The western saddle has an interesting history and development. While it is now considered a uniquely American style, its origins can actually be traced back to the Moorish horsemen and warriors of the Dark Ages.
When the Moors invaded
The Spaniards adapted this saddle into what became known as the Spanish War Saddle. This was the saddle they brought with them to the
As the western stock saddle spread into
The Californios dominated on the Pacific coast and spread into the
Though both of these styles evolved over time and even incorporated some features of the other, you can still recognize these two distinct styles today in the Buckaroo slick fork saddle (Californios) and the swell fork, square skirt saddle (Texican).
From the 1700's through the 1950's, the western stock saddle continued to evolve, with new features to support cattle work and improved construction methods to extend strength, durability, and comfort.
Today, the needs of the working cowboy are no longer the only focus of western saddle design. Saddles are now designed for a wide variety of uses and riders – rodeo contestant, trail/pleasure, endurance, team roper, barrel racer, reiner, cutter, action shooter, and the working cowboy.
Moorish/Spanish War Saddle - Saddle of the knights and the crusades. Brought to the
Spanish Stock Saddle/Vaquero saddle of 1700's – Followed the expansion into what is now the American West
Early 1800's – Saddle used from
1920 – 1950's
1960's – Present