Well, despite looking like a modern side saddle made between the two world wars with it's very wide thick comfy pommels and broad, flattish seat, it was actually made October 26, 1905!
Once again, the measurements listed on the tree label bear no resemblance to those of the seat. The seat measures 17" on the nose from cutback to cantle or 21 1/2" from from the front of the fixed head to cantle. The seat measures 13" across.
Mayhews do not normally work for Hattie and I was going to sell it because I just assumed that it would not work and was just gathering dust in my tack room, that is, until I made the mistake of bringing it to the stables to try on Hattie yesterday to photograph it. This one seems to actually be a good fit out of all the Mayhews I have ever tried!
The flocking is all over the place in it and has bunched up over the years at the withers like what happened with my off-side Beck Morrow. The actual tree width is a generous medium fit like my Beck Morrow.
Once I got the panels sorted out (they need to be relined too as moths have eaten the serge), I think it would be a good fit! There is no bridging with the panels and I can feel a nice contact with Hattie's back with no pinching when I run my panels along the panels.
The leather on the saddle is in good condition and I have a pot of German Effax leather oil which is a miracle worker, that I'm going to use on it. The pommels are doeskin and scrubbed up nicely with my suede brush while the seat is pigskin which I also like. I ride in full seat breeches any ways and tend to like a pigskin seat as I don't feel claustrophobic in them.
The girth straps are not as far back on the saddle and most other side saddles I have tried but I will still need a point strap put on the off-side point.
Moth eaten panels aside, it's not in too bad condition. The things that need to be done to make it riding and show worthy is:
1) All new girth straps including a new balance billet and a point strap put on the other side.
2) Replace missing elastic and hook on convenience tab on the off-side.
3) Reline panels.
4) Repair nearside tree point end.
The wood at the extreme end of the nearside tree point has chipped off from age so I spoke to my side saddler, Leo Wright, and he gave me a quote which was actually VERY reasonable to fix this (and to fix everything else as well). He has rebuilt completely broken trees where horses have rolled on them, so that they are completely safe and strong to ride in again. Leo said that anything on a side saddle can be repaired and that these chips on the end of trees are common.
It's Leo's reasonable quote and the fact that the saddle seems to fit Hattie nicely (and fits my bum nicely too) that is tempting me to keep it.
The problem is that I already have a beautiful Whippy which also fits Hattie and I and a nice off-side saddle but only one horse!
I DO NOT need another side saddle!