The McClellan Saddle
The saddle issued to the 7th Cavalry – the one to which Custer belonged – was developed by General George McClellan during the period of the Civil War. His design was unique in that the saddleback was open in the center, allowing for a sort of air conditioning between horse and rider. The design was also useful in winter – cavalry riders wore heavy woolen greatcoats that draped down over their legs and the horse’s sides. Warmth from the horse’s back transferred through the opening in the saddle and was captured under this coat, helping horse and rider stay warm.
The McClellan Saddle was used by the U.S. government throughout the First World War and is now duplicated by modern saddle makers.
Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm