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  • Military Saddles and Their History

Military Saddles and Their History

Military Saddles and Their History

Military Saddles and Their History

Horses played a special role of their own in the early wars.

In 1914 when Australia joined the war against Germany, they promised to send four regiments of Light Horse, including some 2000 men. By the end of the war, there were 16 Light Horse regiments in action.

The Light Horse Trooper needed to carry everything for himself and his horse with him. This included any extra clothing, food, water and personal possessions carried in a canvas carry all over one shoulder, his water bottle carried over the other shoulder, as well as his rifle, bayonet and ammunition. All of which added up to quite a load!

Military Saddles were used on the horse as they were known to be comfortable for long periods of time. They are still favoured by some endurance riders to this day. The Military Saddles used by the Light Horse regiments were designed to carry a large amount of equipment with the least discomfort to horse and rider. A waterproof groundsheet and great coat were strapped to the front of the saddle and various larger items such as a canvas water bucket, rations for the horse etc were strapped to the back of the saddle.

Military Saddles are quite different to any other saddle and are built without a gullet and the usual padding. The original Military Saddles were built on a pair of felt-padded wooden bars which sat on either side of the horse's spine to spread the load and alleviate any pressure on the spine. The bars were joined together by steel arches with a shaped leather seat strung between the arches.

Military Saddles are still available today and can be purchased through Greg Grant Saddlery.