Year after year, the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo provides me the rare chance to get up close and personal with some rather obscure types of saddlery. Last year I was delighted to take photos of a Peruvian Paso saddle from all imaginable angles. This year I got to investigate a different Peruvian saddle... and this one was actually on a horse!
Although I love seeing things from all angles, I find it's equally valuable to have pictures of the tack in use. Photos on the horse are a huge help for the tackmaker. They make it so much easier to determine the specifics of size and fit.
As usual, I took lots of close up photos. This is the pommel...
and this is the tooling on the saddle flap. It's not obvious, but the pattern around the border includes a lot of little holes.
I loved the stirrups on this saddle. They had horse heads on the sides...
and a horse and rider on the front.
Here's the opening for the rider's foot.
In Peru, the headgear is called the jato and consists of three separate pieces--the halter and shank, the bridle (headstall, bit and reins) and the eye covers (tapa ojos).
The halter goes on over the bridle...
and the bridle goes over the tapa ojos.
The tapa ojos are perhaps the most unique element of traditional Peruvian headgear. They were developed as a training aid and served as a way of blindfolding the horse while the rider mounted. Alternatively, they were also used to keep a horse in place without tethering it. Nowadays, I suspect the purpose is more ornamental. This certainly looks like horse jewelry to me!
There was a second Peruvian saddle on display in a different part the barn area.
That said, I did kind of like the inexpensive saddle's tooling!
Of course, it's all sort of a moot point. I've not yet made a model sized Peruvian Paso saddle. No one has asked me for one and my lone Peruvian model has spent the last five years (at least) in primer!