Most antique saddles are worn or damaged, and they have to be repaired or not the dilemma facing the collector and saddle maker. Museum curators with little knowledge of leather will wrinkle their hands and say that old saddles shouldn't do anything. Collectors at the other end of the spectrum acknowledge that ancient saddles are functional art and want to restore them to their initial functionality.
If the repair is possible, how will it impact the saddle's value?
The saddlemaker's skill and understanding of ancient saddle making methods are becoming very crucial in this region. With incompetence, careless work and repair work that is completely out of character for the saddle era, the value of fine used saddlescan be wasted. Antique saddles have been ruined by machine stitching, and the cost of fine hand stitching with linen thread should be borne by you. You can choose between saddlemakers who specialize in fine used saddle restoration or you can bring your collectible to the saddlemaker who can "solve any ancient saddle." It is possible to repair or replace any portion on an antique saddle.
It is possible to repair and recover some damaged and broken trees with rawhide, but in other trees the ancient wood will not resist the stress of drying and shrinking rawhide. A duplicate tree can be made in that case, and when a tree is duplicated a bar pattern more compatible with the horses of today can be used if the saddle is to be ridden. Repairs to the horn were overlooked on many antique saddles until the leather, wood and rawhide were worn down to the horn metal. Horns in this condition can often be rebuilt without taking the tree out of the saddle. Rigging leathers may seem sound outwardly. Where leather comes into touch with rusted rigging hardware, rusted screws or rusted nails, a black powdery type of rot will be altered. Needless to say, it might fail if it is stressed.