JQMD = Jeffersonville Quartermaster Depot. The irons were made in 1941 at the depot outside Jeffersonville, Indiana. I believe the NS means "nickel steel". It might also be a depot inspector's initials but I do not think so.
I see that there is at least one long belt remaining draped over the cantle shelf. If the second one also remains, that would be nice. Cannot tell anything from the photo of the stirrup buckle. It can be pulled down just like any other stirrup leather on an english saddle.
I forgot to mention that there should be three approx 18 inch long narrow belts wrapped around each pommel pocket, retention slots for the belts can be seen on the back of the pockets. Are those belts stuffed inside the pockets? Are the pommel socket bolt heads in one of the pockets?
The pommel pockets can be easily removed. They were meant to be taken off and put back on. They are connected to the saddle by a sturdy T shaped lug nut that is riveted onto the top back corner of each of the pockets. Simply swing the bottom of each pocket forward and upward 90 degrees and the pocket can then be pulled straight off the pommel. By rotating the pocket forward, the T arms of the lug on back of pocket will have been lined up with open slots in the socket on the saddle.
Now the pommel flaps can be lifted and you will be able to see the maker plate found in the same area as on any other english saddle. The stirrup buckle can then be probably moved easier for inspection.
I would recommend some old used cotton towels (NO wadded newspapers, small blocks of wood or anything plastic/synthetic!) be GENTLY stuffed into the saddle bags to help them maintain their expanded shape. Otherwise, they will collapse over time becoming pancake flat. That will make a hard crease in the leather of the bellows portion of bags. Aged creased leather cracks and separates. Do not overstuff; cut old towels to furnish just enough volume to expand the bags somewhat. This will also aid in the occasional application of glycerine soap.
Forgot to mention, the pommel pockets and saddle bags will have info stamped on them like that on the bottom of the irons.
Last edited by stablesgt; 06-12-2012 at 09:53 PM.