Saturday, 23 October 2010

Whitman Side Saddles

Went out on a hack this morning and Hattie was good! Forward but good. We had a bit of a canter and went through the ford river without mishap. I didn't ride side saddle unfortunately as my off-side side saddle isn't the best of fits for me and with going out on the roads with friends (one of which bought a new horse and was just getting used to him), I thought it best just to stick with astride.

When we got back, I schooled for about 10 minutes to try and build up my fitness. We just stayed on a 20m circle and I practice walk/tot transitions and keeping Hattie forward at the trot. Attempted cantering on both reins and managed a canter on both but the left canter was hard work as I'm battling my wimpy muscles and crooked position (stupid heels kept coming up too) but at least we did it! I ended up throwing my body protector on the floor as it kept getting in the way of my position when trying to canter. The back of it kept bumping on the cantle when I was trying to sit up straight and down in the saddle to stay put and quite while asking for the canter. When I took it off, Hattie cantered.

Think I may have to chop off even more of the back of it off....

I love collecting old advertisements for side saddles and have an ad from September 1905 for a Whitman Lady's Saddle showing a Whitman side saddle on Edith Carrow Roosevelt's mare Yaeganka.

I found an article on the internet saying how Yaeganka and President Roosevelt's horses were kept at the White House stables. Unfortunately, the White House stables no longer exist as they were demolished in 1911.

Whitman side saddles were produced from the 1870's right into the 1930's and are known as "combination saddles" as they are English side saddles built on Western saddle bars rather than a forked tree see on "regular" English side saddles. They were built for park riding and are not suitable for jumping.

I found an ad on Ebay a long time ago from August 14, 1880, showing the trees of Whitman saddles including the tree of a side saddle! Note the lack of a fork at the front.

1 comment:

  1. This site posted a pic of a western side saddle with an extra horn like a stock saddle in addition to the regular side saddle horns. Interested to learn more.