The Great Saddle Mystery! Need help with old saddle!
o today I bought a saddle, I needed one since my other one is within its last years..
It was 150 - and I talked her down to 60, if she kept all the fixings (bridle, girth, stirrups, pad ect) and because it was pretty beat up. Turns out she gave me all the fixings regardless... The tree is sound, the stitching and leather are in pretty good condition.
Its pretty old saddle, dark oil, but finally is the seat I need.
I am kinda baffled there are some quirks that I haven't seen in a saddle before
usually the "handle" on the front is detatchable - this one is not.
and the underside is fabric, not leather.
the stitching is fantastic, while it shows some wear, its still good.
Included are some pictures - by the looks of the maker its G.G. Keifer Sattelmacher, Munchen and there is another number on the back of the saddle, a metal tag, and then more numbers by the girth straps. Then there is general pictures of the saddle.
I have a few questions...
What do you think the age is?
WHY is the underside fabric??? I have NEVER seen this.
(last one is a little wonky because its unbalanced on the chair. but gives shape and style of saddle)
Wow, I really like that saddle. My guess is that PO 1942 is year it was made. I'm rusty on my german so I don't remember the EXACT words but they usually abbreviate it to PO when they mean date or year of manufacture for something. So you've probably got yourself a pretty nice vintage saddle there.
The numbering on the back makes me want to think it was a military saddle, which might also explain the handle...but I could be very very wrong on this. Didn't Germany/Hitler use horses in the military during the war?? Could it possibly be somebody's old war souvenir??
My german isn't that good but I'm pretty sure "Sattelmacher" is saddlemaker, so the label actually reads GG Keiffer, saddlemaker, Munich.
Keiffer is considered to be a very fine saddle in present day.
I agree with Cinny about the 1942 part; the number plate on the back could be anything.
A few updates, since in my overall adventure to find the histories of the saddle this horse forums site has become my main information collection station!
1. Due to the obvious age of this saddle I will not be riding in it until I get it checked out by a saddler.
2. 60$ seemed like a good deal if you ask me, I'd likely still ride in it if its deemed safe - it looks pretty comfy
In my efforts to find out the histories of this saddle, I have emailed Kieffer (US department) and they did confirm that it is an old military style saddle along with further warnings about getting it checked out.. (yes, I'm too much of a history buff to kill myself with antiques)
I am still very open to ideas anyone has, along with any references about Kieffer Military saddles.
Also am including a front shot I forgot to include in the first one, Also, if you need any additional photographs please ask - I will actually obsess over this until Its figured out. (because, I'm a nerd)
Final email I got from USA branch of Kieffer:
"The saddle is so old, no one from Kieffer has any knowledge of it
Remember the factory has no records back from the ww2 era"
Now I really want to find out the history of this saddle.
Obviously I can't ride in it.
Can we say Antique Road Show????
Thats the second time someone has asked - I am thinking about it.. But for the time being, I am going to harass a few historians on horses in warfare.
they use saddles with cloth undersides in australia to deal with the heat more so it may be a saddle made for german soliders going to oz im not sure tho and the aussies also use handles on theirs alot too most dont come off
I just got an email from German Kieffer - right from the source.
I now know what it is!
"Dear Mrs. Kennon,
20 years ago we had an similar inquiry regarding these saddle. This model was called Reinhardt and was built only for the military during the second world war. Its construction fits on the usual races of horses combined with a felt pelmet of 3cm thickness. This saddle excludes every comfort - but it garantees a high loading. After the war the saddle wasn´t build again.. in the 60s 70s and 80s there was more demand on the right fitting on the back of the horse. Kieffer sold this year saddles to the army and they correspond with the universal saddles to 90%. The panelpads mounting spar which were demanded at this time are based on the current technic and manual not necessary. Please have a look at our website "Saddle Aachen". Its the basis for a military saddle today.
We hope we could answer your questions.
Klaus Traunfelder i.A. Stephanie Loidl
ppa Verkaufsleiter Assistentin der Verkaufsleitung"
Wow...that's pretty incredible!
If it were down to me, I'd have it restored and put on display :P But yeah...I'm obsessed about old things :)
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