This is a trooper saddle, c1915. From 1902 the Universal Military Saddle was manufactured with a fixed tree, broad panels to spread the load, and initially a front arch in three sizes. The advantage of this saddle was its lightness, ease of repair and comfort for horse and rider. From 1912 the saddle was built on an adjustable tree and consequently only one size was needed. Its advantage over the fixed tree 1902 pattern was its ability to maintain a better fit on the horse’s back as the horse gained or lost weight. This saddle was made using traditional methods and featured a seat blocked from sole leather, which maintained its shape well.
If you have information about this saddle that would be useful for our catalogue contact the museum on 0800 111 323 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki Heritage Collection 2011.028.2.