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MODEL 1917 OFFICERS FIELD SADDLE – A NICE SPECIMEN IN VERY GOOD CONDITION:  The Model 1917 Officers Field Saddle was a product of the ongoing Cavalry Board of the 1912-1917 period and this pattern returned to that of the Model 1912 Officers Saddle, but with fixed, non-pivoting side bars.  While William Goodrich, Master Harness Maker at Rock Island Arsenal was credited with this design, in reality it combined features of the Model 1912 Saddle and the French Saumur tree.  This new design was tested in 1916 and formally adopted for all mounted officers in 1917.   

Although the officers purchased their saddles as opposed to the saddles which were issued to the enlisted men, the officers were able to send their saddles back to the arsenal for refurbishing when it became necessary.  This saddle has a brass tag affixed under the skirt indicating it was repaired at the Jefferson Quarter Master Depot in December of 1938.  

This saddle has survived in very nice condition with all of the components present and all of the seams intact.  The leather has an even mahogany color without being oil soaked, retaining a solid feel to the leather and a very good smooth shiny surface overall with only very minor dings from use.  All of the hardware is present to include the pommel pocket strap loops on the leading edge of the pommel, the pairs of cantle bag “D” rings on the lower edge of each of the rear extensions of the side bars, and the standing coat staples on the back of the cantle.  Also present are the two nickeled swivel bases and plates by which the specially designed pommel pockets attached to the saddle.  All three of the girthing straps are present on each side under the skirts and the leather covering the underside of the saddle is fully intact and equally as smooth as the upper surfaces.  The only sign of significant wear is found on the rear points of the side bars.  This wear is not uncommon, and it has been suggested it was due to rubbing against the horse’s lower back and/or points of his hips.  These points of wear are not particularly unsightly, nor do they detract from the saddle on display, but are noted here for the purposes of a full description.  

A matched pair of the correct Model 1916 Officers Field Saddle Stirrups depend from a set of original Model 1916 Stirrup Straps.  The stirrups are full form with a bright finish and both are well marked on the bottom of the tread “U.S. J.Q.M.D. N.S.” with the matching dates of 1937.  The stirrup straps, with the proper nickel buckles, are full length with no breaks or tears, and have a generally smooth shiny surface with many of the hole number stamps still legible.      

These Model 1917 Officers Field Saddles remained in service from World War One through the end of the horse cavalry and proved to be a well made saddle - both serviceable and an attractive piece of horse furniture.  It is also a saddle associated with the interwar officer corps who would provide much of the leadership during World War Two.  This is a very nice specimen which was gently used and well cared for through the years and it would be a very nice addition to your saddle collection.   SOLD

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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