What to do with that old saddle — Paint it!

Beezie Madden Painted saddle

Artist Lisa Curry Mair, of Canvasworks Designs, paints amazing floorcloths and murals. But she also paints saddles. She recently painted one of Beezie Madden’s saddles for an auction to benefit the Glenayre Equestrian Program.

She was kind enough to post instructions on how to paint a saddle, but unfortunately, while I have an old saddle kicking around, I don’t have the talent to paint it.

I am painting a saddle. It will be auctioned as a fundraiser for the Glenayre Equestrian Program on February 1. The saddle is one of Beezie Madden’s (Olympic Gold medalist and USEF 2019 International Equestrian of the Year). I am painting it with a Greek theme to represent the 2004 Olympics in Athens, where Beezie brought home the gold.

Original saddle

Saddle prep

Creating the design

The other Side
This is the other side of the saddle. It’s gorgeous on both sides.

9 thoughts on “What to do with that old saddle — Paint it!

  1. Eeeek. Just the idea of stripping a saddle like that goes against every grain in my horseman’s soul. It’s beautiful work, I guess, and she has far more artistic talent than I ever will…but still..I can’t bring myself to do that to a saddle. That…and I just don’t have the room in my house to display it.

  2. If I had the artistic talent, I’d do it in a heart beat, but to an old saddle that either had a broken tree or was one of those ancient foam paneled saddles that’s only for decoration. The hard part would be taking a pliant, usable saddle and stripping it.

  3. I know. I cringe, just thinking of it. Sometimes, you go into a restaurant with a (usually) Western or Cowboy motif, and you see this old saddles, the apple framed ones, dry rotting on the wall. Makes you want to just go out and shoot the poor thing, out of decency and respect, rather than hanging it to get mildewed or dry rotted to death.

  4. While I admire the artwork, and don’t mind seeing this done to the older Argentine imports, I think a perfectly useable high end French saddle could have been better served by being donated to a young rider in need.

    1. I agree, but I think in this case, since the saddle was done for an auction to benefit a riding school, that the provenance of the saddle was important. It likely raised enough money to help many riders in need.

  5. I bought an old saddle w a broken tree for dirt cheap, specifically to do something like this.

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