Cheap survey - McClellan saddle fit problems

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Todd
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Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:12 pm

Thought I might start here with a very informal survey of folks that have used the McClellan saddle and run into horse-saddle fit issues.

<b>What seems to be the most common fitting problems?</b>

[common terms:
'rocker'= bottom curvature from sidebar tip-to-tip
'twist'= self-exp ('too flat', too 'steep'...)]


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John Fitzgerald
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Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:17 pm

No withers or chunky withers are the problem. High narrow withers are perfection.

John Fitzgerald
Eagle County, Colorado

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Todd
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Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:28 pm

Well, I'm looking at more of how the common issue-type McClellans don't fit, rather then what horses fit the saddles.

As an example - the later/WWI vintage M1904s have a 'narrower' gullet, which is usually a description of two things - an actually narrower gullet (around 1/2" narrower than earlier 1896/1904 pattern) and a greater twist in the forward area of the sidebars. On low-withered (and/or fat) horses, this sets the load on the bottom edge of the sidebar rather than on the actual bottom surface of the bar.

I've only run into one occasion where a horse's withers were too high for a 1904 gullet - and believe me, those are some scary-looking withers!

Haven't really seen a 'rocker' issue, but never really dealt with any horses that sway-backed. Once had a Whitman that had apparently 'settled' over time and was so flat it might have been a better fit for a Hereford.

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Ron Smith
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Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:53 pm

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Todd</i>
<br />Well, I'm looking at more of how the common issue-type McClellans don't fit, rather then what horses fit the saddles.

As an example - the later/WWI vintage M1904s have a 'narrower' gullet, which is usually a description of two things - an actually narrower gullet (around 1/2" narrower than earlier 1896/1904 pattern) and a greater twist in the forward area of the sidebars. On low-withered (and/or fat) horses, this sets the load on the bottom edge of the sidebar rather than on the actual bottom surface of the bar.

I've only run into one occasion where a horse's withers were too high for a 1904 gullet - and believe me, those are some scary-looking withers!

Haven't really seen a 'rocker' issue, but never really dealt with any horses that sway-backed. Once had a Whitman that had apparently 'settled' over time and was so flat it might have been a better fit for a Hereford.

Todd
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

Hate to say it but been there on those issues and done that.

We had 1 TBred that a 1st issue type Mac was too wide for, quite often most TBreds that are "FIT" can wear the 2nd patern and the follow ons through the 28 mods.

I never dealt with who madw hat tree so I can't say that one place/shop/arsenal did one or the other.

I have noticed inconsistencies in the seat and how they sit. Some 12's are more like 11's.

Is that sort of what you are looking for?

Ron
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John Ruf
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Wed Dec 05, 2007 3:55 pm

Todd:

I have used '04 McClellans on Standardbreds, Morgans and Quarterhorses with no problems.

I have had problems with short, barrel-chested horses with no withers (mostly Arabs and half-Arabs), but then again they are hard to fit regardless.



Regards,

John Ruf
Culpeper, Virginia

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Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham 1852-1936
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Todd
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Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:00 pm

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by John Ruf</i>
<br />
I have had problems with short, barrel-chested horses with no withers (mostly Arabs and half-Arabs), but then again they are hard to fit regardless.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">What was the exact nature of the problem - such as the areas of the saddle that did not match conformation...?
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Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:47 pm

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Todd</i>
<br />Once had a Whitman that had apparently 'settled' over time and was so flat it might have been a better fit for a Hereford.

Todd
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

I've seen that in a roping saddle that somebody had just bought, used, for their daughter to use on stock horses. Baffling. I couldn't imagine a horse it would actually fit.

She quit riding soon thereafter.

Pat
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Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:17 am

Todd:

Specifically; in the worst case I recall, on an Arab gelding named Hero, my 11.5" '04 showed daylight on the upper part of the side bars--conversely, the lower edge of the bars was digging in to his back. He was very broad, BTW

On a Half-Arab gelding named Triumphant, while the bars conformed to his back, the saddle had a propensity to roll no matter how tightly cinched.

Ir was not (now that I think about it) an issue of the sidebars being too long, so mentioning that the horses were short-backed, while factual, did not seem to compound the problem.

The lack of a defined withers, and the barrel-chest on two more Arabs; Sham and Edith have caused Mac's to slide over on them, even when tightly cinched and/or girthed.

Like I said, I chalk it up to more of an Arab conformation issue than a saddle issue.

Regards,

John Ruf
Culpeper, Virginia

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John Fitzgerald
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Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:30 am

The McClellan saddle is pretty consistent. Slightly wider or narrower gullet is the only difference. If we are to use this saddle, we have to do what the army did, find a horse to fit under it. It's that simple.

John Fitzgerald
Eagle County, Colorado

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Jim Bewley
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Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:04 am

The Mac I had was a reproduction, reportably designed for wider horses. I don't know the truth in that, however I used it on a quater horse mare and a quater horse qilding cross. Both 15 hands, not real broad in the back. I did not have a fitting problems.

Not sure if that helps your survey.

Jim
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Fri Dec 07, 2007 9:35 am

Have never tried one on a pure thoroughbred. On others, QH and draft crosses, the WWI vintage is too narrow, i.e., perches on and thus pinches the withers. Have not attempted to use one in 20+ years because of that.
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Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:34 pm

A possible explanation for the 'narrow' situations:
<center>Image</center>

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Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:07 pm

My older Quarterhorse is a little narrow for a 1918 '04 Mac, and was WAY narrow for my 1st pattern 1904 (Which I foolishly sold) I now have a second horse (3 1/2 y/o standardbred/saddlebred cross) who is a touch wide for my 2nd pattern. Anyone willing to trade a 1st pattern tree for a newly recovered 2nd pattern??



Brian S Colonna
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Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:21 pm

I bought a Cavalry Mac (I assume it was a WWI,I no longer have it. A couple fellow about got into a shooting war at an auction over it in York PA) to use when I was riding in the Jesse James Bank Robbery re-inactments at Northfield MN.

I was riding a long legged QH type mare at the time. This saddle sat up on top of her back with only the bottom edges of the bars touching horsehair. Way, way too narrow! I had no problems with a 1960ish Bona Allen or a 1976 Hereford stock saddle. I tried a 19th century stock saddle with the same bad results.
Yes she had nice withers!
Richard
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Todd
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Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:54 am

Additional pic, showing 1864 contract McClellan tree from same view:
<center>ImageImage</center>
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Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:42 pm

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Todd</i>
<br />Additional pic, showing 1864 contract McClellan tree from same view:
<center>ImageImage</center>

<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

Wow. Remarkable difference.

Pat
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Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:50 pm

Not the same view perspective, but hopefully shows how much shallower the sidebar angle/pitch is. This is a very early cw contract saddle, which had shown a number of 'shortcuts' from the regulations. (This was an old restoration job, so the rawhide and hardware are new)
Image

Todd
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