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How to Make a Saddle Cover

| Updated August 11, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Tissue paper or thin plastic

  • Cotton or breathable waterproof material

  • Black marker pen

  • Scissors

  • Pins

  • Large darning needle

  • Yarn

  • Elastic

  • Sewing machine

  • Needle and thread


  • Take care when using scissors near your saddle to avoid scratching it.


  • Old waxed cotton walking or hunting coats are a great source of material. The waterproof material can be periodically reproofed if necessary with wash-in or spray-on products.

Saddles are an expensive investment, and can be easily marked or damaged. A saddle cover will keep your saddle clean and dust-free, and help to protect it against rain splashes that can mark the leather. Covers are particularly useful if you need to transport or store your saddle. The cover can be made from cotton, which is cheap and easily washable, or ideally, from breathable waterproof material such as Gore-Tex®. Never make a cover from non-breathable waterproof material if your saddle is leather, as it may cause the leather to grow mold.

Remove stirrups and girth from your saddle. Lay tissue paper or plastic over the saddle and draw around the outline using the marker pen.

Lay the template flat on the floor and tidy up the pen lines. Draw a second line about 2 inches outside the first. Fold the template in half to check that it’s symmetrical, and cut it out following the outside guideline.

Pin the template to your material and cut it out. Turn in a 1/2 inch seam all the way around, and pin. Turn over the seam again by another 1/2 inch, methodically removing the pins and replacing them.

Sew around the seam leaving a gap of about 6 inches. Thread the darning needle with a length of yarn longer than the total length of the seam, and push it through the opening at one end of the seam. Gradually work the needle through the tube of the seam until it emerges at the other end of the opening.

Tie one of the pieces of yarn to the end of the elastic and draw the elastic through the seam. Holding both free ends of the elastic, pull them together until you get the desired amount of gather in the seam. Trim off any excess, cut off the yarn and knot the elastic firmly together. Close the seam by sewing the gap up by hand.

Fit over your saddle when not in use.