January 13, 2021 – Ask Monty Newsletter

Question: How has equipment for Western riding evolved?

What do you know about how Western riding and equipment came to be?

Monty’s Answer:

Western Riding evolved from the Spanish Vaquero. These horsemen came from Spain to raise cattle in the Western part of the United States, and in the early days the cattle were used primarily for leather. The saddle of the Vaquero evolved because of the needs to handle the cattle, which was significantly different from the European English saddle.

The saddle was designed and evolved in its design so as to meet the needs of a rider using a rope to control the cattle. The bit and bridle evolved for the same reason and were, in the early stages, significantly more severe than the English style. The bit and bridle follow that same evolution and are still evolving to this day.


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