Comanche Man's Saddle, 1885 and Woman's Saddle, 1860-1875
The Comanche rider was considered the "Lord of the Plains"
Considered the "Lord of the Plains" due to their expertise on horseback, the relationship between a Comanche warrior and his horse was one of respect, endurance, speed and skill.
Comanche boys learned to ride before the age of six. Men hunted on horseback targeting game from deer and rabbits to antelopes and buffalo. Women were poised and gifted riders as well, and belongings, children and the elderly could be moved from camp to camp on horseback. This Comanche woman's saddle is based on an early Spanish-style saddle. Rawhide or doeskin cover the wood form and is heavily fringed on the both horns.
The man's saddle is also made from wood and covered with rawhide. It is stylistically based on a saddle named for U.S. Army officer George McClellan, standard issue for the U.S. Cavalry. McClellan claimed he had seen the saddle used by Hussars in Prussia and Hungary in the mid-1850s. By the 1880s, their herds of horses killed or confiscated the Comanche had been forced onto reservations. This type of saddle may have been one of the last models used by the warriors of the 19th century.
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon
This artifact is currently on view.