Myles Keogh saddle and bridle

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Joseph Sullivan
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Have any of you ever looked at the putative Myles Keogh saddle and bridle on display on the stuffed and mounted horse Comanche?

http://www2.ljworld.com/photos/2005/jan/14/54100/

Certainly a Whitman, with tricked out stirrups, but that bridle? I've never seen the like.


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Todd
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Very familiar with that mount and the equipment. The saddle is a bit of an oddity, as it wasn't the Whitman-like (Jenifer?) saddle pictured on Comanche much later in life, and in the very first photos of the mount taken when Dyche finished it. I would HIGHLY doubt that this was Keogh's - probably an old used one that was provided after the mount was commissioned. I would doubt that the saddle Keogh was riding that day made it back (at least with Comanche - maybe ended up getting traded in Canada :| )

This one was a more standard Whitman, that looks like it was broken and roughly repaired, or made excessively flat - it doesn't fit the mount at all. The finish appears to have a lot of gloss paint qualities with a lot of wear marks showing through - it saw a LOT of use. The rest of hardware is standard Whitman. Under the saddle is a fine wool saddlecloth, yellow leather binding, and large number '7' in rear corners.

The stirrup straps are standard 1890s McClellan straps with sweat leathers attached (forget if sewn or riveted), the stirrups themselves are standard 1890s McClellan (single-ply hooded, brass rivets), girth is standard 1890s horsehair type.

The breaststrap is lovely black with yellow enameled leather overlay sewn on, nice typical light-frame faceted brass buckles, nice brass heart ornament with large number '7' soldered on.

The bridle is the stunning part of this - all rolled leather, with custom ornaments with large number '7's soldered on, the light-framed faceted brass buckles, and a plain large-ring watering/snaffle bit. Of all the items on the mount, I'd lay good odds that it, and perhaps the breaststrap, are the only pieces that were directly used/associated with the live Comanche.

Lot of healed scars visible - the horse did go through a wringer. Much of the mane and tail hair is missing from the original mount photos, apparently as it was exposed in early years, and many a student plucked a souvenir. Considering how much arsenic was dumped into these old mounts, I'm not sure I'd go there - the amount that has leached into some of these saddlery items over the last 110 years... make ya wonder.
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Todd
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Interesting link - http://www.garryowen.com/comanche-today.html

I would disagree with the authors comments about the original display location - you could get excellent views of both sides, whereas now you can only see the off-side, as it's tucked against a wall in an out-of-the-way corner.

There's a good reason the mount is still there - for all the 'politically incorrect' nature of the subject at a major university ( occasionally known as "Berkley on the Kaw'), it brings in a ton of visitors.

Plus, the cheep-azz officers that commissioned the mount never ponied up the cash to pay for the job, so it reverted back to L.L. Dyche and KU.
Joseph Sullivan
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I figured you might be familiar. The Whitman just does not look right. That bridle is a lovely thing - can't imagine that someone just picked it up somewhere for this exhibit, so I am inclined to agree with your speculation that it could be original.
Joe
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