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DIY: Saddle cover

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That's what our saddle cover looks like. Which color would you choose? Photo: Malgré Tout

Are you crafty with a sewing machine, would you like to save a little bit of money, and would you like a specific color or fabric? If so, fashioning your own DIY saddle cover might be the perfect choice. 

Protecting your equestrian gear so it stays in good condition and extending its longevity is particularly important when it comes to your saddle. Using a cover when you are not riding, will protect it from dust, dirt, sun, and even rain if you need to cross the yard with your saddle. Luckily, there is a cost-effective and fun solution, and Malgré Tout has crafted a template for you to get creative and sew your own saddle cover. As we know, saddles can have many different shapes and sizes, so make sure you adjust the sizing to your own saddle. This template is made for a 17,5” dressage saddle. 

More DIY from Malgré Tout: DIY: Stirrup covers 


What will you need?

We encourage you to look for second-hand fabrics such as an old blanket, or leftover fabric, or even find something in the local thrift shop. This not only makes it an economical incentive but also an environmentally friendly solution. Fleece will add some cushioning, or you can even sew a second layer on the inside for extra protection if you fancy. 

Watch Malgré Tout’s tutorial video on how you can easily make your own saddle cover:

DIY by Malgré Tout

What you need: 

  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Scissors 
  • Measuring tape 
  • A safety pin 
  • Elastic (30-40cm long) 
  • A pen and a sewing machine

Step 1: Measure your saddle 

Measure your saddle from below the saddle flap up to the middle of the seat. Then measure the saddle from the front of the seat to the back over the cantle, right where the panel would touch the horse. Push the measuring tape flat down on the saddle when you measure. Make sure you add about 10 centimeters extra to your measurements. If you like it baggy, add another 10. 

Photo: Malgré Tout

Step 2: Cut the fabric

Now, fold your fabric in half, this way you will only need to cut it once. Where the fabric is folded you lay down the measurements of the seat plus at least 10 centimeters. On the long side below, you put the measurements for the flap and add 10 centimeters. Now comes the most challenging part of this project. From your measurements cut the shape of a saddle, always keep in mind to have a bit more fabric in, than too little. 

Photo: Malgré Tout

Step 3: Pind the edges for the hem

Now it should have the shape of a saddle and if you unfold it, it should have a long straight side and a bump at the other. Fold 3-4 centimeters depending on the width of your elastic the whole way around. Pin it if you feel that it is a slippery slope.

Photo: Malgré Tout

Step 4: Sew the hem 

An easy task is to sew the hem for the elastic the whole way around and leave a few centimeters open to be able to pull the elastic through. The corners can be tricky, but it is okay to fold the fabric a little to make it fit. 

Photo: Malgré Tout

Step 5: Elasticate it

Here you have two options. For our saddle, we measured out 35cm of elastic and drew a line on the elastic, but did not cut it yet. Alternatively, you can pull the elastic through and then put a safety pin in and see how tight or loose you want it by trying it on the saddle. Either way, pull the elastic through the hem by using a safety pin attached to the free end of the elastic. 

Photo: Malgré Tout

Step 6: Stitch the last bit 

Now, you only stitch that last open bit in the hem, flip the cover and you are done with your self-made saddle cover! Voila! 

We hope you can use this template, which is also a great gift idea, especially if you want to provide a personalized gift. 


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