Ancient saddle - can anyone identify?
This saddle belonged to my grandpa and my dad gave it to me a few years ago. I just tucked it away and forgot about it until I came across it today. Does anyone know what it may be? It weighs a ton and I thought maybe I could use it for Luna in the future. I use an english saddle on Stella and would hate to put such a heavy saddle on my dainty arab. :lol: For being so old it doesn't seem to be in too bad of shape unless someone disagrees. All I did was brush the dust and cobwebs off with a horse brush. I'm not sure how to go about giving it a thorough cleaning as it seems to be suede. (?) Well, any thoughts are appreciated.
I have a similar saddle......http://www.horseforum.com/userpix/35...2308_011_1.jpg
Ignore them being stacked...They were that way while I was cleaning....I don't store them that way. Anyways...its the saddle on the right. Mine has a lighter seat and more tooling on it but the shape of the pommel and seat stitching are very similar. It was the first saddle that my Grandfather bought when he got into horses, and its the one I learned how to ride on. With the help of my uncle and mom they guessed that Gpa has owned it for nearly 50 years...but, I also learned it was used when he got it.
It has no maker marks what so ever. I was told once upon a time that it looked like an old Hereford...I don't have a clue tho.
Sorry to double post. As to the reconditioning of it... I would take it to a professional. They will be better able to check the quality of the leather and whether or not any of the "important" straps...hehe (cinch) Needs replaced or not. I am hesitant to go about refurbishing old leather as I am not familiar enought with all the oils and such...I'd be afraid I'd ruin it. IF you have more guts than I do I know that you can do it yourself...if memory serves Iridehorses has posted info on doing such with saddles. A pm to him might just set you in the right direction!!! :D of course I'd really appreciate it if/when you find out the maker of your saddle you'd let me know...the seat is what's making me think we have the same maker ...the stiching is identical as are the placement of the conchos. You can't see it on my saddle but the Drings are the same too. Enough so that I think they came from the same place!
Thanks Dumas! Yeah, they do look kind of similar. Hey, I like that one on the left, it's a barrel saddle, no? *ah, closes eyes and reminisces*
Ahem...anyway, as for reconditioning it, yeah, the surface is kind of fuzzy, almost like suede. I wouldn't know how to tackle that. Using a stiff brush to get the dust a cobwebs off was probably a no-no! :lol: Well, I'll do a search and see if I can find that thread of iride's.
Oh man... when you said ancient I was hoping to see a Roman saddle or something. :(
Nice saddles though!
LOL Solon! I'm sorry, bad word choice! It seems ancient to me! :D
I like your strategy, Dumas! I love a good tack auction and lucky for me, my husband doesn't go to them with me. :lol:
I doubt that it is made of suede. I suspect that what you are seeing is more-like the (normal) way that leather tends to wear on it's surface with long-term use.
You may have trouble trying to identify it. Sometimes the old maker's marks have been compressed into (or worn from) the leather. But I've had perty-good luck with dampining small areas to "raise the grain" and shining a strong light across it at varying angles.
Sometimes though, these marks aint on the saddle itself but were on one of the screwed-on trim pieces....which,at your saddle's age, could have been replaced by now.
As far as putting it back into service..... These old saddles were made far better (and from better leather) than what is generaly available today. Personaly, I'd just replace what may need replaced and assuming it fits your horse.....use it.
DGW..... who uses a 50+ year old saddle himself.
Thank you DGW! I'll have to phone my dad and find out if he knows the material. If the "fuzziness" is just from normal wear do you know what I could put on it? When you say "dampening" it you don't mean water, do you? Maybe a good cleaning will bring out any identifying marks as you mentioned. I never thought to check the trim pieces.
You're right about it being well made. I'm really surprised at how it's held up all these years. Thanks again for the help!
First thing I'd do is stick one of them soft-bristle attachments onto my vacume-cleaner hose and clean it real good. You'll be surprised at how much crud is all over it....most of which will vacume-off as long as the leather is dry. "Dry" meaning, not recently oiledThen you can use a soft tooth brush to clean the smaller, hard to get to, areas.
Just doing the dry-cleaning alone, will allow you to see things in better detail.
And yeah....I DID mean to dampen the areas you are searching-in with water. Don't drench it....just use a rung-out and folded WET rag to dampen it. That will often tend to re-raise the areas which surrounded the origonal stamping-marks.
And don't fret about a little water. Contrary to popular opinion, a bit of water will not harm leather. Can you imagine how many times that old saddle was used during wet weather (and yet remains in good condition) ?
Anyhow..... and this is just my opinion....
Twere that saddle mine, and once I had it as clean as I could get it, I'd simply rub-in a little Neatsfoot oil and then use her. And again, don't drench it, just dampen it. It'll be soaked-in within a couple of hours.
Reason for the Neatsfoot Oil is.....
You can just about bet the bank, that given the age of your saddle, all that was ever used on it was indeed, Neastfoot Oil. That, and common saddle soap, is about all there was up untill the past few years.....And I aint big on mixing different chemicals into my leather.
In other words.....
You gots yourself a realy nice old saddle there. And the methods of care that once worked, will still work.
Hope this helps.
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