Mcclellan saddle?

Not sure if this lost actually belongs in this category but couldn’t figure out where to put it!

I have a 3 year old pony sized 13.3-13.5 Spanish Mustang mare, which is very slender built. I just recently started thinking about saddle fitting and realized it might be a nightmare lol :laughing:

Someone mentioned Mcclellan saddles, and I’ve done a little research on them. Thing is im not looking to start her fully under saddle at the moment as she still has a lot of growing to do as SMs tend to grow slowly. But would like to find a saddle that would work to get her used to a saddle and maybe attach some saddle bags to do some light packing to build a relationship.

So my question is if anyone has any experience with Mcclellan saddles? And what type of horses they normally tend to fit? My understanding is that they fit narrower horses.

My othet option would probably be a youth saddle, but they tend to be a bit more wide it seems.

These photos were about 6 months ago, she has grown a bit since but still similar shaped.

Pretty little mare! :slight_smile:

I rode in a McClellan saddle years ago when I was younger (20s). I loved it! It weighed nothing, it fit every animal I rode from two Saddlebreds to a smallish pony. The one I rode in was a “bare bones” McClellan, with no fenders or stirrup hoods, just leathers, and a western-type cinch. It was hard, but then I have never been a fan of soft padded seats on saddles. It was the most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden in. It had rings and slots for attaching various items. It looked a lot like these two but with open western wooden stirrups:

U.S. Army McClellan Saddle

I just saw this pic and it made me think of you and your mare (and the article might be useful to you too):

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Only ridden in one once but promised myself never, ever again! Yes, flexible to fit many horses if well padded (with the blanket the soldier was expected to sleep under out in the field) but the army horses were pieces of equipment not pampered pets. Saddles have moved on a bit in the past 150 years.

Use a simple pad and roller to start your horse.

Thats an idea! Can you attach saddle bags to a pad and roller set?

Thanks for the link to the article! Yes definitely interested in getting one, the ones with normal English fenders seem to be the most easy to find. Currently looking at maaaybe having this one shipped… it’s a 1917 quite vintage :rofl:

Comes with vintage saddle bags too though!

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I can recommend Belvior brand Leather Balsam which I think could probably make a dead cow get up and walk.

Yes, you could rig all kinds of things onto a roller and pad. Not to certain why you would wish to do so as she still has a lot of growing to do and the pad alone gets the job done.

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Talking about veeery light packing for longer walks and maybe adding more weight as she grows more.

Challenge seem to be to find a good one that is pony sized just like saddles. Seems like there’s a lot of good ones horse size and miniature horse size but not a whole lot in between…

I come from the land of ponies. Look on any UK Saddlers site. Shires has a USA branch. Robinson’s Equestrian. Or Sydney Free, my local tack shop 100 m down the road.

Cool! Is it a WWI saddle?

I learned to ride in them. The instructor was perpetually short of money and someone offered him a great deal on a quantity of them left over after a movie shoot. Not particularly comfortable for the rider IMHO, but I rarely complain about any saddle I’ve sat in since.