Wednesday, April 17, 2024

My Newberry Saddles


 A friend asked about my Terry Newberry saddles, and in the way of blogs, what started out as simple attachments has blossomed into a post.  She will be especially pleased with this first photo.  It's my copy of Miss Dainty Doc, a Stone ISH from 2002, a portrait of a cutting horse she owned and showed.  The saddle is circa 1998.  I'm pretty sure the saddle blanket is made by Elsie Partanen.  The bridle, somewhat naturally, is from my own collection of TSII tack -- one of the few snaffles in my braid display box.  You will hear me complain that grey is not my favorite color on a horse, but this one belies that:  I love her and still have her.  My only grey ISH, her name is Dolly and she was a gift from a (different) friend.

My first Terry Newberry saddle was acquired in 1999.  I had the honor of meeting the man at BreyerFest, and on the spot, we swapped.  He got a copy of the Guide plus some cash, and I got this:

I apologize for the weird background color.  I really don't know where that came from!  These are old photos.  The Newberry saddles were strikingly detailed, with heavy trees and beautiful finishes.  Terry had been a full-scale saddle maker, and it showed.

Here's a photo I found of the above saddle, this time on a horse:

Oh those happy days.  This was a horse somehow connected with a youth magazine, named Windy by the Stone factory.  With my own ideas about naming, I called him Halietus [the Latin name for the Bald Eagle].

Up through 2004 I had the opportunity to collect two more Newberrys, bringing my total to four.  My dig through my 4 photo boxes [1978 - 2010] yielded one more, a shot of another Stone horse wearing a beautiful chestnut brown tooled set with silver corner plates.  Back then, with rare exceptions, all corner plates were cast pewter from Rio Rondo.

 The seat on this saddle is soft brown leather, very comfy for the rider...  The bridle, another snaffle, is none other than my 44th birthday bridle.  I like to make a piece for myself on my birthday and this was one of them,.... This bridle will make a cameo appearance in my next book.  The blanket also was cross stitched by me.

The horse was designed by D'arry Jone Frank and released in 2001 as part of Stone's Signature Series.  He was called Maverick but also Black Pounce.  My own name for this horse is Samothrace.

The fourth saddle had no photographs, so to the digital camera we go.  It's mildly alarming to think of all the tack I haven't photo-documented --!  So much of it was collected when computers didn't exist in my life, when film cameras were all we had,...  and photos were expensive.  Hard to believe today but they ranged from 27c to 69c each and sometimes more...

Anyway:  Terry Newberry Western saddle made in 2002, a luscious chestnut brown basketweave.  I'm so glad I don't have to pick a favorite, but this one has always moved me with its genuine rawhide accents.  The stirrups, cantle rim and neck collar (a decorative wrap at the base of the neck, on the shoulders)(I don't have a word for these things!) are all made from real rawhide.  The cantle and neck collar are planed so thin you could see through it, a fabulous skill for a model tackmaker.  The blanket was made by June Newberry, his wife.

There is a tiny hoofpick case attached to the rear cinch billet!!  Can you believe it!!  No other saddle I have carries such a detail.  A pinhead acts as the snap.

Front quarter view:

For all my praise, this saddle did not arrive with a breastcollar.  I carefully chose some thin leather and created one to match, as close to his style as I could get, using the Rio Rondo basketweave tool, the same as he'd used for the rest of the saddle.

Terry's saddles show great mastery of both detail and strength.  I love their weight, their smoothness and their accuracy.  He was generous and gifted, and tack collectors miss him very much.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful saddles. Thank you for sharing them.