The Tucker 1902 Universal Pattern Copy - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 01-09-2017, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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The Tucker 1902 Universal Pattern Copy

Anybody out there ever ridden on a 138 Tucker Montreal Royal Trooper which is a somewhat modified copy of the 1902 Universal Pattern Military saddle which I understand the British Calvary still uses?

Trooper | Tucker

Thanks, Harold

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post #2 of 32 Old 01-10-2017, 03:05 AM
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The Tucker Troopers are singularly unimpressive. They are HEAVY. Weigh more than any saddle I've every owned, including the largest Western saddle in the family. A friend had one designed (so Tucker said) for wide backed horses she loaned to me while I was waiting for a saddle to come int. Well, perhaps it would have fit a small warmblood that a 7" spread would fit, but not most of the ones I've dealt with.. I'd hate to see a person who didn't have good upper body strength try saddle one of my girls with it. A Trooper should not weigh 30+ lbs (it's suppose to be a saddle, not a boat anchor).

The maker of my Trooper probably isn't doing it anymore, and another maker went out of business years ago after a lot of flooding. You might want to try Haggis (not the Scottish food). They're out of Canada. You can tell them how you want it. Troopers use to be the only saddles Haggis made. Could still be.

Ok, looked it up. Haggis appears to still be making. I'd forgotten about Keith Parrish (probably because he never got back with me when I sent him measurements and was thinking about having him make a Trooper for me several years back) :)), but I'll attach the link to him too.

The Saddle Guy

Haggis Trooper Saddles

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post #3 of 32 Old 01-10-2017, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Tucker "claimed" a weight is 28 lbs.

Saddle Guy claimed weight is 26 lbs.

Haggis Standard claimed is 22 lbs.

Haggis w/Lite Weight Panels and slick seat claimed 16 lbs.

12 pounds off the Tucker for a smaller horse starts to add up.

Tucker has three pommel widths and require three crosswise measurements on the back with one lengthwise down the spine plus pictures of the horse standing square. I do like Tucker's fitting requirements. But they do have a lot of leather bling that adds up to extra weight. Part of it is in the gel cushion seat.

Tucker does not ask about the length from the scapula to the last rib which bothers me but they ask for more info than any other.

The Saddle Guy shows a feather weight in his custom pictures but does not mention weight. I reckon a guy just has to call the Saddle Guy and Haggis.

I really like the idea of the exposed side bars for checking fit when the horse changes. Seems the bars could also be easily changed to fit another horse. The 1912 with the swivel panels looked alluring until I read about the problems and that the British Calvary had went back to the 1902 fixed.

Your comments are food for thought on the Tucker. I am currently using an early 90's Crates Endurance with a claimed of 28 pounds. It'd be nice to lose some of that weight. I've weighed the roping saddles here on the ranch and they weigh in at 60 lbs. Now those are a job to swing up on a horse. I can just lift mine straight onto my 14 hh Hondo.

Edit: Just read that Keith Parrish used to work for Tucker.

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post #4 of 32 Old 01-10-2017, 11:07 AM
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:))) I suppose if I'd removed her stirrups and stirrup straps that Tucker might have dropped to 28. Leather straps with fenders and non endurance stirrups do add up.

There are actually more features about a regular style of UP/Trooper saddle (the standard seat type) that many people are unaware of. If you look under the seat you can see all the straps. They can be adjusted to alter the seat. I've never bothered, because it's already where I want, but it can be done. The militaries that went to the Trooper (all the old United Kingdom's Empire) stayed with them. The made various updates to the design (some successful and some note), but the basics of that saddle has remained pretty much unchanged. A rather limited saddle for doing some cattle jobs (for anything that requires a horn...e.g. roping...it's useless), but other than that it's probably my favorite saddle design. Basically, anything that ever gets messed up can be relatively easily seen and repaired. Relatively light with round the same weight as the McClellan (many of the early ones, like the early McClellan, didn't have the flaps). Displaces weight well and allows for pretty much any activity the "English" style saddles allow for. Capt. Dolan apparently knew what he was doing (he's given most of the credit for the design).

But I'm sticking with the saddles Randy made for each my mares. At least until the grow out of them (which should be some years since these replaced their original saddles). Never a had a saddle that fit any better than these and "if it works right don't fix it". :))))

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #5 of 32 Old 01-10-2017, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Right. The stuff I read said they were specifically designed to be repaired in the field with a screwdriver and a piece of string. The string was probably for the seat. Not sure about the screwdriver.

Nolan wrote a book. Most of it on military strategies but I may purchase it just to read his wisdom on saddles.

The seat design was made to be able to almost automatically adjust to a narrow or wide human seat. Except for roping and such, I think it's well thought out and designed.

Another specific design criteria I read that Nolan considered was the fact that most of the riders were not horseman but doing it for the job or because they had to but not as a horseman. So it was supposed to cover incorrect riding positions and such.

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post #6 of 32 Old 01-10-2017, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
Right. The stuff I read said they were specifically designed to be repaired in the field with a screwdriver and a piece of string. The string was probably for the seat. Not sure about the screwdriver.

Nolan wrote a book. Most of it on military strategies but I may purchase it just to read his wisdom on saddles.

The seat design was made to be able to almost automatically adjust to a narrow or wide human seat. Except for roping and such, I think it's well thought out and designed.

Another specific design criteria I read that Nolan considered was the fact that most of the riders were not horseman but doing it for the job or because they had to but not as a horseman. So it was supposed to cover incorrect riding positions and such.
I'm going to guess that what you heard about the "screwdrive and piece of string" was either meant tongue in cheek or they were talking about a different saddle other than the UP. The German WW II saddle might meet that qualification, but the UP/Trooper won't :). I can safely say that from personal experience. It's easier to fix than most saddles, but it's not that easy.

Dolan was a bit of character. He was considered, even by his detractors, to be a consummate rider. Loved and cared about horses. He was also apparently....what's a nice way to say it..."difficult"? :))). People apparently either liked him or hated him. His commanding officer blamed him for the debacle at Balaklava during the Crimean War, but since he was killed in it no one will ever hear his side. His detractors made him a scape goat. His supporters defended him as not being to blame. Hard to believe that in the British Army during the 1850's that a Capt (a company grade officer) would have been able to cause an entire Bde to do the wrong thing (Capt's don't command Bn, let alone Bde), but Col's and General's don't like taking the blame for their screw ups and since Dolans CO openly hated him and he was dead, he made a very convenient person to blame.

:))) most riders today aren't horsemen. Maybe they should all get UP saddles? Not sure it would help though.

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #7 of 32 Old 01-10-2017, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by its lbs not miles View Post
:))) most riders today aren't horsemen. Maybe they should all get UP saddles?
Why do you think I was so hot to get one? :):)

Here's a couple of pictures of my EBay find. That metal coming out the cantle looks to be brass so I'm thinking it's lagit WW II. I'll be looking for markings and will check with the experts to see if I can pin it down. Anxious to try it out.

Cost about 1/10 of a new Tucker Trooper. Plus, I just like the idea of original.

I'll see if I can find the article about the screwdriver and piece of string. It was a serious article about Nolan and the men who developed it but they may have lapsed into a little exaggeration.




WW II UP 2.jpg

WW II UP.jpg

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post #8 of 32 Old 01-11-2017, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
Why do you think I was so hot to get one? :):)

Here's a couple of pictures of my EBay find. That metal coming out the cantle looks to be brass so I'm thinking it's lagit WW II. I'll be looking for markings and will check with the experts to see if I can pin it down. Anxious to try it out.

Cost about 1/10 of a new Tucker Trooper. Plus, I just like the idea of original.

I'll see if I can find the article about the screwdriver and piece of string. It was a serious article about Nolan and the men who developed it but they may have lapsed into a little exaggeration.




Attachment 856809

Attachment 856817

:) So long as you're ok with the fact that it's not a UP saddle. I'll dig up some UP photos. That really does have all the markings of a German WW II saddle. Seat is wrong for a UP. They don't have that a deep seat or the tabs for removing the seat that this saddle has. It does look like the real thing though. I don't know of anyone making those WW II German Army saddles today. Not even sure when the Germans stopped making them, since like most of the western world the horse cav was finished by the end of the war. Although horses did still get used for some German military jobs right up to the end of the war, they weren't Cav jobs.

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #9 of 32 Old 01-11-2017, 02:19 AM
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Ok, first a confirmed WW II German saddle. Notice the seat. It comes up rather abruptly in the front. The spoon (that tab that just out behind the cantle) is below the top of the cantle and coming out separately (also is exposed metal and not leather covered). Note the tabs just below and behind the pommel (used for detaching the seat....a feature the UP does not have). Notice that there is no indication of wood ANYWHERE.

Now look at each of the 3 different, confirmed UP military saddles.
Note that the seats are flatter. You can see that share the distinct pommel common to the UP and none of them has a pommel that looks like the German saddle.. Then there are other features that are common to all UP saddles. You can make out where the metal pommel comes down and attaches to the wood bar. Same is true for seeing the ends of the cantle attaching to the bar. You can clearly see the wood bar coming out behind the flap. Notice how the spoon is actually an extension of the cantle and is covered with leather.

The saddle you ordered is pretty and it does appear to be an authentic German WW II saddle. I just hope you weren't thinking that it's a UP. You'll find that it using flocking vs the wooden bars. The Brits and the US dumped the flocking saddles in the 1800's, but most of the rest of Europe kept them. Which is ok, since they didn't have the amount of area to cover on horseback that the UK and US had (North America, Australia, large sections of Africa).

You'll also find the versions of the UP referred to by other names (such as yeoman saddle, etc....which was not an official name, but people in different places will sometimes have their own name for something.)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg German army.jpg (24.4 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg UP.JPG (78.0 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg UP3.jpg (26.4 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg UP2.jpg (29.1 KB, 1 views)

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #10 of 32 Old 01-11-2017, 02:21 AM
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Ok, they didn't show up in the order I selected :))).

The German one is the bottom left. You can tell, because it doesn't look like the UP's :))).

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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