Making a come-back: The cavalry saddle blanket

For those of dissatisfied with the form and function of many popular (and expensive) modern saddle pads, here some of yesterday’s news: The good old Cavalry Saddle Blanket beats many a pad when it comes to providing protection for the horse’s back from impact and friction and a comfortable ride for the rider, minimizing the jarring micro-movements that can be so hard on our vertical spines. For those riders with back problems, this is good news!

In my recent blog about the advantages of the cavalry saddle blanket (see below), I mentioned several of the unique features of this proven and tested low-tech accessory:

  • minimizes friction to the horse’s back
  • provides rider with a comfortable ride
  • sustainable, made from natural materials
  • foldable, meaning you can always put a clean side on the horse
  • multi-purpose (use as cool down blanket or sleep under the stars)
  • washable!

Those who read my recent post saw a picture of myself and my horse Yankee, enjoying the comforts of a cavalry saddle blanket. Now I am happy to be able to share some reader images with you, that were generously provided by Warren Matha.

The images show Warren E. Matha, member of the US Cavalry at Ft. Riley in 1942. You can see, that the make and fold of the saddle blanket is the same as shown in my image. It’s a felted wool blanket (much softer than a wool felt pad) that is folded 6 times and folded “six corners to the rear and near“, as Warren explains.

Enjoy these very personal and historic images and please feel free to email me with questions about this type of saddle blanket (

Warren E. Matha, US Cavalry, Ft. Riley, 1942

Warren E. Matha, US Cavalry, Ft. Riley, 1942, on a ride

Brig. General Harry D. Chamberlin

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3 Responses

  1. Gloria Picchetti says:

    I have the Horsemanship Volume I & Volume II videos. I also have the companion book, Riding by Benjamin Lewis. These are US Calvary training materials. They are also declassified military material. If you ever get a chance to see them & read the book they are wonderful. I ordered the DVDs from US Calvary dot org. They no longer have them. A friend gave me the book.
    There is film footage & photos in all this media shot from platforms built above the horse & rider. As a rider & a dancer this is the best way to illustrate position.

  2. Tracey Luther says:

    Glad to see this picture and your blog. My grandfather is Harry Chamberlin. Great stuff. Gloria – I’d love to see the US Cav material

  3. Tracey Luther says:

    Great pictures of Warren!

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