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My First Sidesaddle!

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  • My First Sidesaddle!

    So yesterday my good friend gave me this...


    It has been my dream for years to have a sidesaddle and I am so excited. I can't believe she just gave it to me .

    Anyway, it obviously needs a lot of work. The leather on the skirt is very cracked. The rest of it is in decent shape from what I can tell. I won't be back home for a couple of weeks so I haven't gotten a really good look at it yet. But now I am very nervous about getting any work done on it. So any advice about restoring the leather would be awesome.

    Also can anyone tell me any more about this sidesaddle? I know, that because of the lack of a leaping horn that it is definitely 19th century, but does anyone have a more specific guess about how old it is? Has anyone ridden without the leaping horn? My friend used to do Civil War reenactments in this saddle but I know the leaping horn is much safer.

    Mostly I'm just really excited about it because it is such a great piece of history, but I'd love to be able to ride in it too. I have ridden sidesaddle before on my saint of a mare, so I feel pretty comfortable about at least taking it for a spin every now and then, but if it is safe enough and in good enough condition I'd love to be able to do more.

    Any advice or suggestions would be great. TIA

  • #2
    Your Saddle is Lovely ~

    Your saddle is lovely ~ enjoy !

    Thanks for sharing !
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


    • #3
      That sidesaddle is very old. It is from the 1860's. Make sure the billets are sound before you try to ride it. They are called Victorian sidesaddles. I have 3 of them.
      Try it on the horse and make sure it doesn't pinch her shoulders and withers. They are noted for being narrow in the tree.
      You might measure the seat from the front of the horn to the cantle and then measure your length of leg from behind your seat to behind your knee. They should be close to the same for a good fit.
      You could look at the patterns for 1860's habits. If you sew it would be fun to make a habit.
      Congratulations. New sidesaddle owner. I know several ladies who started out with one and now have 5 to 10.
      It is a very contageous disease this sidesaddle fever. And so far I have found no cure for it.
      I have too many sidesaddles in my garage shop. My oldest one is from the late 1700's. It is in sad shape. I have several of the Sears catalog sidesadles too. They are all Westerns though.
      Have a great time with this one.
      Kind regards, sadlmakr


      • #4
        I too caught the "bug" last year and am now saving up for my second side saddle. Be careful as it is very contagious


        • #5
          I had a lovely time hunting side saddle for a season a few years ago - right horse, right time, right saddle, everything just fell into place.

          My only issue was that on a long day with lots of hills, jumping and galloping, the saddle obviously didn't fit me properly and the first few times I ended the day with large bruises on the underneath of my right knee and top of my left thigh. Didn't hurt, but was definitely unsightly. In the end I taped extra padding to my legs - couldn't see it with the habit. Habits hide lots of things.


          • #6
            That is why we make pads for the horns. they are called "Queen's Pads". I make then for the older models of Champion & Wiltons and any other model that needs the cushioning on the horns. They sure do help protect the legs and the horns from wear.
            I envy you for being able to ride with the Hunt that way.
            Hope you get to ride with them again.
            Regards, sadlmakr


            • #7
              Nice old sidesaddle,I love the stirrup iron.
              \"I have lived my life-it is nearly done-.I have played the game all round;But I freely admit that the best of my fun I owe it to Horse and Hound\".