Monday, August 15, 2011

Great West Saddle

Michelle Chauncey was kind enough to share this interesting Western sidesaddle with us:

This is a 1903 Great West saddlery saddle. Made in Calgary, NWT (now Alberta). Western rigged with an offside purse and narrow pommels.

Goodnight saddle built by Great West Saddlery Company of Calgary, North West Territories. This company, the largest harness and saddle-making company in the West at the turn of the 20th century, made many of the saddles used by western ranchers of the period as well as the Canadian Mounties. The saddlery stamps on the corners of the original skirting date the saddle to between 1902 and 1903. It was model number "25".

19" long seat measured from the front of the upright pommel to the rear of the seat. The seat measures 15" wide. The saddle has the typical double skirts with border tooling and a very nice off side purse. The rigging rings are leather covered with the exception of the ring under the purse, which is not visible.

This saddle has wonderfully supple brown leather with some light crazing to the surface in spots. It has been professionally cleaned and re-conditioned. The leaping head has light scuffing. The fixed head has a small tear at the end, but nothing that would affect the ability to ride in the saddle. The seat is smooth leather and quite supple. The flat seat allows a more athletic riding style than the inexpensive, bowl-shaped catalog saddles of the same era.

The saddle uses a metal side saddle stirrup and recently had the stirrup strap replaced. The skirts and underside have been refleeced with real shearling and hand sewn into the original stitching holes.

The tree is a medium wide fit measuring 7 inches in the gullet. This allows a nice, stable fit on broader horses than many older side saddles! This saddle is a real find, and a part of history!


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