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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I bought this saddle yesterday, brought it home, cleaned it up, and inevitably got bit with the "need more info" bug that gets me whenever I get my hands on something old. However, I can't find anything on it indicating anything about it other than the stamps on the fenders - the tooling on which matches the tooling on the saddle so I think they're original. The one number I found stamped into the leather behind the cantle doesn't match any of the serial number formats listed on Circle Y's website.

For reference, before cleaning this thing was thoroughly caked in dust and looked like it hadn't seen anything resembling oil in a VERY long time. Not dissimilar to my Crosby that sat in a garage for 30+ years before I purchased it.

If the pics don't load then I have them hosted on my equestrian tumblr.








 

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OK, I'll come out with my thoughts on this saddle.

It is too bad it is curled under in the front, that significantly decreases it's value regardless of who the maker is. When I'm looking at used saddles that is something I try to avoid. I've never successfully straightened one out.

Some years ago on a thread here on HF someone said to clamp them. I've been wondering how to do that since then, because I have an old saddle passed down in the family that is a bit curled there.

It is quite common, the main reason is from being left sitting on its horn.
 

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It's really hard to tell in photos but it looks like I am seeing a twisted tree. An easy way to tell is to set the saddle up resting on it's horn and look straight down (back to front) across the seat. The horn should line up with the seam on the back of the saddle and the pommel straight. It cleaned up pretty nicely for setting around for so long.
 

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Under the near side jockey, by the latigo keeper should be a riveted plate. It should have model and manufacturing info, if it doesn't there is this info off of their website.
How do I read my serial number? | Circle Y or you could contact them directly at 800.531.3600. I do have to say judging on the style it looks like it might be from the 60's-70's and even their faq page isn't helpful. I would probably just call.
 

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I bought something similar at auction except mine is an older Simco with round skirts. Mine is probably what is called a trail saddle, said Southern Trails. It has a bullhide tree and is really well built, but is no roper. It has big round heavy aluminum rings, which to me are a style clue that it's anything from '50s to '60s because manufacturers mostly had developed a fascination with in-skirt rigging by the early '70s. Nickel slotted conchos on the better saddles seem to usually be '60s or earlier. I'm going to guess that your saddle is maybe from the '60s because you have an aluminum ring, but also the in-skirt rigging. I don't know what the numbers mean.

Saddles were made to last back then. The cheapest ones had a Ralide tree, but the majority had rawhide covered wood saddle trees and really decent leather and would last decades, as we see these have. Today's saddles are a lot of cheap carp with bling, fashion items meant to be used maybe 3-5 years at most before they get passed down the food chain.

This is my old roughout ranch saddle, and it has the seat style, the "yellow" leather for the seat, and the broad horn, the big aluminum rigging rings, and pointed swells. I added the conches which are Jeremiah Watt stainless with the black accent. I put the oxbow stirrups on it. The original stirrups are bland leather covered ones. I think this is a '50s or '60s Saddle King of TX. I have $250 or less invested in it, even with the new conchos, fleece, tie strap, and billet strap.


This is the Simco I just bought, which is probably later '60s or possibly earlier '70s. (Got it for $69, but my gosh, does it have the musties, lol! It's living outdoors on the porch until I can finish scrubbing and deodorizing it.) It will clean up very nicely, though. Just scrubbing the barn dirt off it improved it greatly. 16" saddles are too big for me so I grabbed these smaller oldies instead of spending money on a new roughout training saddle that would have cost $1200 or more. Round skirts work on almost any breed.
 

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I recommend the Jeremiah Watt "Horseshoe" brand hardware. Polish those conchos with Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish and they can pass for good sterling. I'm going to put some on the Simco saddle eventually.
 

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This has me ready to hit the high notes like Placido Domingo (or even Maria Callas). I suggest calling it "The Great Emasculator"! I guess geldings aren't just a type of horse...:eek_color::eek_color::eek_color:

 

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I thought for a moment there you were ecstatic over the low, low price. :mrgreen: The Simco has a much flatter seat than it looks in any of those pictures. The cantle will be raised a lot when this is on a horse or on a saddle stand. But it (seat) is built up higher in the front compared to my roughout saddle and other "man saddles." Works for me since I need a small seat.
 

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I actually sat in a similar one, and it wasn't a ball breaker on a saddle stand. It actually directed more weight into my thighs. But I still look at saddles like that and turn pale...:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the replies, everyone! It's been a busy first week of classes and I've only been able to keep up with the thread on my phone.
It is too bad it is curled under in the front, that significantly decreases it's value regardless of who the maker is.
Good to know! I'll definitely keep that in mind when hunting for my next saddle. Might try clamping this one once I get another.
It's really hard to tell in photos but it looks like I am seeing a twisted tree.
It's the angle of the photo, not the tree thankfully. The saddle was sitting slightly crooked on the stand and I wasn't perfectly lined up with the shot so it does make it look a bit twisted.
Under the near side jockey, by the latigo keeper should be a riveted plate. It should have model and manufacturing info, if it doesn't there is this info off of their website.
How do I read my serial number? | Circle Y or you could contact them directly at 800.531.3600. I do have to say judging on the style it looks like it might be from the 60's-70's and even their faq page isn't helpful. I would probably just call.
I did manage to talk to them this week but no luck with locating a serial number. I think if it's still bothering me next time I have time to head back to where I purchased it, I'll just have them look it over in person. Maybe they can find something I missed/can interpret that mystery number.
I recommend the Jeremiah Watt "Horseshoe" brand hardware. Polish those conchos with Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish and they can pass for good sterling. I'm going to put some on the Simco saddle eventually.
Thanks for the info on my saddle :D I've had a couple other people comment that it looks like it might be a 60s/70s model and that would align with the inconsistent serial numbers Circle Y mentions on their website. I'll definitely be replacing the conchos once I'm done using this saddle to break colts at school.

Really loving those oxbow stirrups on your ranch saddle and the Simco is looking great! The shape of the seat reminds me of one of the saddles I was considering, an equitation show saddle roughly as old as the one I bought. (It was gorgeous but just not practical for the job.) Also I really like the look of the round skirt although since I'm pretty new to western saddles, do square (or full, whatever they're called) skirts not work as well on certain builds/breeds?
 

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Some Arabian / Morgan can only take a 26" skirt. 28" is about the absolute max for those breeds with shorter backs, and having "shallow" skirts with rounded-off edges gives hip clearance. Many of today's saddles with the fashionable large/ deep / square skirts are just too massive for smaller horses.

The aluminum oxbows come plain or engraved. I have both. I polish them with metal polish. I use Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish for everything.
 
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