Monday, June 1, 2009

The Carriage Museum

My husband and I zipped down to Colorado Springs for a one night mini vacation last weekend. We arrived at our hotel a couple hours early and decided to enjoy the nice weather by going for a walk. The walk didn't last long, though. This sign caught my eye and I couldn't resist going inside to look at the carriages.
The museum curator met us at the door and welcomed us to the museum. I mentioned that I liked horses and he said there were a "couple" saddles in the collection. I did not find them right away though because I was distracted by things like this:
This beautiful Brougham was used in the 1841 inauguration parade by President William H. Harrison. Here is all the pertinent information for you carriage aficionados.There were all different kinds of horse drawn vehicles. Here is a sulky: And this is a cutter sleigh:
Harness bells for the sleigh.
I love this little pony cart. The back seats are mounted on a swivel so that they can either face the middle or the back of the cart.
How about a class for performance goats?
Wouldn't the Breyer companion animal goat look great hitched to a miniature version of this?
In addition to the carriages there were also some very old cars including some vintage hillclimber race cars. My husband did not have much interest in the carriages, but I think he would have been happy to stay and look at those cars all day.Collared harnesses were everywhere. Unfortunately, most of them were hanging up like this, behind the carriages and too far away for close inspection.And it turns out there were far more than a couple saddles. Here is just a little teaser picture of the "Western Saddle" wall. Never fear, I will post a lot more saddle pictures in future postings!
If you live near Colorado Springs, I can not recommend this museum enough. It's located right across the street from the Broadmoor Hotel and admission is free. The curator is very friendly and is happy to tell you everything he knows about the objects in the collection. Very few things are behind glass, and I was able to look at the saddles from nearly every angle. Truly, this museum is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in saddles for the late 1800's and early 1900's!

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