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 What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade?

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Coalforge

Coalforge

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PostSubject: What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade?   What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? EmptyJune 20th 2018, 10:25 pm

I'm not sure where to post this so I will try here. I read Buck Conner's article "Some Descriptions of Mountain Men", in Muzzleloading Media. From some of the descriptions, I was wondering what type of saddles the mountain man would have used. Rude Mexican Saddles and plain black Spanish saddle with holsteres of heavy pistols are both mentioned but I have not been able to find out much prior to the 1860's.
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Buck Conner
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Buck Conner

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PostSubject: Re: What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade?   What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? EmptyJuly 2nd 2018, 10:36 am

From what I have found some of the early saddles were army saddles from the Rev War and War of 1812 (found in western Ohio left from a small group of trappers). They probably stole them when leaving the settlements? 

Some of the factors rode those hornless English gentlemen saddles (only a few I have found). 

Most adventurers used wooden frame pack saddles (that would have killed your backside). 

Once the trade started coming out of Mexico up the Santa fe Trail traveling East we see the use of the so called "Santa Fe Mexican" style of saddle with the big horn (they were the most common and used for years in Mexico and across the boarder in the US). Most all of these old boys had pistol holsters hung over the horns (the more the better for firepower).

First started out with single rigging (holds the saddle on the horse) shown 
below.

What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? Z  What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? Images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSi2V-AxZMn_03abctiQmY0yLECOFoSinNkLeXY9ZS5C5I10MyR

In time they moved on to double rigging shown below.

What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? 2Q==  What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? Images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQdqRdfaAztKwObNQV3qsw4-NKvKQwgAFQL43Zm8srpzs8NUqrt  

Then came those cool spurs (man can you hurt yourself with these puppies).

What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? Images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRDZNKB7HeEN75VJIEd4jJ_-DN6WSsGj0lRTPcWiIbExFNfWwpXyA
Here's a good article that will answer all your needs about early saddles.

http://www.western-saddle-guide.com/western-saddle-history.html

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Buck Conner
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Buck Conner

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PostSubject: Re: What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade?   What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? EmptyJuly 2nd 2018, 2:10 pm

I rode one of these saddles for a dozen years, liked it the best over other ones tried. The opening of the Santa Fe Trail, traders brought this saddle east and north. It became known as the Santa Fe Saddle mentioned here. Very comfortable for long rides.

What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? Texas-mochila-saddle

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Buck Conner
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Buck Conner

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PostSubject: Re: What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade?   What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? EmptyJuly 2nd 2018, 3:44 pm

Very comfortable and wide enough for today's horse (well feed when compared to what our forefathers horse that they road with those boney backs).

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Coalforge

Coalforge

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PostSubject: Re: What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade?   What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? EmptyJuly 10th 2018, 11:01 am

I was thinking the saddles would not have had a horn on them prior to there being cattle in the area. If not roping anything, there would not be the need for the horn.  I was thinking they may have been more like the McClellan Army Saddle.  I am sure the pack saddles were the sawbuck style that have been used for ages.What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? S-l1600
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BrownBear



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PostSubject: Re: What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade?   What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? EmptyJuly 10th 2018, 12:18 pm

Just for reference I spent an afternoon at Colonial Williamsburg with leather ace Jim Kladder as he was making a pair of holsters for horseback use. Actually he called them "buckets." They were joined like a pair of saddlebags and intended to sling across the horse in front of the saddle, a saddle without a horn, as a matter of fact. When I queried him about the same for horned saddles, he said they'd put a hole in the middle of the joining leather so the pair would slip over the horn. The cool part of this pair of buckets was the bear hide flaps over their mouths to make them more waterproof.  He said it worked well, but if he was not tracing history he'd have added a small hole or two in the bottom of the buckets to drain water, should any enter. But he'd never seen any made that way.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see what I'm talking about. If those aren't the same buckets Jim was making at the time, they're pert near identical.

Dunno the relevance or pathways of colonial leatherwork to the mountains, but there's a whole lot to admire in the work that Jim and his crew are doing at Williamsberg.  Well worth noodling around their site to discover what you can, or better yet to make a visit to the leather shop at Williamsberg. A very long visit!  I thought I knew a lot about leather working until the moment I walked through their door.
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Buck Conner
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PostSubject: Re: What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade?   What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? EmptyJuly 10th 2018, 3:25 pm

The first saddle is believed to have been invented in 365 AD by the Sarmations. Proud horsemen who used their horses in battle and also sacrificed them to the gods, their saddle creations were brought back to Europe by the Huns.

History and development. There is evidence, though disputed, that humans first began riding the horse not long after domestication, possibly as early as 4000 BC. The earliest known saddle-like equipment were fringed cloths or pads used by Assyrian cavalry around 700 BC.

Early day horseman rode bareback. From traveling to waging war, for hundreds of years, man rode without a saddle.

As mentioned the first saddle is believed to have been invented in 365 AD by the Sarmations. Proud horsemen who used their horses in battle and also sacrificed them to the gods, their saddle creations were brought back to Europe by the Huns. Finding the metal stirrups great for mounting, as well as for increasing overall balance, the Europeans discovered that they were able to wield war weapons with more skill and accuracy.

In the beginning, leather tanning was undeveloped, at best. As the years passed, saddlers perfected the process, resulting in soft, supple, durable hides. The saddle’s tree, generally made from a carved piece of wood, evolved into wood covered rawhide, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and, most recently, a complete removal of the tree.

The western saddle we know today is an evolved version of the Spanish Vaquero’s working saddle. As the working cowboys used their saddles, they underwent a gradual change in order to continue to meet the demands of life in the Old West. Specialized jobs, such as roping cattle, packing man and supplies resulted in specialized saddle types.

Then came the invention of rodeos. Initially intended for working cowboys to showcase their skills, the invent of individualized events lead to the evolution of more saddle types, from barrel to roping models.

As riders’ demands changed from working to pleasure, and chosen mounts continue to evolve, the saddle has advanced, as well. One only has to look as far as a retail catalog or website to see the dizzying array of models available today.

There's more history on saddle making than there is on some important events in our own history in the New World.

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Buck Conner
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PostSubject: Re: What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade?   What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? EmptyJuly 10th 2018, 5:02 pm

@BrownBear wrote:
If those aren't the same buckets Jim was making at the time, they're pert near identical.

What makes several of us that have studied life in North America laugh is the "terms" these craftsman have come up with. Many of them are only seen here or used at Williamsburg.  Surprised

Having known a half dozen riflesmiths, coppersmiths and a blacksmith that spent years at Williamsburg. Then moved on to better pastures have all had the same comment about some of the "terms" used at Williamsburg. If a correct term wasn't available one was made up, once printed (literature) it was a standard one used.

This made me laugh as the same thing happens at other museums and historical places all over the world. There's a well known dinosaur museum here in Utah know for their complete "T Rex's" and their Museum of Ancient Life. I worked with a young lady who had worked at this museum while finishing her college degree. She said "several of us worked swings at the museum researching and labeling the different bones for the displays". "If we couldn't find the correct name we would come up with some off the wall name and label that bone" (this was a common practice among these places and kids working in the background).

Now are you still willing to believe everything you see or read. 

Charles E. Hanson, Jr of "The Museum of the Fur Trade" would go crazy with such things happening. One good example was a museum was given a group of family items and agreed to label them as their great grandfather claimed they were. Cody Museum was interested in several items for a display they were putting together, but several of the other items were not correctly named (one being a 1940's H&R single shot shotgun - marked as a NW trade gun, painted a barn red with pale green tacks). Totally wrong, but taken per their agreement with this family.

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Buck Conner
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PostSubject: Re: What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade?   What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? EmptyJuly 10th 2018, 5:41 pm

Just thought of another reference to these saddle holsters - British Officers were using them in the F&I War. Bannerman & Sons were selling them in their 1857 Catalog referred to as "Officer Saddle Boots" not buckets.  That's these craftsman's idea for selling their wares.

What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? 9k=  What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? Z  What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? 9k=

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Francis Bannerman Sons was a major purveyor of military and goods to sportsmen and collectors in New York City over three generations.
The firm was founded in October 1872 by Francis Bannerman (1851-1918) and his wife Nellie Boyce Bannerman as an offshoot of his family's ship chandlery and military salvage business located near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. His father, Francis Bannerman (1820-1872?) had first purchased military goods at scrap prices in the demobilization at the end of the Civil War. He moved his store to Manhattan in 1897, where it soon became noteworthy as a museum of modern and antique weaponry and military memorabilia. To store his vast quantities of arms and ammunition, Bannerman bought Pollepel Island in the Hudson River Highlands in 1900 and erected Bannerman's Island Arsenal and a summer residence, patterned after the castles of the family's native Scotland.
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This place was amazing, you name it, they had it, was there two time in the late 1950's on Long Island (Pollepel Island). Neat times....
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BrownBear



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PostSubject: Re: What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade?   What type of Saddles were used in the fur trade? EmptyJuly 10th 2018, 10:56 pm

I feel so educated now!  Razz
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