Queries (17th c. tack)

Tom Kysilko pds at VISI.COM
Fri Nov 14 19:43:02 UTC 2003

My daughter has trained with an Oberbereiter from the Spanish Riding School in
Vienna.  The form of dressage on display there derives from military riding
techniques.  Her responses re: Pad-Saddle, Slit-Saddle, and Fore-Pattern:

Well, I don't know for sure, but I can make some good guesses.  As to the
two types of saddle mentioned, since the horseman is clearly supposed to be
better outfittted than the dragoon, I suspect that the Pad-Saddle is a more
luxurious saddle with a padded seat -- better for long rides.  It may also
refer to the enclosing saddle that had padded rolls on the pommel and
cantle to help hold the rider in (like the saddles still used at the Spansh
Riding School).  The Slit-Saddle may refer to a saddle that had a more
exposed tree -- saddle trees have a slit over the middle of the horse's
back, and some earlier saddles did not have padding over the seat so the
slit was visible.

As for the Fore-Pattern, again this is just a guess, but the only obvious
piece of equipment missing from the list is what we now call a breastplate,
which is a set of leather straps that attach to the saddle, cross over the
horse's chest and attach to the girth between the horse's legs.  The
breastplate prevents the saddle from slipping backwards, just as the
crupper prevents the saddle from slipping forwards.  Breastplates were
certainly used in the 17th century, and it would be odd to recommend using
a crupper but not a breastplate.

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