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Hazel-Eye

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Reply with quote  #181 
Fantastic piece of work, HA.
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Chance

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Reply with quote  #182 
Well, I gotta say that is one classy piece of work. I take my hat, and everything else, off to you for your skill and perseverance. It must have seemed at times like it would never be finished and I also admire your patience in seeing it through and getting it just the way you wanted.

Now it's no secret that my knowledge of horses and saddles could be written on the back of a postage stamp, in very large letters, but I enjoy reading these equestrian posts. With this in mind I have a question. I've read, probably on here, of the different types of horses and different fit of saddles. The rear skirt on your saddle tapers up towards the back while I have seen photographs (one attached) of the old timers where the skirt is more or less horizontal. Is this due to the shape of the horse's back?

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babd264d5f6d0fd4e90664acf442f417.jpg 

Chance


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Django

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Reply with quote  #183 
It looks great HA, I don't know much about saddles and tack so have not replied to posts lately but I'm still reading and appreciating them. 
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horseapples

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Reply with quote  #184 
I love that picture Chance because of the way it shows the saddle skirts meeting behind the cantle well above the horse's spine, modern saddles aren't built like that and often rub because of it. Getting the skirts level is no easy task and, because of his wiiiiide back my horse spreads the skirts at the back and makes them appear more tapered.
Chance

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Reply with quote  #185 
Thanks for that. So, are horses over here generally bigger than those cow ponies?

Chance

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horseapples

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Reply with quote  #186 
It is my understanding Chance that breed, nutrition and exercise contribute to the shape of a horse. Exercise without nutrition and you get a Japanese P.O.W., exercise with nutrition and you get an athlete but that can be a power lifter or a middle distance runner depending on breed. Nutrition without exercise and you get a lardy arsed couch potato so nutrition and exercise are important to condition but you can't, ordinarily make a cart horse into a race horse whatever you do.

Breed and breeding gives you skeletal type and if properly fed skeletal size and shape, some horses really are "big boned" much like differing races of human. Saddle fitters talk about wide and narrow backs, this doesn't just refer to the length of the rib out from the spine before it bends down into the belly but the angle at which the ribs come out of the spine, kinda like the pitch of a roof. In humans you see the proportional length or the shins and forearms change with race, the bow of the femur, the angle of the femoral neck etc and it's the same with horses. Arabs for instance have one fewer vertebrae in their lumbar spine and I think 2 fewer in their tails so breeding has a huge influence.

My horse is a big boned powerful Suffolk Punch crossed with a Thoroughbred which makes him a small Suffolk with crap feet and a and a slightly mental streak. His loins are wide and his pelvis is massive.

In short Chance yes horses tend to be a little bigger but your bulldog cattle pony isn't much taller taday than he was then, he's just more "Arnie" like, bigger back, powerful upper limbs, small lightweight lower limbs and feet, small head, no unnecessary weight, built for power and instant speed.
Sonorabitandspur

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Reply with quote  #187 
There is a lot of variance in the American Quarter Horse Assoc. As far as horse size go. Among the horse families registered are, Poco TiVo, Doc Bar, Hancock, Driftwood, Jackie Bee, Easy Jet and many others. Your "cowpony types" are strongly influenced by Spanish Barb type horses and originated in Texas and the southwest. They tend to be around 15 to 14 hands with athletic and catty movements, these are what today would be classified as cutters and reiners. They tend to average in weight from 950 to 1200 lbs.
The northern plains and plain states also contain alot of this blood but many were crossed out on draft breeds, they also saw some American bred Thoughbred blood to a greater extent than the cutters. They generally are favored for heavy roping, barrel racing, ect. They tend to be very strong and posses great endurance. They range in height from over 16 hands to around 15 hands and will weigh in at 1100 to 1400 lbs.
Then again you have the "Quarter milers" aka "running quarterhorses" which are used in AQHA horse racing. They run from in excess of 16 hands to 14 1/2 hands. They look more like thouroghbreds with a little more fullness in figure, generally heavier hindquarters and thicker loins. So the cowpony is only one horse type that is commonly bred and used here, known as the American Quarter Horse.
I have ridden and used alot of cutting/reining type horses, they are great in wooded and rough country due to allowing better athletisism, smaller size allows some more maneuverability in tighter quarters. (It is amazing how much less ducking down to avoid tree limbs you have to do with a horse shorter by one hand, or about 4 inches.) I also think alot of the Hancock and Driftwood horses as they tend to be very level headed and very tough horses. I find generally mares are more game than geldings and less likely to quit on you in the bottom of some canyon somewhere. I have experienced this several times, too many to be coincidence. Having ridden only a few stud colts and not in rough country, I could not say for sure but I'd expect they would be good performers as well. I'm not too high on geldings in general, great horses for selling but not for keeping. I have had two geldings who never left me in a lurch, a little black 14.5 hand Peppy San bred fella named "Spooky" and a sorrel running quarter horse named "Slick."
Sonorabitandspur

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Reply with quote  #188 
Also as a side note when you use a small string of horses day after day they lose body fat and build incredible amounts of muscel, which changes their appearance and how their saddles fit. We would pour the grain (rather a pelleted grain mix for improved digestability) to them and feed as much alfalfa as they would eat to keep them from losing too much weight. We also would be careful to give a day off work as often as we could to help with soreness from increased workload.
horseapples

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Reply with quote  #189 
Saddle pockets on, just the front cinch to make now and I have the mohair cinch chord in my drawer ready to start when I get a minute.

By the way chance, Link and I both use Diamond Wool 1" thick ranch pads. If you look at his saddle in the F.A.Meanea saddle thread started by Big Wyatt he's got roughly the same amount of saddle pad visible below the skirts as I have and that will give you an indication of how "level" my skirts would be on a skinnier horse.

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Django

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Reply with quote  #190 
That looks to be a fine job HA, I'd like to see you in the saddle wearing your new boots and spurs though.
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horseapples

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Reply with quote  #191 
Hah, not at any gigs you won't. The boots are Ariat work boots, intended for yard duties, riding, walking about in sand schools etc. The spurs, as you've probably guessed are a foundation. The Spanish Colonial type spurs I made a couple years ago started out that way. I intend to knock off all the silver, re file the shanks and heel bands, re rivet the buttons onto the bands and turn them into period spurs. Then you'll see them.
horseapples

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Reply with quote  #192 
In post No 153 of this thread Bill asks if I am going to make a cinch safe for the saddle. Well, I had it in mind that I'd make a new front cinch myself, buy the rings and string it myself then make the cinch safes to fit. Trouble is, there are few original cinches to see on the net and it's very difficult to work out how big the damned rings are with nothing to go on. This makes ordering the rings impossible and buggers up the cinch making plan.

So, being unable to use the saddle at a gig with an obviously modern cinch I eventually listened to the advice of a wiser man than myself and made me a cinch safe. I need to oil it for colour and trim the threads but it worked just fine, didn't rub and I think disguises the cinch fairly well.

I'd found a Meanea and a Gallatin safe on the net to copy and this is kinda a mixture of the two styles about 80% Gallatin and 20% Meanea.

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Linkstrap

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Reply with quote  #193 
Nice one mate!
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horseapples

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Reply with quote  #194 
And here it is in situ after it's second test ride. It didn't rub or cause any problems so I gave it a good oiling afterwards to tone the colour down a bit.

I know that the tree isn't perfect, the cinch is modern, the cinch rings and buckles as well as the stirrup bolts are stainlessand should be black but all in all I am fairly pleased with it and won't worry too much about the imperfections when I get it to an event.

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