The mystery of the ebay saddle...aka tracing history on an older saddle questions
After my ridiculous debacle with horseloverz over a saddle order, I gave up and used the refund to buy a saddle on ebay. I had a pretty good idea that I wanted an older Stubben saddle- I like the very thin hard close feel. I had tried one on my mare, so I had an idea of size. When I went to look online, this one jumped out at me. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...7#ht_500wt_970
I figured for 80.00 if it was not useable it would be a good decoration anyway. I wasn't sure of the model, because of the extra d rings all around. When it arrived I was trying to determine age and model, and, while checking the maker's plate I found it was covered with a barcode label that said Gov. Property at the top. Odd, I thought, how would a saddle be Gov. Property? Checking further I found engraving on both stirrup bars, but I couldn't read it.
Today my leather therapy came, so I got down to give this saddle a good cleaning. I noticed high up on the billet guard was the serial number, and below that was
Googling tells me that this stands for "US Park Police". They patrol in New York City, Washington DC, and San Francisco. Depending on the age, this saddle may have seen some very interesting things in it's life.
The questions now are about what to do. I was buying a saddle to fix up and ride in, but this thing may have historical value-I'd hate to ruin it if people like these things. I tried to find out, but I don't see anyone online buying or selling them-so they are either rare, or no one wants theme, I don't know which. So, I could use opinions please
1) Do people actually want vintage police saddles?
2) Should I repair and use it, or sell it to a collector and buy another other saddle to ride in?
3) How can I find out the age, and perhaps who rode in it and what city it was used in?
4) Who in Ohio repairs/reflocks saddles-and answers their e-mail?
5) What differences in design do police saddles have from regular ones besides the extra dee rings?
If it is the New York Park Police, and I don't know that but you mentioned it in post 1, there's a cother who knows a sargeant up there. PM Classicsporthorses, I think that is she.
I don't know if the NY park police are federal though.
I think it is the same- from what I can find out, they started out to patrol Rock Creek Park in Washington DC, then expanded into NYC and San Fran. They are officially park of the National Park Service. I think it is really cool either way- I had never heard of one of their saddles being sold before.
If it's US Park Police, I would *guess* DC, but if they have other federal areas, who knows. The USPP patrol areas like the Mall and around the White House on horseback. (The ones I've actually spoken to used OTTBs as their horses.) I doubt it has any value as a collectible. The units are active and don't use anything particularly unusual. A barcode label means it's not old, or at least was used pretty recently. Not like, say, finding a saddle or harness piece from the Old Guard Caisson Platoon.
If the tree's intact and it works for you, I'd just use it. Can't help with reflocking people.