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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A while back I bought a vintage western saddle by maker Shirley Brown. I bought it b/c it had an arab tree. Although my mare is not arab, she has an "arab back". I didn't need a new saddle, and I don't particularly like "a forks", which it has...but the price was just toooo hard to pass up. And, it fit my "country of origin" criterian for a western saddle- made in the USA. It was in incredible condition for its age (they said around 60 years and had reportedly been stored for decades). It looks more like 5-10 years old...must have been really, really well cared for. I thought, what the heck, I will give it a whirl.

Anywho, it is a fantastic saddle! It is super well made, very comfy. The skirt is a little long front to back for a real short backed horse , but that doesn't detract from its quality. Super nice sheep skin lining (could have been refleeced, its in xlnt condition). The leather quality is superb. They do not make these anymore....but I think older "vintage saddles" in general are worth a look!!!!
 

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I agree with you I have a few and they are make very well I do not use them that much because I love the old look but every so often I take them out for a ride a wonder were this saddle has been
 

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Well post some pictures!! That's why I clicked on this thread in the first place.
 

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I have an old vintage saddle, but the reason for my reply is-
I recently found a new-ish tack store in my area. Because it is winter it wasn't too busy when I went and the owner took me to the back of the large store and let me view her collection of vintage saddles.
Auh-May-Zing!!
She probably had over 150 vintage saddles. Many dating all the way back to about 1875.
Old timey western working saddles, a lot of calvery saddles, very fancy saddles from Spain and Europe, proper ladie's side saddles, Vaquero (sp?) saddles, trick saddles, movie saddles.. there was so much to look at!
I bet every single saddle had such an interesting story to tell.

What struck me the most, was that over 85% of the really old saddles were about as wide as a child's rocking horse. The trees were so narrow and long, I could barely imagine being able to fit them on anything beyond a super duper skinny TB.

Anyway, were you able to get any back story on your saddle?
 

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Lockwood, the average boot size on the early cowboys was 6, many of then around 5'6 or less and slim. Many rode what we call ponies, 14.2 and under and were of a slim build. A 13" seat was common.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have an old vintage saddle, but the reason for my reply is-
I recently found a new-ish tack store in my area. Because it is winter it wasn't too busy when I went and the owner took me to the back of the large store and let me view her collection of vintage saddles.
Auh-May-Zing!!
She probably had over 150 vintage saddles. Many dating all the way back to about 1875.
Old timey western working saddles, a lot of calvery saddles, very fancy saddles from Spain and Europe, proper ladie's side saddles, Vaquero (sp?) saddles, trick saddles, movie saddles.. there was so much to look at!
I bet every single saddle had such an interesting story to tell.

What struck me the most, was that over 85% of the really old saddles were about as wide as a child's rocking horse. The trees were so narrow and long, I could barely imagine being able to fit them on anything beyond a super duper skinny TB.

Anyway, were you able to get any back story on your saddle?
Wow, neat!!!!!!!!!!!! What a great experience...to look at so many in one place at one time!

No- unfortunately no history. Just that it had been in storage for umteen million years.

But, I know what you mean about the really old saddles, many have a really small seat....it was the poor nutrition back then. :D

Sometimes I think I could go "saddle poor" if I were "turned loose" on saddle-marts of the world! I own too many as it is. So, I try to stay away!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well post some pictures!! That's why I clicked on this thread in the first place.
Okay, you made me feel bad! I would like you to know it is super windy and I had to drag this inside to get the best photo I can w my cell! A good camera would be wasted on me! I didn't get the horn...which is the biggest cap I have ever seen, but its the best I could do! Assuming this works, that is.
 

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Hey, vintage saddle lovers, I have one for sale. It is a Hope saddle circa 1800's. The saddle has been rebuilt on the original tree.

Saddle without the Mochilla



Saddle with Mochilla on



Saddle with Mochills and saddle/pommel bags



Underside



detail



It comes with old style martingale and a bridle







It even comes with old style stirrups that predate bentwood



Anyone interested?
 

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Hey, vintage saddle lovers, I have one for sale. It is a Hope saddle circa 1800's. The saddle has been rebuilt on the original tree.

Saddle without the Mochilla



Saddle with Mochilla on



Saddle with Mochills and saddle/pommel bags



Underside



detail



It comes with old style martingale and a bridle







It even comes with old style stirrups that predate bentwood



Anyone interested?

That saddle is sooo cool....
 

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A few years ago someone had a whole bunch of older saddles for sale. I bought four for $50 each, two turned out to be 60 plus years old, and the other two 36 years (it was made only for a year), and 25 years old. I cleaned them up, replaced leather conchs, dying strings and conchos to the saddle, replaced the straps for the cinchs and go $200 for each of the older ones.

The 36 year old saddle was a simco show saddle but without all the silver options at the time. It was very wide and someone bought it had a haflinger. I had to sew by hand the covers for the stirrups back on.

The 25 year old is my personal saddle, I've had people offer me $200 or so for it because it is fairly wide but fits high withered horses like a glove, and extremely comfortable for long trail rides. It isn't pretty though, no silver, and has white buck stitching around the whole way, but I don't think I'll sell it any time soon. Made $400 in the end.

Got to like the older saddles even if most of mine weight in over 30 pounds each.
 

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Missy, I think your saddle dates back to the early 60's. It was during the late 50's that cantles and forks were lowered. I have one, a Simco roper, from that era. The larger horn was called Pelican.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Missy, I think your saddle dates back to the early 60's. It was during the late 50's that cantles and forks were lowered. I have one, a Simco roper, from that era. The larger horn was called Pelican.
Thanks for the info saddlebag. Yeah, the lowered cantle is comfy, but to harder to clean under! As for the larger horn...I would have thought a more fitting name would be "momba"! :D But now I know what it is really called!
 

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Lockwood, the average boot size on the early cowboys was 6, many of then around 5'6 or less and slim. Many rode what we call ponies, 14.2 and under and were of a slim build. A 13" seat was common.
The seats were small and I noticed that, but it was the trees/frames on the saddles that really stood out. They all looked like they were built to fit a horse who was about 18H tall and 2" wide! Long skirts (up/down wise, not shoulder to loin wise) and so narrow I really had a hard time thinking they would fit anything wider than a pencil.

The lady told me the same thing about the size of the riders and how the horses where build so thin and narrow back then. I could just imagine how they would perch completely atop a modern QH because the skirt part wasn't even wide enough to lower onto their backs at all.
They also had huge upright pommels that added to their unique appearence.

Allison- Does the Mochilla slip on and off the saddle at will? Very interesting looking saddle.

Missy- your saddle looks nice too. How does the cantle feel while riding?
 

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Lockwood, the saddle strings run through the mochilla with the leather and silver conchos on the outside. So, removing the mochilla takes some work. I have ridden a lot in this saddle. I find it surprisingly comfortable. I had a QH/arab mountain horse that was a tad narrow, so the older tress fit her well. She really seemed to like the saddle, too. I used it on many a backcountry pack trip. Here she is with it on the way to a base camp during hunting season. I actually was riding it without the mochilla, here.

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey Lockwood, yeah, I was pleasantly surprised to find the cantle is extremely comfy. I had my doubts. I have never seen one sit so "flat".

Allison's saddle is really soomthing! I am with Duffy above...I have an antique saddle "displayed" - I just like to look at it (I don't use it) and think about what it was like "way back when" it was new, where it went, how nice it would be if there were no cars, etc.,. I like it better than conventional "pieces of art"....its more amusing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Alison? Am I seeing things or is your horse sticking his tongue out at the camera person? :D
 

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HaHa, I did a double take too because of the horse's expression.

Missy, glad to hear. From the picture it looks like it would be easy to get dumped off the back should a horse act up. Then again, I ride english and shouldn't really comment on small cantles. ;)

Allison- nice pic! I couldn't imagine riding without the mochilla, but have to say there were quite a few saddles in the collection I saw that looked like yours- without the mochilla.

When the shop owner mentioned that she sells them from time to time, I couldn't help myself and asked how much some of them went for... not trying to be nosey, just really wanted to learn more about the saddles. She said they have ranged from $800 to upwards of several thousands. She said it was really hard without a professional appraisal to figure out their values. The appraisers charge quite a bit to look over a saddle and there just isn't much in the way of reference on those old beauties.
Rambling... sorry. It is just so interesting.
 
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