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saddles of the old west (pics)
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:
[Image: IMG_2344m.jpg]

A couple of McClellan saddles:
[Image: IMG_2346m.jpg]
1904 model
[Image: IMG_2347m.jpg]
1914 packer mule model

A western saddle with a "Texas-style" horn?
[Image: IMG_2345m.jpg]
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?
[Image: IMG_2350m.jpg]

A fancy vaquero saddle:
[Image: IMG_2348m.jpg]
[Image: IMG_2349m.jpg]

I was impressed by the very high cantle on this one, as well as the tooling:
[Image: IMG_2351m.jpg]

A sidesaddle:
[Image: IMG_2360m.jpg]

Toy horses in the kid's area:
[Image: IMG_2352m.jpg]

They also had a model you could try roping from:
[Image: IMG_2354m.jpg]
(no, don't know who the people are)

They had a large variety of carts too:
[Image: IMG_2359m.jpg]

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.

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 man’s soul can’t be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer

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."
[Image: th_horse-galloping.gif]  

[i]Originally posted by puddleplasher
A Pony Express saddle:
[Image: IMG_2344m.jpg]

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.
Interesting pictures, for sure! Don't you just love seeing old saddles and carts/carriages? Thanks for taking us along to the museum!

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". [Smile] 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!

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!
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
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.
A western saddle with a "Texas-style" horn?
[Image: IMG_2345m.jpg]
The stirrups seemed to be set WAY back on this one...

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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