A seat placed upon a horse's back, for the convenience of the rider. Among the recent patents having this object in view, we shall mention the leading features of two or three of them.
To give increased elasticity to the seats of saddles, Mr. Marsh employs fine wire springs, in lieu of the wool and other materials generally used in stuffing them, which are apt, by the compression of the rider, to become hard. The springs are of the kind used in garters and elastic braces. They are extended in rows from the front to the back of the saddle, upon the ordinary packing, and secured by sewing their ends to a web which is attached to the saddle. When this is done, the usual coating of cloth is put over the wire springs, and fastened down upon the covering of the packing below, by stitching in lines at small distances apart, crosswise of the saddle, by which means the rows of wire will be kept alongside of each other, and preventing from overlapping. The external covering forming the seat being now placed over the springs, and finished in the usual way, an elastic seat is produced, which, it is said, is much superior to any kind of packing before used.
Mr. Henry Calvert, of Lincoln, had a patent in 1830, the object of which was to avoid the inconvenience and danger occasioned by saddles slipping forward. The annexed cut represents one of Mr. Calvert's, with the exterior cover and flap removed to show the construction. The improvement mainly consists in attaching to the fore part of the saddle-tree an elastic plate of metal extending in a sloping direction towards the front of the saddle; it is confined by two loops, which receive the girth strap; the proper shape of the sweat-flap is also shown. The small buckle which is fixed to the loose end of the girth is drawn up to the small strap after the horse is girthed. The front girth of course is strapped first, and the second not quite so tight By this arrangement it will be seen that the saddle is kept in its place by the elasticity of the metal plate, and that it cannot move forward upon the horse without the girth being lengthened.
Messrs. Laurence and Rudder had a patent in the succeeding year for "an improvement in saddles and girths by an apparatus fixed to either of them; " the object of which was to give to saddle-girths an elasticity to preserve sufficient tension under the varying dimensions of the animals to which they may be applied. Saddle-girths, for instance, that have been put on immediately after the horse has been fed, must either be made inconveniently tight at first, or else they will become inconveniently loose as the size of the animal diminishes by the digestion of his food. The patentees denominate their girths the constrictor girths, and they are made by attaching to the saddle-tree by a pair of hinges a small shallow brass case containing a series of grasshopper springs, and behind the springs is a movable plate, to which the girth-straps are attached in such manner that when the movable plate is pulled down by the girth-straps the springs are collapsed, or brought into a position to exert their elasticity in preserving the tightness of the girth.