Portuguese Saddles Create Oneness between Rider and Horse

One of the best known horse saddles among horse breeders and equestrian sport lovers come from the Iberian Peninsula and Portugal has made a name for itself as having one of the finest saddles in the market.  The country’s rich historic traditions of military cavalry and a cultural fondness for equestrian sports among its population guaranteed a thriving industry for horse saddles and other accessories for breeding and training of horses, especially its world-famous Lusitano thoroughbred.Going on horseback riding requires the rider and the horse to be one in order to get into the feel and a natural control over the horse.  A saddle is meant to create this intimacy between man and best and the Portuguese saddle has been doing just that for centuries.  But not much is known about its craft until around the close of the 18th century when a 1790 print of the book entitled “Luz da Liberal, e Nobre Arte da Cavallaria” from a Portuguese author Manoel Carlos de Andrade shows an illustration of the first known image of the traditional Portuguese saddle used at that time.Modern Saddle ModelsToday, Portuguese saddles have evolved into various designs that have grown from the same basic concept as illustrated in the 1790 book but carrying innovative design and construction technique as well as more flexible materials that make the rider and the horse more comfortable with each other.• The Sela Portuguesa is the traditional Portuguese saddle that has its direct roots to the 18th century baroque saddle designs. • The Portuguese Equitation saddle has the required design structure that complies with equitation standards for the right riding posture in horse show equitation and equestrian tournaments.• The Ribatejo is a more contemporary Portuguese saddle with a liberal intermediate design between the Portuguesa and the Relvas saddles and is as they are marketed today, can be among the most expensive saddles in the market.• The Relvas is among the best known traditional Portuguese saddle that inherits a unique design that can be traced back in time to Carlos Relvas, hence, the name.  He was a 19th century aristocrat, sportsman, horse lover and bullfighter whose design allows the saddle to be used for either horseback riding or bullfighting.• The Mista is an evolved Portuguese saddle combining the traditional look, material and crafting technique behind a Portuguese saddle with the Relvas design.  • The D. Dinis is a modern Portuguese saddle that creates a unique mix of innovative saddle-making techniques with the traditional Portuguese equitation saddle design. • The D.Dominguez saddle carries a contemporary multipurpose design and construction which blends the distinct Portuguese Relvas saddle with English equestrian saddles. It uses an all-leather material from the frame to the seats while harnessing the flexibility and strength of marine plywood for its saddle tree that gets steel reinforcement. GP

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