czech saddle

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Larry Emrick
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I came across a very interesting military saddle today. Pictures to come when I can get someone to shoot some but in the meantime: Pressed steel arches attached via swivel hinges to wooden sidebars . Rather than being suspended on webbing as the UP is, the seat is suspended on what appears to be rawhide lacing. Sidebars have felt numnahs. The seat is detachable and is padded and stitched. It has a large spoon more upright than on UPs and spoon and cantle edges fitted with brass covering. Stirrups are heavier than UPs. It's heavier than a UP but the steel arches do not look to be as substantial as those of the UP. I am a little reluctant to use it because I don'tt want to test the old rawhide lacing that suspends the seat, otherwise it is useable. Even has its girth although it's seen better days. Has a metal tag attached from a Prague manufacturer. I"m only guessing but I would put the age to early 1900s. It's companion is a London-made sidesaddle my daughter is keen to try out. More later. Larry


Larry Emrick
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Here are a few pictures of the saddle.
Thanks to Rich McKie for the digital pics.
First picture is an overview of the saddle
Image
Next the maker's plate
It Reads, "V.Holzknecht, Prague"
Image
Hinge for Movable Sidebars
Image
Seat to Frame Lacing
Image
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John M
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Larry,
Very interesting. The swivel hinges to the sidebars arrangement according to Major Tylden originated on the Continent.
"These jointed front and rear arches were brought to the notice of officers of the British Army by Gen.Keith Fraser. CMG.;Inspector Gen of Cavalry in Austria c.1887, where it had been invented by a "small saddler"...".
John.M.

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John Ruf
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Gentlemen:

The stirrups are the same model seen in WWI era Austro-Hungarian photographs of mounted troops.

Regards,

John Ruf
Culpeper, Virginia

"God forbid that I should go to any Heaven in which there are no horses."
Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham 1852-1936
Larry Emrick
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My thanks to Rich for posting the photos. I have since found out some of the history of the saddle. It came from the estate of the wife of a prominent lumberman in Vancouver who fled Austria in the late 1930s. In her younger days the lady was an accomplished horsewoman who had a successful amateur career in the show ring. Her estate also included a number of trophies she had won. The family moved to Vancouver and built one of the leading lumber companies while she continued to pursue her riding interests. Her son does not know exactly how she came by a military saddle but speculated that either one of her European coaches who periodically came to Canada from Europe to ride with her brought it, or she had it here for him to use when he visited. When she passed away she left it and an equally nice sidesaddle to the local riding club. I have not been able to trace any reference to the saddler but will continue with the research. Larry
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Very interesting.

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John M
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Larry,
Also very interesting that, I having referred to the Austrian invention, the saddle actually came to Canada from Austria!. Perhaps it could be the Military Pattern that General Fraser obtained c.1887?.
Though the Prague makers label perhaps makes this doubtful.
John.M.

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Larry Emrick
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I sent an e-mail to the Prague Military Museum with a link back here asking for any background they might have on the saddle or even the saddler so it will be interesting if we get a response. Will keep you all posted. And if anyone is familiar with the properties of old leather, what do you think of the advisability of a short delicate ride on the saddle? It is in extremely good condition and the only thing keeping me from trying it out is the fear of breaking the lacing. I am wondering if I let some leather preservative soak in for a few days beforehand would that help. Larry
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Barefoot
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Sorry for bumping up such an old thread but I broke my hand and being untauglich I have too much time :)
I belive I know what type of saddle this is. It is most probably a KuK officer's saddle built on a standard 1906.M tree.

Schematics for the tree:
Image

The saddle is virtually identical with this one found in a militara shop sold as 1906 officers saddle:
Image

The stirrups are of the officers pattern (smaller and rounder), the embossed leather and the tanned leather seat (instead of rawhide) makes it clear it is an officer's saddle.

This is the standard 1906.M saddle (posted earlier by Reiter in one of the armeesattel topics):
Image
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https://www.facebook.com/standtohorse/m ... 341&type=3 I have posted photos and provenance of my Yugoslavian Cavalry Saddle. Note it's obvious patterning after British UP. also note similar swivel bar features to your own Czech Cavalry saddle.

Yugoslavian Military Saddle, sidebars swivel to fit horse(s) ...
Updated about 7 months ago · Taken in Palmer Lake, Colorado
Sidebars are hinged to swivel to fit same horse when fit and proud backed and 6months into the campaign when they lean out from exertion and stress. Or just several different sized horses with rider who doesn't want to fit each horse to it's individual saddle. As in "Mounted Patrols" who have several different horses to saddle.
I received a Yugoslavian Military saddle today, a war trophy given to a 1950s GI by a German for helping him with his horses in Germany after the war. Purchased on EBay from Santa Ynez Saddlery. The side bar hinges to pommel and cantle archs are very sturdy and there is a bar welded to pommel and cantle archs which runs parallel to side bars. Much stronger than 1912 UP set up and I believe this post dates the 1912 so in effect this a later development. skirts are notched to cover front hinge so have to lift asside to show attachment to sidebar. Leatherman will give scale of hinge also. there is a second sling of leather under the main seat piece that is laced to A. the bar connecting archs and B. the skirts. which aren't secured to sidebars at all. stirrup leathers are attached to enlarged footman loop w/roller like UP. Side bars swivel very easily. and have about 66 dgrs. of motion or more....
This saddle was designed to conform to each horses various fitness and conformation changes, It will also fit a number of different horses, allowing the rider to retain his familiar seat and aids with each in turn by using the same saddle for several horses. Both a practical consideration of horsemanship
and an economical one as well.
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