Man made mobile: Early saddles of Western North America by Ahlborn (1980)

Ahlborn, Richard E.; Man made mobile: Early saddles of Western North America, Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology 39, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington (1980)

This study of early forms of saddles in Western North America features four distinct discussions: major horizons (wide-spread appearances of historical prototypes) within the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries; Mexican origins of form and associated activities; development among U.S. riders before the professional cowboy era (post-Civil War); and development of equestrian equipment among the Plains Indians collateral to the emergence of the U.S. western stock saddle. The four essays are followed by an illustrated catalogue of the equestrian artifacts drawn from the Smithsonian Institution’s holdings and from other important collections for an exhibition at the Renwick Gallery, 1974-1976. There is also a glossary of Spanish and English equestrian terms used in this study. It is projected that this presentation of early saddle forms with many well-documented illustrations and descriptions will provide both a reference source and also the inspiration for additional typological and social studies.