Fwd: Queries (on saddles)

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Thu Nov 13 17:25:45 UTC 2003

In a message dated Wed, 12 Nov 2003 22:38:04 -0600,  Gerald Cohen
<gcohen at UMR.EDU> quoteth:

>  >>  The Furniture that belongeth to a Horseman's Horse is as followeth.
>  >>    He ought to have a very good Horse, and a good Pad-Saddle made, so
> that
>  >it may very
>  >well
>  >>  carry a Case of Pistols, three good Girts, a pair of good Stirrups and
>  >Stirrup-leathers;
>  >>  with a Crupper, and a Fore-Pattern: also a good Bit, Reins, and
>  >Head-stall, with a good
>  >>  leather Halter...
>  >>
>  >>  Of a Dragoon Horse and Furniture.
>  >>    He ought to have a good ordinary Horse, Slit-Saddle, Snaffle, Reins,
>  >Stirrups and
>  >>  Stirrup-Leathers; an Halter, and two Girts...

The word "dragoon" usually refers to a soldier who fights on foot but who
travels between combats on horseback.  Hence a dragoon has much less need of
fancy horseflesh and tack than does a "horseman" which apparently means a
"cavalryman", i.e. a soldier who expects to fight on horseback.  Note that a
"horseman" needs a "very good Horse", whereas a "dragoon" needs only a "good ordinary
Horse" since his effectiveness in combat does not usually depend on the quality
of his horse, which is merely transportation between skirmishes.

A "pad-saddle", I would guess, is a saddle with a comfortable pad underneath,
since during combat a cavalryman does no want his horse distraced by the
chafing of a saddle.  As for a fore-pattern, it could be something that protects
the cavalryman from spearpoints and lancepoints directed at his saddle.

There does exist saddles that are slit in the middle, so that they do not
ride on the horse's backbone.  These were popular in parts of Europe circa 1850
and the idea was brought to the United States by George McClellan (later a
Union general), whose own design, known as the "McClellan saddle", was widely used
in the Civil War.

        - James A. Landau
          systems engineer
          FAA Technical Center (ACB-510/BCI)
          Atlantic City Int'l Airport NJ 08405 USA

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