suede leather and padding to be used for western saddle seat replacement
Suede leather and padding to be used for western saddle seat replacement

Seat suede

Preparing the Seat Leather

I am using a medium brown suede for this seat.

1. I cut my piece just large enough to make sure it completely covers the area.

2. I do not cut it to shape at this point.

3. For a padded seat with stitching, I glue a synthetic batting to give the pattern depth.

Western saddle seat decorative stitching marked before sewing
Western saddle seat decorative stitching marked before sewing

Marked Pattern

Seat suede with decorative pattern marked.

I don't have an embroidery machine that will stitch my pattern for me.

1. I lay the pattern I created earlier onto my suede.

2. To mark my pattern, I pour baby powder on the pattern and rub it through the holes I created with my sewing machine.

3. It will leave a guide for you to stitch and wipes off easy when your done.

Western saddle decorative stitching done for replacement seat
Western saddle decorative stitching done for replacement seat

Sewn Pattern

Suede with Pattern Sewn in.

I sew with a machine but it could be done by hand.

1. I take my suede to the machine and painstakingly follow the pattern.

2. Even with a sewing machine, it will take some time to sew the pattern.

3. The more complicated the pattern, the longer it will take.

Fitting new seat leather at front to western saddle
Fitting new seat leather at front to western saddle

Seat Leather Fitting

Fitting the suede to the seat.

I start with fitting the front.

1. I position my suede on the seat with it on the saddle.

2. You want your decorative stitching to be even on both sides.

3. I use awls to punch through existing stitch holes to hold it down.

4. Once I get it where I want it, I remove the entire seat and mark the position from underneath.

5. You will have to remove the batting from where the leather will fold over the front.

Front of saddle seat sewn in western saddle seat replacement
Front of saddle seat sewn in western saddle seat replacement

Sewn Front.

Sewing the front of the seat.

I sew the front first to secure the leather before I cut the sides.

1. After removing the batten from under the seat, you will need to cut out strips from the leather so it will wrap smoothly around the front.

2. I glue it down and let it dry.

3. Once it is dry, I sew the leather down with my heavy machine but you could do it by hand also.

Cutting sides during western saddle seat replacement
Cutting sides during western saddle seat replacement

Sides of Seat Cut

Cutting in the sides of the seat.

I use pinking shears to cut in the sides of this seat.

1. Basically, I mark a little and cut a little to get my seat pattern cut correctly.

2. I have found that if you cut the seat to shape first, it may not cover all the existing stitch holes when you try to fit it.

3. Be careful when cutting because if you cut too much then you will have to start over with a new piece.

Sides of seat sewn during western saddle seat replacement
Sides of seat sewn during western saddle seat replacement

Sewn Sides

Sewing the sides down on your seat.

Fit your seat on the saddle before gluing because it may end up with a wrinkle if done off the tree.

1. It depends on how your saddle is made but you must fit the suede and glue it down on the tree because of the shape.

2. Once you glue it down and let the glue dry, you can sew the sides.

3. Again, I use a machine but it can be done by hand sewing.

Replacement of old padding in western saddle seat replacement
Replacement of old padding in western saddle seat replacement

Old Padding Replaced

Replace the old padding in your seat.

I guess you could use the old padding if it was in good shape but I replace it with new.

1. Some saddles have padding that just is not that good so I replace it with padding that does not absorb water and provides support.

2. You will have to remove the old and remove anything that will cause lumps in your finished seat.

3. Once I get everything smooth, I glue the padding down.

Movie Idea

Should they make a new Lonesome Dove?

See results
Fitting new seat leather to rear of saddle during western saddle seat replacement
Fitting new seat leather to rear of saddle during western saddle seat replacement

Seat Fitting

Fitting the full seat to the tree.

I wet the suede for this part so I can form it to the dish of the saddle.

1. After getting the suede damp, I push and pull on the leather so it fits nicely and smooth in all the curves of the seat.

2. Once I get it like I want it, I let it dry and glue it down.

3. You will then have to trim it around the Cheyenne roll.

Hand sewing cantle binding during western saddle seat replacement
Hand sewing cantle binding during western saddle seat replacement

Cantle Binding

Sewing the cantle binding.

The only way I know to do this is by hand.

1. I place my cantle binding of the seat leather and glue down, being careful to put it back the same as I took it off.

2. I hand sew the binding using two needles and thread but you could also use a saddlers awl.

3. I start in the middle and work my way down each side, one at a time.

4. It will take awhile but you are almost done.

Western saddle seat replacement completed
Western saddle seat replacement completed

All Done!

That's all there is to it!

That wasn't that painful was it? During the replacing of this seat, you may have noticed some things I didn't discuss. I also cleaned this saddle and replaced the sheepskin lining but I'll save that for another article.

Prim and proper or down and dirty?

Do you ride Western or English?

See results

New Guestbook Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Gary 20 months ago

      What kind of thread do you use to sew the pattern on the seat

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      wow, if you can sew like that, you can save money

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)