What you think you know may not be so! Amaze your friends with these fun facts.

Random Did You Know Facts


Apr 18, 2008


Did you know...

The earliest saddles were simple pads attached with a surcingle** in or around 800 BC. The saddle tree came into use around 200 BC, and paired stirrups by 322 A.D.
There is evidence that man first began taming and riding the horse possibly as early as 4000 BCE. Though this has been disputed by some. It is not known precisely when horseback riders first began to use some sort of padding or protection, but a blanket attached by some form of surcingle was probably the first "saddle," followed later by more elaborate padded designs. The saddle was a status symbol for the wealthy and was emblished with elaborate leatherwork, precious metals, jewels, and embroidery.

Saddles in the styles seen today date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, modern saddle comes in a wide variety of styles, each designed for a specific equestrianism discipline, and each require careful fit to both the rider and the horse.

Parts of a saddle:

* Tree: the base on which the rest of the saddle is built. Usually made of wood or a similar synthetic material, it is eventually covered in leather or a leather-like synthetic. The tree size determines its fit on the horse's back as well as the size of the seat for the rider.

* Seat: the part of the saddle where the rider sits, it is usually lower than the pommel and cantle to provide security

* Pommel or Pomnel (English)/ Swells (Western): the front, slightly raised area of the saddle.

* Cantle: the back of the saddle

* Stirrup: part of the saddle in which the rider's feet go, provides support and leverage to the rider.

* Leathers and Flaps (English) or Fenders (Western): The leather straps connecting the stirrups to the saddle tree and protecting the rider's legs from sweat.

* D-ring: a "D"-shaped ring on the front of a saddle, to which certain pieces of equipment (such as breastplates) can be attached.

* Girth or Cinch:(surcingle) A strap that goes around the horse's barrel that holds the saddle on.

**A surcingle is a strap made of leather or leather-like synthetic materials such as nylon or neoprene, sometimes with elastic, that fastens around a horse's girth area.

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