New Saddle
 
 

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New Saddle

This is a discussion on New Saddle within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category

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        11-06-2013, 08:56 AM
      #1
    Yearling
    New Saddle

    Just bought a new saddle. It's an original British Yeomanry* Officer's saddle (also sometimes called a Colonial saddle). It was probably made in the early to mid 20th century. It's in outstanding condition. I suspect that I'll replace the billets within the next year because I'm paranoid about that sort of thing.

    YeomanrySaddle01_zps3cbf2f01.png Photo by Smile225 | Photobucket

    It was designed to carry the officer and his equipment (a standard load in the 300 pound range including tack, rider, weapons, gear, etc.). To get a good weight distribution the bars extend significantly beyond the cantle. This is a chacteristic of many European military saddles. This design is based upon the British Universal Pattern saddle, whose period of service is 1795 until today. For my longer backed mare this is just fine. We have a shorter backed mare and I'll try this on her next week. It may be too long, but maybe not.

    It does ride more forward than I'm used to, but we are well clear of the shoulder and gait quality was not only not degraded, it was excellent.

    Yesterday I got a good "workout" as my mare was feeling REALLY good and we "burned some calories" for about 45 min. When I pulled the saddle the sweat pattern was the most even and consistent I've ever seen and there was not a hint of back soreness. We are going foxhunting again this weekend and I may ride it to see how it goes there.

    It has the hard seat common in military saddles. I'm used to the softer seat of my Stubben, but this was not too bad after 45 min. We'll go out again today in a lesson so I'll have a bit more chance to develop "iron pants."

    At a minimum I've got a crackerjack event and parade saddle. I'll likely stick to the Stubben for daily riding (if only to conserve a real, historical artifact).

    G.

    *The Yeomanry in Great Britain was sort of cross between the National Guard, Army Reserve, and organized Militia. It was also a major social grouping.
         
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        11-06-2013, 11:42 AM
      #2
    Weanling
    That saddle looks very similar to a Canadian, "trooper" I ride in alot, other than that mine has a "spoon" on the back. Mine was made in the 1910's and is a VERY comfy ride, mine is in rough shape, I have stitched it, glued it, had the tree fixed, and one of the hangers for the leathers riveted back on, and currently one of the stirrup leathers is tied in a knot from a field fix, but it is one of my favorite saddles. Nice find.

    Jim
         
        11-06-2013, 12:45 PM
      #3
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jimmyp    
    That saddle looks very similar to a Canadian, "trooper" I ride in alot, other than that mine has a "spoon" on the back. Mine was made in the 1910's and is a VERY comfy ride, mine is in rough shape, I have stitched it, glued it, had the tree fixed, and one of the hangers for the leathers riveted back on, and currently one of the stirrup leathers is tied in a knot from a field fix, but it is one of my favorite saddles. Nice find.

    Jim
    Good on you for having a functional piece of history!!!

    The "spoon" was found on the enlisted version of the saddle. Does your saddle have the "Broad Arrow" marking? If it's British it will just have the Arrow; if it's Canadian the there will be a "C" as part of the imprint. Any marking would help ID the version of the UP saddle that you have.

    I get a better feeling for the horse with the Stubben but a better weight distribution with the Yeomanry saddle. The feeling is like being "perched" on top of the horse. It's not unpleasant, just different.

    G.
         
        11-06-2013, 12:56 PM
      #4
    Green Broke
    Nice looking saddle-congrats on the find.
         
        11-06-2013, 11:45 PM
      #5
    Foal
    Interesting. It looks just like the saddles used at one of the Icelandic farms where I was looking at horses. Didn't know they were special.
         
        11-07-2013, 08:34 AM
      #6
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Malda    
    Interesting. It looks just like the saddles used at one of the Icelandic farms where I was looking at horses. Didn't know they were special.
    The UP style saddle is one of the most produced saddles in history. It's two century plus service life is a testiment to its qualities. So, yes, I guess you could say it's "special."

    They are not common in the U.S. But can be found from time to time. I understand they are very common in Great Britain and the Commonwealth.

    My version is a "sub-design" of the basic UP saddle. I had mine out yesterday for a lesson and the instructor pronounced it "very good."

    The "trooper saddle" made by a number of vendors is the lineal desendant of the UP design.

    One difference is that these saddles fit more forward on the horse. I have ample shoulder room even with a more forward fit. This should be a Good Thing for the horse as putting a saddle too far back puts a lot of strain on the horse's back and can lead to sorness with its acompanying lameness and temperment issues.

    I'm still going to use my Stubben as my daily riding saddle.

    G.
         
        11-07-2013, 08:52 AM
      #7
    Weanling
    One thing I like about these saddles compared to the "trooper" type saddles is they are a more close contact saddle compared to the suspended seat of the "trooper" saddles.

    Jim
         
        11-07-2013, 09:50 AM
      #8
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jimmyp    
    One thing I like about these saddles compared to the "trooper" type saddles is they are a more close contact saddle compared to the suspended seat of the "trooper" saddles.

    Jim
    The "suspended seat" is a good solution to the problem(s) posed by having to load up a horse with 300 pounds of trooper, tack, weapons, gear, etc. and then having him ride 20-40 miles per day for a week or more. It does cost some "feel" for the movement of the horse. In the school that's a negative. In the field, not so much.

    My Stubben definitely has a closer "feel" and also permits the carriage of significant weight, but it's also a much newer design (late 1940s) that takes advantage of the experiences of two World Wars (and countless other cavalry campaigns around the world). It is a more secure seat (deeper, higher cantle, knee rolls). In the Great Scheme of Things it's a better saddle. But the "delta" does not demand retirement of the older designs.

    G.
         
        11-07-2013, 11:29 AM
      #9
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Guilherme    
    The "suspended seat" is a good solution to the problem(s) posed by having to load up a horse with 300 pounds of trooper, tack, weapons, gear, etc. and then having him ride 20-40 miles per day for a week or more. It does cost some "feel" for the movement of the horse. In the school that's a negative. In the field, not so much.

    G.

    This I can certainly agree with, on a given weekend of field trilaing its not uncommomn for us to put in from 40-60miles chasing dogs, and I do really like my Tarpin Hill for that type of work. But for my wife who grew up riding close contact english and western type saddles she just can not get used to the suspended seat. She does like to ride in the "Canadian" as we have come to know it, and will occasionally toss it on her appy for a day of trail riding.

    Jim
         
        11-07-2013, 12:49 PM
      #10
    Green Broke
    How interesting! Very cool find <3 Post some pics of it on your horsies when you get the chance 8D
         

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