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I think the buckstitching would help date it. I think that was popular in the 60's and 70's. I can't really be more specific because I was born in the late 70's so those trends were sort of before my time. Someone who showed back then could probably really tell you when that style was popular. I am guessing 1970's. It's seems like the earliest buckstitch style was white. And the saddle is a fairly modern design with the in-skirt rigging and such. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks again trailhorserider :) It has a "C" stamped behind the seat if that helps with anything!
 

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Its definatly of the early 70s era. I beleive its one of the early cutting/trail varieties due to the pommel being so high and the cantle so low. Its not a roper variety because the horn is not designed for such however the low cantle is often one of the features of todays ropers for it makes it easier for the rider to swing the leg over clearing the cantle when dismounting to tie a calf. The long skirt suggest trail/ranch variety also. Probably a working trail/ranch type. But back then specific designs where not as technologically specific as they are today. What a neat find. I would love to get a hold of it and do the restoring revitalizing. (its a hobby of mine. )

I have done some work on Simcos in the past. I did some repairs and detailed a Simco Barrel saddle and was pleasantly pleased on how well they were made. Used to be ond of those that were top of the line back in the 80s and early 90s.

This is a before of the Simco barrel saddle I worked on




This is after:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you so much Zaney!! Lots of great information :) That barrel saddle looks fabulous! I've heard that Simcos aren't very good quality any more, but this one has worn like iron. About the only thing wrong is that the stitching on the horn has come undone, and my dad said he bought it like that. I'm hoping it'll last another 30 years :)
I got after it with some saddle soap last night:


And it on my sassy mare Lemonade:
(The pad's from back in the day, too ;-))
 

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During the 50's, the western cantle was lowered as a marketing ploy. It convinced ropers they could dismount faster with a lower cantle. Not so. Anyway, the low cantle continued for about 30 years. The cinch rigging on your saddle came into use before 1970 and has continued for years. The buckstitching was the new snazzy show saddle. Definitely not a roper by the sharp forks. In those days a roper would have the lasso loop attached to the forks. The design of the tree was comfortable for long hours of riding, known as the Little Wonder. Zany I had one in the shop similar to your's, a Simco with padding all the way down the fenders to match the seat.
 

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Simcos I beleive have hit the mainstream of the production line so I agree that the essesnce of a good Simco saddle of yesteryear has been lost due to this. But they are still decent saddles and I still recommend them over the cheap production lined saddles one often finds. The older ones (esp if well cared for) are much better quality.

I agree that the lowering of cantles (supposedly to help a roper "clear" the cantle "faster') is more of a marketing ploy but some will argue with that it helps them. If it does....then good for them.:)

To bad you dont live closer to me Lemon Zeus for I could take care of that saddle horn cap in a jiffy for you. Usualy pretty easy to sew back down if its not rotten or torn.

Saddlebag: do you know when Simco began using the horse head as part of thier logo (maker's mark)? The OPs saddle does not have the horse head logo which might give even more of an indication of year of make.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In those days a roper would have the lasso loop attached to the forks.
It has this on the right side:


I pulled out all the old broken stitching, should I use thick cotton thread and something like a tapestry needle to fix it? The cap is in great shape, it was just the stitching that had a break.
 

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To bad you dont live closer to me Lemon Zeus for I could take care of that saddle horn cap in a jiffy for you. Usualy pretty easy to sew back down if its not rotten or torn.

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ZZ123 - when you stitch that can you pull it tight as you go, or must you lace it and then pull each stich tight individually?

I don't do Western saddles, only English, so I'm just interested to learn :)
 

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Since the stiching holes are present and not ripped (they dont look to be ripped in the photo) stiching it back up will be even more simple.

One will need two needles and about 2.5 feet to 3 feet of thread. I recomend waxed threads either cotton or nylon. The wax helps preserve the thread and also makes it easier to pull through a stitch hole or the leather if your making the holes. Nylon will not rip or break that easily and it wont rot as easily either. I use a leather stiching nylon waxed thread or a heavy duty waxed cotton thread. I have actually found the waxed nylon in the craft section at WalMart. I have also found it at Micheal's craft store in the leather craft section. I usualy order it off line or from a catalogue esp the bulk size. (you wont need bulk size for restitching the horn) I use harness sewing needles but have used other needles from time to time. The only problem with tapestry needles is that they are usualy to thick at the eye to go through the stiching hole with out busting a hernia pulling it. You can give it a try though. One thing you might want to purchase (and arent that expensive) is a leather sewing awl. (follow instructions and practice a little on a peice of canvas or other thick material to get the feel of it before moving on to leather. Follow the stiching holes on the horn cap.)
When I stich I will place a needle on each end of the thread. I will clamp down the horn cap with a spring loaded camp to keep it still. Then I begin at one side pull the needle and thread through the first holes (the top hole and the corresponding bottom hole of the bottom portion of the cap.) I use a needle nose pliers to grasp the needles if needed but I mostly use those rubber finger caps like bankers use when counting money. Helps give you a grip and protects your fingers. I have also used a thimble to push needles through. Make sure that when you use a needle nose pliers to pull straight because if you pull at a curve you will break the needle.

Pull the thread untill your half way making two equal parts (the top thread and the bottom thread). Then take either the top needle or the bottom needle (I usualy begin with the top) go through the next set of holes and pull taunt, with the other needle push through the hole from opposite bottom side crossing the needles and thread, pull tight and continue to the next set of holes and so forth and so on. This is a double needle stitch.(with the sewing awl you wont need to do this for it designed to create that doulbe stitch with one needle.) Make sure each top hole lines up with its sister hole on the bottom piece before placing the needles and threading in. At the end of the stitching process I will use a simple square not located on the bottom side and put a dab of Barge glue (rubber cement) or some other non water soluable glue on the knot to keep it from comming undone. If you desire (but its not nessesary) you can put a little bees wax on the stiched part after your done sewing the cap back on. With waxed thread the point is pretty much moot.

You pull tight as you go. I wish I had pictures to show you the process. I hope you can figure it out with my instructions. I can show ppl things MUCH better than I can verbaly describe it.
 

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I think the Simco horsehead appeared in the late 70's or later. I'm glad you explained how to stitch the horn. I will add. If it's completely undone I use sewing pins to line up the holes before I start stitching. Nothing worse than having a leftover hole or two.
 
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