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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tacky on Parade

Many thanks to the readers who brought this to my attention. Parade saddles have been popular since the days of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. We are all familiar with beautiful horses decked out in silver laden saddles prancing down the road during the Rose Parade and other large festival parades. These saddles are works of art, intricately detailed with carving and engraved silver plates. They are used almost exclusively for parades and in classes at some shows. Most are antiques and they are expensive and difficult to obtain. This one was on eBay awhile back.

Here is a lovely ASB in a silver parade saddle...

A well turned out parade horse should create a classy and memorable picture.

There are, like everything, the examples that just stick in your mind because of the sheer tackiness...

My eyes hurt.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I love the tv in the last picture. The woman seems to be looking disapprovingly at the saddle!

  3. Shoot me now, but I kind of like these... except for the flag one.

    That ASB photo... is it from the 70s??

    Gah. I bet these are really expensive and took a long time to decorate, so why would you photograph them in a corner of your living room by the TV that's on??? At least set up a neutral backdrop with no distractions... oh nevermind....

  4. Wow, all that's missing are the lights like on the saddle in that movie the Electric Horseman!

  5. I kinda like the American flag one and the red rose one... For a 4th of July parade or something anyway, not any other time, but for something like that they'd be ok. =)

  6. I'm blind now. Thanks a lot.

  7. Ted Flowers is... excessive, IMO. But it totally suits the Texas oil boom era and the horses and the men who rode them. My husband's horse got decked out in a several-thousand-dollar antique parade rig one year, as a thanks to his owner who had cleaned the parade saddle after a fire for the saddle's owner, and those pictures are fantastic.

    The spangly modern stuff belongs in parades only. With cheerleaders or vaulters and other sequinned leotards and stuff, or Cinco de Mayo and Caribana, it kind of goes. Excessive, but isn't that what parades are about?

    Have you ever seen Running P trophy saddles? You need to check them out for serious. We just bought a used (and very plain) Running P roper which is actually a pretty decent rough saddle. But when we researched the company... wow. They specialize in Trophy saddles so every manner of carved sponsor names and such. But. Angora seats? Tassels?

    Google for "Running P saddle Limestone" to see what a lucky rodeo queen will be winning this year.

  8. The first two look almsot 'industrial'. The others just hurt my eyes.

  9. Yikes!

    I agree, the person on TV in the last pic, seems to be looking at the saddle and not in a 'good' way.

  10. If I had a Ted Flowers or an Ed Bohlin parade saddle, I'd be riding in every parade I could find.....LOL....I LOVE watching the Rose Parade every year.......

    Assuming I had a big enough horse, with a lot of presence, I'd use any one of these saddles. That gold flower trimmed one would really look kick ass on a bright chestnut!!!

    Break out the sunglasses, here I come.....

  11. Why would you want to sit in those seats with all that STUFF on it? Looks like that would itch in not-so-easy-to-scratch places! It also seems to me that these saddles are being sold by the same watcher, as they all seem to be in the same house. Handmade, I take it? I can only imagine the price for these rare, one-of-a-kind saddles....

  12. can't type, I'm vomitting and I think my eyes are bleeding

  13. WHY OH WHY?? Even for a parade these are WAY over the top! What is wrong with adding a costume to a "normal" saddle?

    katphoti: Those were my thoughts exactly. OUCHY on the tender parts!

  14. I especially love the brick and turned over flower pots under the saddle rack in the first pic, for added clearance...

    Do the tapadero's that are supposed to protect your foot from brush and such, look like they could be used as a weapon, or what?

    I'm with Kat on the fit and bling placement. I can't imagine these being any sort of comfortable for the horses to wear.

  15. I would love 1 of those blingy saddles in a really tiny size to hang from my rear-view mirror.

  16. The rider probably ends up with little pock marks on their butt, like when you sit on one of those industrial metal benches with the bolts all over the seat.

    I like crystals here and there but not covering the whole damn thing...

  17. Not an ASB but a morgan mare. Pic is of Susan Martin riding one of Loretta Brown's Goldtree Morgans, forget her name at the moment.
    Taken at the Southern States Regional Morgan Horse Show at Raliegh, NC sometime in the late eighties.
    I was there.