Hartley Saddles - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-02-2020, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Hartley Saddles

Does anyone know much about Hartley English saddles?

I just bought a used all-purpose one for next to nothing (the leathers on the saddle were more expensive new than what I paid for the saddle) and was wondering about the brand and was kinda curious to how much they cost new.

I'm not sure if I don't know about them because I'm mostly a western rider or if its that they're not very common.

All I know for sure about them is that they're made in England as it says so on multiple locations under the flaps.

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post #2 of 6 Old 02-11-2020, 11:47 PM
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They're long discontinued (probably since the '70s or '80s?), but of great quality. Older English made saddles are hard to beat! You got a nice quality older saddle.

I want to say they may have been bought out by a different well known company, but my memory is fuzzy. I believe at one point they may have been distributed in the US by Miller's (but were not a house brand of theirs), which was a huge manufacturer and distributor of English tack in the US for many decades.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-14-2020, 06:58 PM
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Hartley saddles I believe were sold by Eiser's originally.
I think they were based from New Jersey, then Millers store had them when Millers had a huge store in NYC itself..huge multi-level showroom...
I had one of their catalogs at one time...can still picture the blue cover and Eisers printed in gold lettering on a angle across the catalog...early 70's - early 80's can remember seeing/hearing of the saddle brand.

Eiser's has been acquired by several different companies, absorbed into larger entities till their entire tack line in no longer.
Saddles were "Made in England"stamped and all tack of quality leather stock used.
They had spring trees, the safety stirrup bar...
Several different styles of A/P and close contact I remember. I think they also had dressage but not positive of that.

At one time they were the "to have" saddle for many.
The saddles were well made, quality construction that lasted and rode really nice.
If this is what you bought, nice find!!
...
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-19-2020, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
Hartley saddles I believe were sold by Eiser's originally.
I think they were based from New Jersey, then Millers store had them when Millers had a huge store in NYC itself..huge multi-level showroom...
I had one of their catalogs at one time...can still picture the blue cover and Eisers printed in gold lettering on a angle across the catalog...early 70's - early 80's can remember seeing/hearing of the saddle brand.

Eiser's has been acquired by several different companies, absorbed into larger entities till their entire tack line in no longer.
Saddles were "Made in England"stamped and all tack of quality leather stock used.
They had spring trees, the safety stirrup bar...
Several different styles of A/P and close contact I remember. I think they also had dressage but not positive of that.

At one time they were the "to have" saddle for many.
The saddles were well made, quality construction that lasted and rode really nice.
If this is what you bought, nice find!!
...
Oh wow, I would have never guessed this saddle to be over ten years old much less from even the '80s. It's in better shape than a four-year-old saddle I have.

I mean it has a few scuffs on the cantle and pommel and the metal isn't in prime condition (not sure what its called, but the bar the leathers attach to has a clip that doesn't want to move) but most weren't noticeable once cleaned and oiled. Most importantly the saddle itself was sound.

It's kind of hard to believe it's made it here and into my hands in that way. I honestly wasn't even planning on buying another English saddle for a few more months but I found it on Craigslist for $25 after it had been up there for a month. Couldn't help but snatch it up.

There is a perk of being in a dominantly western region. If it had been a western saddle in any condition it would have sold within minutes at that price, but since its English, there was no demand.

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post #5 of 6 Old 02-19-2020, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Foreverry View Post
Oh wow, I would have never guessed this saddle to be over ten years old much less from even the '80s. It's in better shape than a four-year-old saddle I have.

I mean it has a few scuffs on the cantle and pommel and the metal isn't in prime condition (not sure what its called, but the bar the leathers attach to has a clip that doesn't want to move) but most weren't noticeable once cleaned and oiled. Most importantly the saddle itself was sound.
That is the magic of leather saddles made from years ago...
Because the cattle the hide came from were older their hides were thicker and stronger from aging...
Why regardless of discipline ridden, sometimes older saddles are often made and constructed better ...

That "bar" is known as a safety stirrup bar...
Yes, that end piece at one time could move...{probably still would if you used some WD40 on it carefully protecting the leather from spray.}
BUT, for it to do its job correctly I was always taught the bar stays open/down so the stirrup leather can slip off and release the rider should a fall occur and a rider get hung-up there is hope of a release, not being dragged.
Like I said, to me a excellent find especially at that price.
As long as you don't care about plain flap appearance...you will enjoy this saddle and the ride you have in it.
...
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-21-2020, 05:06 PM
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If it's a spring tree saddle from the 1970s I'd just check the tree's still true and not warped over time. The springs used in some of these saddles were too weak to do the job long-term, not helped by riders hanging on to the cantle when mounting.

If it's not had a lot of use it ought to be fine, so long as it's not been stored sensibly :)
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