A Bearskin Saddle Pad

Global Horse Culture Archive on May 12, 2008, 23:13

This illustration, entitled "Horse Trappings, Fourteenth to Eighteenth Centuries" depicts a military horse with an entire bearskin (head and all!) as a saddle pad. Unfortunately there is no detail about the design and use of this exotic saddle pad. I noticed the horse is also wearing decorative "bracelets" on all four legs, just above the knees and hocks. Perhaps they are bells? The plume on the horse's head is quite elaborate.

Image from the New York Public Library's online digital gallery.