Date Made/Found: Late-19th/early 20th century
Material and Medium: hide, beads, yarn
Dimensions: Overall: 570 x 75 x 435mm (22 7/16 x 2 15/16 x 17 1/8in.) - fully extended
Size when on display: 300 x 75 x 435mm (11 13/16 x 2 15/16 x 17 1/8in.) - display on mount
Accession Number: J1955.20L
Elaborately decorated pad saddle with rich floral beadwork, red tassels and leather strap.
Pad saddle was used for providing comfort for the horse and rider. The central hide panels would be stuffed with grass, or buffalo, dog or horsehair before it was being sewn up. The saddle would then be secured to the horse by a rope or leather cinch crossing over the undecorated leather strap at the centre. This helps to ensure that the beadwork did not get damaged.
Pad saddle was typically a man’s saddle whilst women would ride using a wooden framework saddle, although women made both. Because of its elaborative beadwork decoration, this would most probably have been made for ceremonial regalia or someone of high status. It clearly showed the pride the owner took in the horse trappings that would adorn their prized horse. Such type of pad saddle was extremely popular amongst the Plains people.Display Location: