Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Native American saddles

There are three Native American saddles at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The first one is this unidentified frame saddle. Unlike most of the items in the museum's collection, this one is not described in any of the signs. I think its mostly there to display those saddle pouches (sorry, I'm drawing a blank on their proper name!).
Thankfully the other two saddles are a bit less anonymous. The sign accompanying this one reads like this: Plains women favored the Spanish war-saddle style, used in this Arapaho HIGH-BOWED SADDLE. The owner would add an ornate SADDLE BLANKET for special occasions. A rawhide QUIRT, or whip, hangs from the saddle.A different view of the same saddle shows the decorative crupper.The third and final saddle is a Cree-Ojibwa pad saddle. Here is its signage.
I have a real fondness for this type of saddle, and in fact, the only Native American costume I've made to date features a saddle very much like this one. Top view.
Detail of the beaded panels.
Well, I'm off to the pool with my kids. I seriously doubt I'll find anything horse related there, but anything is possible, I guess!


  1. Very beautiful saddles ,these saddles seems of very old style but looking very nice . saddle plays very important role in riding , i love to use Western Saddle.

  2. There are a growing number of us who believe in a fairly recent Asia/Native American connection.
    Please notice the similarity of saddles #1&2 on this page with the
    East Tibetan saddle at complete with cruppers
    in both cases which go back to the
    beginning of saddle history (in China)
    Hendon Harris