Have you ever had a saddle that you just adored? The one that you’d dreamed about? The one you said would need to be pried from your dead hands? And that no longer fits your current horse or discipline? Maybe one of those old, flat equitation saddles that are hard to even give away? To keep that dream alive, you can repurpose your saddle into a purse.
For me, that saddle is my County Extreme. I loved that saddle. I bought for my Trakehner gelding, Kronefurst and it took me on many adventures. Unfortunately, with a wide tree, it was a non-starter on Freedom. I had hopes that it might fit Zelda but even with some reflocking and creative padding, it never was a good choice. Plus, while on Kroni, I’d felt secure and balanced, it didn’t recreate that feeling on Zelda.
You can turn your saddle into an “item of decor” or, as I’ve recently discovered, you can have it repurposed as a pocketbook. After all, saddles are made from remarkable leather, so why not give it a second life?
Tanya Bradley of Bradley Leatherwork makes bags to made to order from either a client’s saddle or one from her large supply. She has a wide range of designs and her prices are very reasonable. She also has a bag made from old boots! I particularly like her tag line: “Your Tackroom Re-imagined”.
Tanya hand stitches her bags using traditional methods and waxed thread.
The Original Saddle Bag, is as the name suggests, was the first bag to be made from a vintage saddle. It uses an iconic design that enables all your contents to be carried safely and securely. The bag is made from the saddle leather using a new leather gusset to ensure strength style and longevity. The gusset is made using beautiful new leather in a choice of colors.
The size of the Original Handbag varies greatly depending on the size of the saddle used.Prices start at £225 if you supply the saddle and from £245 if using my saddles.The customer can be involved in the finished result to choose colours, strap and closure design.
My own favorite of her designs is the Tan Bunny with a strap long enough to carry over your shoulder which is £90.
Cassandra Severino and her shop, Calyse, also works magic on your saddles — transforming it in just 6-8 weeks.
Here’s how it works. Choose your preferred style from the descriptions and photos. With most saddles, it is possible to get two bags from one saddle. If you are interested in having multiple bags made from your saddle, your “preferred” style will be the one she begins the project with, allowing her to determine whether or not a second one can be made.
Each repurposed saddle bag will have its own unique character from the coloring, the way it has worn, age marks and how it is laid out on the pattern. I’m so happy to be able to provide this service for you and love hearing your background stories about your saddle! Thank you for letting me bring new life to your beloved saddle.Cassandra Severino
Do you have a favorite saddle that you’d like to turn into a handbag?