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 saddles of the old west (pics)
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puddleplasher
Clinician



USA
1296 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2008 :  11:23:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit puddleplasher's Homepage Send puddleplasher a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Over Thanksgiving vacation I went to the Hubbard Museum of the West, formerly the Museum of the Horse. They had a handful of interesting saddles on display, so I took a few pictures for everyone to look at.

A Pony Express saddle:


A couple of McClellan saddles:

1904 model

1914 packer mule model

A western saddle with a "Texas-style" horn?

The stirrups seemed to be set WAY back on this one...

Another with a thinner, "California-style" horn, according to the note the museum had next to it; something to do with how ropers prefer to halt their cows: the Texans stopped them hard, the Californians played them more. Anyone out there who's done some roping who can confirm that?


A fancy vaquero saddle:



I was impressed by the very high cantle on this one, as well as the tooling:


A sidesaddle:


Toy horses in the kid's area:


They also had a model you could try roping from:

(no, don't know who the people are)

They had a large variety of carts too:


Any of you saddle-knowledgeable types have any comments? I'm sure there's more to notice about these than the general-public single-paragraph blurbs that the museum had next to each.

'plash

Pepper sez: "Don't forget the horse!!"
'Plash's Ride Log

hmeyer
Clinician



USA
2194 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2008 :  09:34:25 AM  Show Profile Send hmeyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Very interesting, 'plash. Some of those old saddles, like the Pony Express saddle, don't look like they'd be too comfy, or secure.
I think you're right about the roping saddles and letting the dally slip some. The steel horn would allow a lot of slippage. I wonder if they wrapped it with something? Today, some use a rubber horn wrap for less slippage, or a rawhide wrap which will allow a little more.
That dummy horse looks much easier to rope off of than mine, who seems to want to keep moving! I have not yet gotten the hang of driving with one (or no) hands, and roping with the other. You're probably much better at that with your bow and arrow shooting!

"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A manís soul canít be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer


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PaintGal
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
5300 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2008 :  11:57:09 AM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great pics! I saw lots of old saddles at the Wild Bill Hickock Museum in Cody, WY, this summer. None of them looked all that comfortable!

Karen ~ Trails
&
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN


"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."



~~~~~~
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hoopski
Advanced Rider

USA
419 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2008 :  2:51:45 PM  Show Profile Send hoopski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
[i]Originally posted by puddleplasher
A Pony Express saddle:



Most of what you are seeing here is the mochila. The mochila had pouches (as you can see) to hold the mail. It was transfered from saddle to saddle as the riders changed horses, and held down by the rider's weight. It would be interesting to see what the saddle underneath consisted of. From the horn and cantle in the picture, I'd guess that it might be little more than a rawhide over wood tree with not much leather covering.
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2008 :  5:45:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting pictures, for sure! Don't you just love seeing old saddles and carts/carriages? Thanks for taking us along to the museum!

EZ2SPOT
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puddleplasher
Clinician



USA
1296 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2008 :  5:54:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit puddleplasher's Homepage Send puddleplasher a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was particularly interested in the various carts, as I have never quite been able to really understand how they were put together, how the axle allowed the wheels to turn, and cornered, and still supported the wagon body. Still not sure I "get it". But the wide variety of spring arrangements was also interesting, many takes on a common problem.

Having ridden in a McClellan for many years, I can tell you they aren't exactly comfy, with their hard seats and lots of things to chafe on. But talk about close contact, you can really feel your horse!

'plash

Pepper sez: "Don't forget the horse!!"
'Plash's Ride Log
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ILoveJoe
Clinician



USA
2499 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2008 :  11:17:01 AM  Show Profile Send ILoveJoe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That pony express saddle looks slippery as heck!

I particularly like the vaquero style of saddle, all the tooling and handwork is beautiful.

Some of those saddle are darn heavy looking!
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2008 :  05:31:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for taking us along to the museum.

The side saddle looks a lot like Mrs Hook's antique Champion & Wilton except the stirrup has a toe cap.

The vaquero saddle is built like the Charo side side saddle with the tree exposed and looped leather attachments for the girth.

Good shot of the wagons and carriages.

Nice pictures.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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hoopski
Advanced Rider

USA
419 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2008 :  07:27:07 AM  Show Profile Send hoopski a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wonder if the stirrups were set back to facilitate a very forward riding style where the rider may have rested his weight on the large flat area of the horn. It doesn't look very functional for roping. Not much room for a dally.
quote:
A western saddle with a "Texas-style" horn?

The stirrups seemed to be set WAY back on this one...


Edited by - hoopski on 12/04/2008 07:28:40 AM
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fracturedbones
Clinician



3424 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2008 :  1:50:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit fracturedbones's Homepage Send fracturedbones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wow, that is handsome work on the roping saddle. Puddle, do you know how old that is? Escellent condition.

Cowboy trainer I know has 30 -50 yr old saddles...loves them and hates the way the new ones made. Still looking pretty good at that...but they sure don't compare to those museum ones.

Thanks for the pics...very cool.

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puddleplasher
Clinician



USA
1296 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2008 :  3:54:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit puddleplasher's Homepage Send puddleplasher a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Given the history of the museum (founded in 1960 based on a collection started in the 1930's), I'd guess most of the saddles are from the early 1900's, though of course the Pony Express was in the 1860's so some of the others might go back that far, too. If you're talking about the black saddle that was on the horse model, there wasn't much of a label on that one, either.

'plash

Pepper sez: "Don't forget the horse!!"
'Plash's Ride Log
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aladatrot
Tenderfoot

8 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2009 :  9:43:21 PM  Show Profile Send aladatrot a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the texas vs the california horns:

During the late 1800s cattle heyday, texans were known for tying off hard to the horn, whereas californians would dally. That said, that "texas saddle" looks an awful lot like a wade saddle which is not a texas style saddle. Weird.
Cheers!

When asked to perform a task, a horse will almost always respond with a question. A quarter horse asks "you mean like this?" But an arabian asks "why?". Always be willing to answer his question, and you will be rewarded with a beautiful performance. ** as quoted by M. Williams.
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