Blazing Saddles: Texas (pre-1850)

Early Texan Saddles


Horse saddles originated in the Dark Ages.  They were developed for Crusader Knights and Moors when they rode into battle.

The Spanish brought them to the New World, where they were adopted and adapted by the Americans.


  • The original Texan saddle was popular east of the Rockies, all the way up into Canada.
  • It was a big, heavy design, suited for riding in heavy brush.
  • This developed into the Hope Saddle and Western Stock Saddle, and was refined specifically for cattle work.
  • In the first part of the Nineteenth Century it had no skirts, and extra-wide stirrups fashioned from heavy carved wood.
  • In time, this was adapted into a strong, comfortable, durable saddle that suited the cowboy lifestyle.  The clumsy stirrups were replaced with metal or steam-bent wood.  The seat was deepened for wrangling and bronco-busting.  Two cinch straps replaced the single band, offering more stability when roping cattle.  And horns came in various shapes, sizes and materials.


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