Ringgold Military Saddle Patent

You may view the Ringgold saddle patent here ( Patent via Google Patents ), where you will see the odd like figure (at right) prominently displayed on the first page.  You will also see a rather well done line drawing of the actual saddletree itself.  The main ‘innovation’ of this patent was the use of morticed pommel and cantle pieces.  Ringgold’s comments throughout the application are straightforward and illustrate those points that concerned him most in the new design.



Specification of Letters Patent No. 3,779, dated October 7, 1844.

To all whom it may concern;
Be it known that I, SAMUEL RINGGOLD, major of the U. S. Army, at present station at Fort McHenry, near the city of Baltimore, State of Maryland, have invented a new and Improved Saddle-Tree, and that the following is a full-and exact description thereof, reference being had to the annexed drawings of the same, making part of this specification.

Figure 1 represents a perspective view of the saddle tree.
Ringgold Saddle US Patent 3779 - Saddletree Figure 2
Fig. 2 is a perspective view of one of the pieces forming the pommel, detached from the other piece.
Ringgold Saddle US Patent 3779 - Saddletree Figure 3
Fig. 3 is one of the pieces forming the cantle.

Ringgold Saddle US Patent 3779 - Saddletree Figure 4
Fig. 4 shows the manner of uniting the pieces of the cantle.

The saddle tree is composed of six pieces; that is to say, two side bars A A; two pieces B B forming the pommel, and two pieces C C forming the cantle. The side bars A A are constructed, so as to bear on the ribs of the horse, leaving the vertebra untouched and free; and to this end the bars are made of a convex form on the lower side. The two pieces forming the pommel, overlap and` interlock; and; are firmly riveted together, securing great strength; and the pieces are joined at such an angle and the arch of the pommel constructed in such mode as to leave the withers entirely free from any pressure of the said saddle tree. The two pieces forming the cantle are constructed in a similar manner. The pommel and cantle are respectively united to the bars by being overlapped, and firmly riveted together by copper or wire or other metallic pins or fastenings. The pieces composing the cantle and pommel are braced by metallic arches D D fastened on the outer sides thereof. The side bars A are extended beyond the pieces composing the pommel as at A2, A3 and are rounded off and shod with metallic plates V on top bent so as to unite with the cantle and pommel respectively. The pommel and cantle are perforated with oblong perforations E, E., for the insertion of straps to hold up the cloak and valise. The outer edges of the cantle and pommel are bound with thin plates of brass Gr.

To construct a military saddle and arrange the equipments appertaining thereto the side bars A A must be supplied with four rings I J K L behind-two I J to attach the crupper and horse-shoe pouches– two K L` for the nose bag, forage `cord &c. Also three rings in front M, N, O, two 1M for the breast strap and one N for the carbine socket. The rings are attached to the bars with iron or copper staples and with burrs or perforated plates or other suitable fastenings. The side bars in front of the pommel and behind the cantle are covered with sheet iron plates or other suitable material for strengthening the wood when the staples or rings are inserted as before stated. Staples P are inserted in the bars in front for the cloak and holster straps. Other staples are passed through the cantle to support the valise against it and prevent its touching the horses loins. An iron plate Q, is attached to each side bar to hold the girth straps. Mortises R are made in the side bars through which the stirrup leathers are passed, strengthened by plates of iron S secured to the pommel and affording a strong brace. The tree has a brass molding on the pommel and cantle to protect the wood of each. A small staple ‘I passes through the side bars to secure the stirrup leather in its place.

The seat of the tree is covered with webbing strongly stretched and over this raw horse hide-both firmly fixed to the tree with copper nails or other fastenings which secure the covering without liability to rest.

The flaps of leather extend sufficiently low to prevent the riders legs from being soiled and cover two interior flaps which protect the horses sides from the girth buckles. The said flaps are secured firmly to the side bars with copper or other nails or fastenings.

In constructing a military saddle and arranging the necessary equipments belonging thereto there are certain conditions that must be fulfilled-such as protection to the horse from injury by a proper formation of the saddle, convenience of transportation of the effects of the soldier without embarrassment to man or horse, embracing maneuvering and the use of weapons, durability and strength and at the same time due economy, fitness for campaigns and war, ease and comfort to the rider at the same time preserving a correct military seat-the cantle being no higher than is necessary to sling a valise clear of the loins-and the pommel no higher than to raise the arch over the Withers and carry the holsters and cloak free of pressure on the horse. These ends the subscriber believes he has attained by the peculiar construction Of his saddle as before described. This saddle-tree will answer for saddles for pleasure-for horse or foot artillery-light Or heavy dragoons for carrying packs and indeed for almost every description of saddle-by so arranging the various necessary appendages as to accomplish the end in view.

What I claim as my invention and which I desire to secure by Letters Patent is l. The construction of the pommel, by the union of two pieces for the formation of the arch of the pommel; and the construction of the cantle by the union of two pieces for the formation of the arch Of the cantle; and the Combination Of the several constituent parts Of the saddle-tree in union to give to the rider the position and ease as` herein set forth-the same giving comfort to the horse; and to the saddle a marked character by which this saddle may be easily distinguished from all Others known.




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