The Saddle through history

We all use a saddle to ride a horse. But what is its history, its origins?
There are 6500 years (-4500 before our era), we find horses equipped with “soft saddles” on Chinese sculptures and paintings.
3500 years ago, saddles look very much like the ones we use today. The use of rigid tree is emerging.
2200 years ago, we discovered in India the beginnings of leather stirrups!

Photo taken from “Ecole de Cavalerie” La Guérinière – 1733

Over time, they were worked, refined and developed according to the use of the horse. For hunting, parade, war, walking or sport. They were decorated with gold, leather, enhanced / adorned with precious stones to show the status, the wealth of their owner.

The saddles have adapted to the needs of riders: western or working, hiking and English saddles, including classic saddles.
Within these types of saddles, we can distinguish standard saddles and “treeless” saddles. The tree is the rigid part of the internal structure of the saddle. The rider will choose a type of saddle, with or without a tree, depending on the trends of the discipline practiced, and the convictions relating to it. The classic, English saddles are provided with a tree: these are the most common.

The current saddle

For classic saddles, 2 materials stand out. The leather saddle that conveys an elegant and distinguished image. It imposes constraints linked to the use of leather, which make it more difficult to make more comfortable seats.

The synthetic saddle is light. It does not require maintenance, ideal for clubs. The comfort of the horse will come from the quality and design of the padding, that of the rider, the foams and the shape of the seat.

Depending on the brand or model, the padding can be made from real sheep’s wool, synthetic material imitating the sheep or made of foam panels, or even air-filled pockets.

And yours, you will choose it according to what criteria?

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