A long time ago, I ordered a set of monograms from Swanky Saddle. The products look amazing, and definitely add some class to whatever they are put on, so I was pretty excited to have them to stick on.
When I finally got them, I was super excited, and stuck one of the monograms on right away. Then I couldn’t bring myself to stick anything in my saddle, so I literally did nothing with the other ones. (granted, the other one was not done due to laziness.)
But now I finally have. Let’s get started.
Cell Phone Vinyl
I put on the vinyl sticker immediately on my cell phone. At the time, the cell phone was new, the case was new, and it looked pretty sweet. I thought it would be pretty cool if I ever took a mirror selfie, I’d be able to see my monogram, almost like a real life watermark! But having it monogrammed did not not inspire any mirror selfies (maybe a good thing?) so I don’t have any pictures of it when it was pristine. I stuck it on there about September of last year, so it’s been a few months. Here it is now:
The sticker started coming off almost immediately, and there were many mornings at work spent trimming off the bits of monogram that were desperately clinging to life. Now that it has been on there a few months, I think it’s finally decided what parts of the monogram are allowed to stay, as I haven’t lost any of it in a while. Possibly it thinks these should be my new initials, whatever it is that can be made out there.
One might assume that a cell phone gets the most handling out of any object, and there’s bound to be some wear and tear, so I’m not saying that monogram was terrible. Perhaps it needed longer to set before going into use. Since you can see my case is pretty beat up too, I’m thinking I’ll get a new case, put another monogram on it, and then let it rest for a while. Maybe then the full monogram will stay on there.
At only $6, I think it was an acceptable value, and I’d buy it again.
Heat Transfer Breeches
These were a disaster. I pulled out my iron, ironing board, and some fresh, clean, unworn breeches.
The instructions recommend “cotton” setting, so I put it at that. On my first attempt, I discovered that is way, way too high.
Okay, fine, user error I guess. I turned down the iron to the lowest setting, waited a while for it to cool, and tried again, following the instructions.
Still too high?? I’m not sure, but some of it did stick.
Unfortunately, I can’t just stick it back on there to try again, since the monogram is all wrinkled and ripped now. This all could have been user error, but the monograms seem pretty finicky.
Next time I’ll just go with a thread monogram.
Interlocking Monogram Saddle Plate
The grand enchilada of the bunch. It retails at $30, and requires lead time to be made, but I recall them being pretty fast about it. I think I got mine in about a week. I definitely remember being surprised at how fast it arrived.
Looking at the website now, I see they have added a few more styles that are pretty neat. I might have picked a different one if I had seen it when I ordered, but what’s done is done, and now I have the one I have.
Saddle plates scare me a little. It’s putting an alteration on a saddle, and what happens if the saddle does not agree with it? I was envisioning the saddle suddenly exploding as I gently tapped the nails in place. I don’t know what’s in saddles, it’s possible that such a thing could happen.
Luckily it seems my saddle is not made of explosive, and nothing happened. I later rode in it, and did not stay in 2-point the whole time to avoid upsetting the saddle (although I probably need the exercise).
To put it on, I cleaned up my saddle (I guess the saddle will never again be cleaned under the plate?) and prepared myself mentally for the saddle destruction. Swanky Saddle recommends a professional do the deed, but let’s be serious, no one sends it to a professional to do. They know that too, because under that disclaimer, they tell you how to do it yourself. After carefully reading the instructions, I did not do as recommended though. I placed the plate where I wanted it, put the nail in place, and then dropped it 50 times because the nail is insanely tiny and my fingers are not that nimble.
Dave came over to help. He held the monogram in place, and I gently tapped the nail with a hammer, causing the nail to fall to the floor. What really was required to do this was tiny fingers, and neither Dave nor I fit the bill.
So still, this isn’t Swanky Saddle’s fault. Eventually we (Dave) got the monogram on there. The nail got bent, and now it’s slightly off center (AHGG THIS WILL DRIVE ME INSANE FOR THE REST OF THE SADDLE’S LIFE!) but it’s on there. It does look pretty good.
I’m not sure yet about durability. Since this isn’t vinyl like the other two orders, it could last much longer.
I promptly forgot the monogram was there, and proceeded to cart the saddle around, and ride in it. It’s still there. I feel like that’s a good sign.