Saddle

The saddles of the Vaqueros were the first saddles that we would recognize as a “western” saddle. These saddles were an adaptation of the Spanish war saddles used by the knights of Spain and were brought to the New World by Spanish nobility. With the transition from the garrocha to the reata came the need for a saddle horn to dally to. Many of the European war saddles had a steel plate that was contoured in the front to form a saddle horn-type shape. From this early saddle horn the knights hung their extra weapons such as the mace or war hammer. When the need to dally arose, the flat steel became a round horn and the western saddle was born. While Texas and the Midwest developed a stout, heavily built saddle, the Vaquero saddle developed into a much lighter, more refined piece of equipment. The difference came from the Texas and Midwestern tradition of tying on “hard and fast” in contrast to the Vaqueros who have always dallied around the saddle horn.