New (for me) OLD saddles
Ok all. Went home to visit the family for Thanksgiving. Got the SURPRISE OF MY LIFE right before I headed back home. My dad and Uncle decided to gift me with some family heirlooms aka some brand new (for me) saddles.
My grandfather on my dad's side owner a QH ranch for most of my dad's life. My dad was not interested in it, and didn't keep it up after he graduated from HS and left home. My uncle stayed a part of it, but recently he has began to downsize because he is getting older and neither one of his sons are interested in continuing it.
Anyways, they blessed me Thursday evening with two of my grandpa's saddles. A western one, and an extremely old english show saddle. I am not sure on exact years, but I know the english one is at least 45 years old. It belonged to my grandfather and he used it in his equitation classes, and there are some old pictures of him foxhunting with it back in the day.
The western saddle belonged to my dad as a young child.
The english saddle is in pretty darn good shape. They both are actually, considering. However, the western one seems a little worse for wear. I am not all that familiar with western tack, so what kinds of things do I need to have checked out on it before using it? They both need a good cleaning, which they will be getting as soon as I am off of work. The fleece under the western saddle is almost all gone/rubbed off. Is this important? Should I make sure that is fixed before using it?
I have no experience with "saving" old saddles so I will obviously be looking for a professional saddle repair shop to help, but I was wondering what kind of input yall could provide!
Pics of both!!