Visalia Western Saddle, c. 1890. Saddle(A) is brown leather with geometric designs around the edges. Handle has a triangular geometric design the resembles a sun. On each side of the saddle are two tassels in the front and one in the back. Each tassel has two, stacked, scalloped circles of leather, the one on top being slightly smaller in circumference. Each tassel has two thin, leather strips hanging from the center and they have a metal ring attached to the center as well. Wool/fabric lining underneath. Loops for feet are wood, lined with metal, and held together with metal nails. To right of handle/grip is a 21 inch leather strap with a 4.5 inch loop at the end.
Saddle bag (B) is brown leather and has a simple squiggle pattern around the edges. Each bag has a round, leather handle and a flap closure. There are two metal buckles, and leather straps (mounted on the inside of the flap) to secure to each buckle. There is a set of two holes on the left and right sides, towards the front, above the bags. There is a set of two holes, on the right and left sides, towards the middle.
Blanket (C) has red fabric on top and beige fabric on bottom. The blanket has padding between the two layers and is sewn together on the edges and by a square shape in the center using beige thread. There are three patches of leather sewn to the blanket. The first patch is in the center of one edge and is cut in a triangular shape that has a straight edge lined up with the front edge, and a point facing the center of the blanket. There is also a rectangular patch on both the left and right edges (in relation to the triangular patch), sewn in about 5 inches from the edge that the triangular patch is on.
|Object Name||Saddle, Riding|
|Title||Visalia Western Saddle, c. 1890|
|Creator||Visalia Stock Saddle Makers, San Francisco|
|Inscription Text||"D.E.WALKER / VISALIA .CAL." (top of saddle, below handle/grip); "VISALIA STOCK SADDLE / MAKERS / SAN FRANCISCO, CAL." (on backside of backrest)|
|Provenance||Used on the D.O. Mills estate by donor's great grandfather.|
"The Visalia Stock Saddle Company saw its beginning in the year of 1870 with David E. Walker better known as D. E. Walker. The Visalia Style Stock Saddle was the invention of Juan Maratrel who created the very first Visalia Stock Saddle Tree, and D. E. Walker having been a saddle maker bought Juan Maratrel's shop in 1870.
After the purchase D. E. Walker continued to have these saddle trees made with Ricardo Mattley exclusively for the next 20+ years for the Visalia Stock Saddle Company. At the time D. E. Walker bought the shop from Juan Maratrel he had a partner named Henry Shuham and from 1870 through 1877 the men ran the Visalia Stock Saddle Company as a partnership. It appears between the years of 1877 and 1879 D. E. Walker had his own Saddlery and Harness Company in Visalia, CA where he continued to produce a Visalia Stock Style Saddle."
|Dimensions||H-41 W-17 D-27 inches|
Saddle Bag: 12" x 36" flat
Blanket: 1" x 29" flat
Horse Back Riding
Mills, D.O. and Family