So, I was absolutely delighted to see a number of sidesaddles up close and in person at the Carriage Museum in Colorado Springs last weekend. Pictures are wonderful, but there is nothing better than looking at the actual item. This first sidesaddle was my favorite and it was also the best documented one of the collection. This was Julie Penrose's personal saddle. It was made by Crate Saddlery in London, England around 1885.
I really like the way this one has a skirt--that's the piece that covers the top of the stirrup leather where it attaches to the saddle--similar to that of a regular English saddle. Most of the sidesaddles I've seen just have a little flap. This looks far more elegant to me.
The view from the rear. Like many sidesaddles, this one has fabric covered panels.Unfortunately, the rest of the sidesaddles in the collection did not have any real documentation. This one was most similar to the Crate sidesaddle.I don't make very much tack to keep, but sooner or later I'm going to have to make myself a sidesaddle. I've really come to appreciate them over the past couple of months!
The offside of the above saddle. The slit at the top center of the flap interests me. Does anyone know what it's for?
Front view showing the panels.
Sadly, this Western style sidesaddle was not in very good condition.