A Brief History of the Saddle

It is difficult to say where the first saddle and stirrup first originated, but it is thought to be in ancient China. 

Curiously enough early horsemen put all their thought into the creation of the bridle, the saddle arrived comparatively late. 

Ancient Greeks would ride on saddle cloths, or bareback. 

The saddle came before stirrup irons, riders used to slip their toes into the girth strap. Toe irons have interestingly been found to date back to fourth century India.


An early ’Pelham’ type bit was discovered in an Umbrian tomb near Bologna dated to be 3,000 years old. 

A snaffle bit was discovered in England thought to be of a similar age. Even earlier Russian bone bits have been discovered. 

Although saddlery dates back to these ancient times, astonishingly not much has changed in the way that we remain to control horses. 

We still use the bit in a similar way, and the rider sits in the position just behind the withers, just as the ancient riders of India, China or Greece had.

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