Rio Rondo Enterprises
PO Box 111
Copeland, KS 67837

Alternate Saddle Patterns to Fit Etched Corner Plates & Saddle Accessories

Traditional Scale

Version 1.0    1/27/2006

With the introduction of our new Etched Plates, you likely will need to make some modifications to your patterns for an accurate fit and to be able to get the full benefit from all of the plates. This may also be applicable when using our standard Pewter plates.

These modified patterns are provided as a helpful service for the exclusive use of our customers. Please do not redistribute them, but instead refer folks to our website here at

Over time, western saddle styling changes according to various fads and trends. While our basic Western Saddle Kit is a middle-of-the-road option, you may wish to make some changes to suit your fancies (or current trends). Learning to do so will provide you many new options for saddles you create.

Current show saddles tend to have very "deep" skirts, when viewed from top to bottom, (leaving a lot more area to show off fancy silver and plates!) There also may be quite a bit of distance between where the bottom of the Upper Skirt rests in relation to the Lower Skirt. Other areas of the saddle such as Seat pieces and Fenders may also be cut differently, to accommodate even more decoration. In addition, there are many variations to be found in how saddles are rigged up (rigging plates, low-set dees, "vestigial" rear cinch billets and more) that you may wish to replicate in miniature.

To Use these Patterns, simply substitute in the new pattern pieces for existing saddle kit pattern pieces. If you are working with the supplies from our Western Saddle Kit, please be aware that to make larger skirts, you will require extra Tooling Leather (Part #LT2) or Tooling Calf (Part# LCT8), and Chamois (Part #LCH2) to account for the increased size.

Advance planning needs to go into a saddle that you plan to outfit with decorative plates before you trace and cut the leather.

The Following Options wll need to be determined in advance:

Common Rigging Options:

Slot Rigging
Front Dee Rigging
Front Dee Rigging
and Rear Slot
Front and Rear
Dee Riggings
Dropped Front
and Rear Dee

You can use either the standard cinch slots provided on the lower skirt patterns, or add dee ring riggings (or a combination). Shown are four common variations.

Three front rigging strap patterns are included. You only need one per saddle. The "curved" ones allow you to place the rigging strap behind the shoulders, rather than under them. During assembly, Rigging straps (if used) should be located on top of the Lower Skirt, and under the saddle tree.

If you are using a front Dropped Rigging, you may need to adjust the length of your front cinch (it may need to be a bit shorter.)

Shaded areas on the ends of the rigging straps indicate where the ends should be skived and folded over for tabs to glue down. Use thin, but strong leather for the rigging straps (skive if necessary) for less bulk under the tree.

If using Rear Dee Riggings, DO NOT cut rigging slots in rear skirts.

Slots with a GREY outline are for inset plates. Slot with a BLACK outline are for plates to be set flush with the skirt's edge.

Two slot positions are provided for the front breastcollar rigging dee. Use either the vertical or the slanted one (not both!) You can place your own slots in this area if you prefer the dees be located differently.

Special Notes:
We've provided an optional "curved" cantle pattern as an alternative to the straight one included in our Saddle Kit.

Alternative Stirrup patterns are included that will correspond to various Stirrup Panel plates. Flip over alternate Seat Piece and Fender pattern pieces to create the opposite matching sides for these items.

Upper and lower skirt patterns can be created in "halves" (left and right) if needed. The dotted line indicates the centerline of the pattern.

Corner Plate #P151 (Concho style) is a little longer than other corner plates, so if you are using a rear cinch slot you will need to adjust its position so the plate will not cover it.

Key to Corner Plates Sheets and Saddle Accessories Sheets

Corner Plate Sheet

Saddle Plates

A — 2 Large Corner Plates
B — 4 Medium Corner Plates
C — 4 Small Corner Plates
D — 1 Cantle Plate
E — 1 Horn Cap
F — 6 Saddle Conchos

Saddle Accessories Sheet


A — 1 Gullet Plate
B — 2 Front Rigging Dees
C — 2 Rear Rigging Dees
D — 2 Breastcollar Rigging Dees
E — 2 Stirrup Panels
F — 2 Slot Covers
G — 2 Rear Billet Tips
H — 1 Latigo Keeper
J — 1 Buckle Keeper
K — 2 Rear Cinch Buckles

Saddle Plate Placement

PA = Saddle Accessories Items
Saddle Key

To Use the Pattern Pieces:

Print out the two pattern pages (Pages 3 and 4 of the PDF document) onto paper. Heavy paper or card stock is best. Then cut out the pieces and trace around them on the back (flesh) side of the leather and carefully cut the leather pieces out.

Modified Patterns PDF

Alternatively, you may simply print out the pages, and use tooling film to trace the lines of the patterns, then transfer the pattern to the leather as you would as in our Western Saddle Kit, and cut the pieces out.

Special Notes on Tooling:

Trace the pattern outline of the parts you will be tooling onto tooling film with pencil. One by one, place each plate onto the tooling film in its appropriate location and trace its outline onto the film with pencil.

Now you can work your tooling pattern around the plates. While you can go ahead and attach the plates directly over tooled areas, you may wish to customize the pattern to make the plates more a part of the design. Additionally, why go to all the trouble of tooling areas that will be covered up?

Once you have completed your tooling pattern on the film, put the film pencil-side-up on top of the leather piece (leather should be lightly and evenly dampened). Using a small ball stylus or leather tracing tool apply light pressure to impress the outline of your design on the leather.

Please be aware that the leather can easily warp and stretch while you're working it, causing the plates to "not quite fit" when it's ready to assemble. Check the plates against your tooling work frequently, so you can push and pull the leather around a bit to keep things lined up as you go.

©2006, 2018 Rio Rondo Enterprises
— All Rights Reserved —

These patterns are provided for the exclusive use of our customers,
and may not be redistributed in any manner without prior written consent.

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