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I bought this saddle and etc. at an auction.  It was advertised as a civil war saddle.  I have tried to track down a maker, but it doesn't show a name anywhere.

Does this saddle look familiar to anyone.  I would like to find someone who could lead me in the right direction for a price, so that I can sell all of the above together, OR individually.

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The saddle has some early military designs, but has had additional leather added to it. The leather rosettes are called conchas, a Mexican addition, and the "strings" also are not found on American military saddles.  Early saddles had stirrup guards that covered the toe of the rider's boot; yours does not. The scabbard (not sheath) is for the long rifle. On military saddles it is carried vertically in front of the saddle, right side.  In mountainous country it is carried at an angle protruding upwards and backwards behind the saddle. Why? You're riding in the mountains and a grizzly bear blocks your way. Your horse rears and you roll off backwards. As you fall your right hand grabs the rifle and it slides out of the scabbard. Your horse runs off. You survive, the bear doesn't.

I think your saddle may have seen military use but not in the Civil War. Maybe Spanish American war (1898) or Pancho Villa affair (1910-14). It may have been captured and remodeled. Maybe the Mexican army used it. The scabbard looks newer, WW I issue. They used a stiff light colored leather.

Check ebay for "solds" to determine value. Condition and care are important. Maybe polish your leather, clean it. Might help sell it.

Thanks a lot for your view on this.  Its nice to get some insight and ty for clarifying what the scabbard is called.  I've not had any lucky or info by researching saddles.

Antique saddles are a very specialized field and you are best off finding a place where they know a lot about them. For example you could contact the guy that runs the following site (where they sell reproduction military saddles) and see if he or someone he knows is able to answer your question. I don't know anything about saddles, but this would be in amazingly good condition for leather that old. And based on a quick look at that site, this is the wrong color to be used by the military prior to 1904

Tom, what designs do you see that look like it would have been used in the military? I would have expected a "U.S." mark somewhere but what do I know?

You need to be careful buying at auction - they never guarantee their statements and you need to probe in order to figure out how much they know. Civil war saddle may mean "in the style of an older saddle with a gun holder so maybe it was used in some conflict at some point".

Thanks Jeff.  Getting any information I can acquire is exciting as well as useful. Knowing about these websites, is great.  TY so much.

It has a rounded pommel and no horn. The horn is used on Western saddles for roping; there isn't a horn on military saddles. The cantle is lower on her saddle, likewise on military saddles. It is much higher on Western saddles. A high cantle prevents the rider from turning on the saddle; a cavalryman needs to be able to twist around on the saddle especially when using a sword or sabre. The belly strap is in front of the stirrup, likewise on military saddles,but  not on Western saddles.  The stirrups on hers are definitely off a Western saddle.

Regarding the pommel, a rounded pommel was used in dressage which is the art of guiding a horse by body movement rather than reins. Horsemen could lean into the pommel, either side with their thighs and cause the horse to turn left, right,stop, etc. This  practice is still used today and there are official dressage organizations.  It's pronounced dress-age (like massage).

So Tom, do you think it was military then with different stirrups added later in its life for perhaps ranching or what have you.  Also what military might it have been used for, any knowledge of that?  Thanks Tom, your information is so interesting to read.

Like I said, the additions appear to be Mexican. Personally I would guess the saddle was American military possibly used during the Villa-Juarista-Pershing battles in 1911-14, captured by the Mexicans and converted to what it is today. Quien sabe, maybe Pancho Villa rode on it?


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