Officer's Saddle

A forum for general topics and questions.
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Couvi
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Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:33 am

I have a question from a third party. “Would an officer use a 1904 issue McClellan Artillery saddle or if they would best be represented by a 1917 officer saddle or something else?” I don’t have a historical period in the question, so let’s say from the beginning of WWI to the end of WWII.
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Pat Holscher
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:55 am

Couvi wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:33 am
I have a question from a third party. “Would an officer use a 1904 issue McClellan Artillery saddle or if they would best be represented by a 1917 officer saddle or something else?” I don’t have a historical period in the question, so let’s say from the beginning of WWI to the end of WWII.
An officer would likely have had an officers saddle, and indeed even during World War One a lot of men who were commissioned for the war purchased saddles, some purchasing French patterns.

In the field officers tended to use what they felt appropriate, so it's not impossible at all that an artillery officer would simply have used a McClellan. And of course there were officers still using Whitmans' in the period that your associate is apparently inquiring about. So I suppose the answer sort of is, "it depends".
Pat

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Todd
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:03 pm

Couvi wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:33 am
I have a question from a third party. “Would an officer use a 1904 issue McClellan Artillery saddle or if they would best be represented by a 1917 officer saddle or something else?” I don’t have a historical period in the question, so let’s say from the beginning of WWI to the end of WWII.
From their representation in one of my favorite cheap things to collect, real photo postcards, I'd say it's mostly a question of what context the officer would be in. If a more formal one, such as parades, reviews, etc. (garrison), a specific officers saddle such as a M1917 (which could suffice through end of WW2), a M1936 Phillips, or even a M1926 training saddle or similar 'Saumur' types would be perfectly suitable.

In any sort of more informal field type environment ('tactical'), almost invariably an regular issue type McClellan.

Officers had to purchase all their equipment and uniforms, and had to be sure to abide by the regimental expectations (which might mean special items, particular colors, etc.) - so if there was any chance of having their nice ( and expensive! ) equipment damaged or excessively worn, they would likely avoid using it wherever possible. Personally, I don't believe I've ever seen a fully packed M1917 in old photos - even the officer in my rppc of an AEF cavalry unit is riding a 'slick' 1917, without pockets or bags.

From recent digging around in pre-WW1 (1910-1914) ordnance publications, if the officer was not assigned for any significant length of time to a particular unit/location (that required them to be mounted) they could draw horse equipment from the local ordnance store, for which they would be personally accountable for. In those odd cases, it was likely standard enlisted gear.
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TL Foster
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Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:53 pm

First let me say that I love the new web site. Especially the photo for the General Topics portal. If I may direct you attention to the horse on the far left, you'll notice, :o yes, a 1917 officer saddle loaded for the field. :thumbup: Hopefully there is one of us that can tell us more about the picture (who, what...). I really like this site. :clap:
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Tom
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Todd
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Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:58 am

TL - yes, I do keep a slice of humble pie in the microwave at all times..... with a side of chagrin ice cream waiting in freezer.

Omg, and I put that photo in there not three days ago. :oops: :lol:
Joseph Sullivan
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Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:12 am

As I recall, officers rode officers' saddle except for uncommon cases of shortness of cash or convenience. It is worth keeping in mind that many senior officers would no longer fit into a Mac. Macs are made for typical cavalrymen, who are on the mid to smaller size spectrum. Big guys, or guys who had gained weight, just could not comfortably fit.

I know this from personal experience. Most of my riding instruction was in college, with me riding a Mac. At 6'5' tall, I am far larger than most cavalrymen. But even at this height, in college I was too thin at 175 lbs. As long as it was a 12" model, it fit me. Now at 227, I cannot fit in a Mac.

Back to my point about officers: My late old friend, BG Gaber Kidwell, was a general of artillery. He joined up out of Texas A&M; specifically with the Artillery because he wanted to be horse mounted and he was my height and heavier (not fat) so the cavalry flinched. You bet that even as a Lt. Gaber probably preferred to use officer's saddles when he could.
Joe
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