It never occurred to me that blogging might awaken long dormant interests in writing and photography, or that a blog called Braymere Custom Saddlery might end up covering such a wide variety of equine topics. The past nine months have been filled all kinds of pleasant surprises, number one of which is this--people are actually interested in what I have to say. I never expected so many people would read this blog, and I am ridiculously happy each and every time someone leaves a comment or sends me an email about a posting.
There were a lot of comments on the Carriage Museum postings. As always, I am impressed by the wealth of collective knowledge in the model horse hobby--no matter how obscure the topic, it seems there is at least one hobbyist who knows something about it. One of these wise women is Desirae Corbett. She is a model horse judge, painter and tackmaker (check out her work here:http://ttebrocwd.home.mindspring.com/RafterC.html ) and also a collector of real tack. She was kind enough to send me pictures and information about two of the real saddles in her collection. One is a sidesaddle similar to (but nicer than) the tapestry seated sidesaddle at the Carriage Museum. The other one is this Plantation saddle.
Des bought this saddle on eBay. It is stamped Buena Vista and 316 just below the near side flap. It's not dated, but is most likely from the early 1900's. The stirrups are old English iron type, but the leathers thread through western-style fenders.The near side stirrup leather is torn. Des has the stirrup but it's not attached.The leather girth attaches to a single billet strap on each side. If you look carefully, you can just make out the stirrup leather which is threaded through the slot near the top of the flap.
Here's a look at the saddle's panels. Tackmakers take the best reference pictures. They know that what's under the flaps and on the bottom is just as important as the seat itself!This close up picture of the cantle clearly shows the rivets that hold the saddle together. Predictably, I now want to make a traditional scale plantation saddle--and then buy a Stone TWH to wear it! Oh, to have more time...
Thank you SO much, Des, for the pictures and information. If anyone else knows a little about plantation saddles or has a unique tack item they'd like to see pictured here, please be sure to leave a comment!