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"So why use sheepskins on saddles for any European army?" Topic

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26 Sep 2020 8:17 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "so why use sheep skins on saddles for any europian army?" to "So why use sheepskins on saddles for any European army?"

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Sarge Joe Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2020 7:03 a.m. PST

waterproof blankets can't do the work io keep dry and warm? so no damp

Brian Smaller26 Sep 2020 7:57 a.m. PST

They are more comfortable to sit on. Less chaffing.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2020 9:38 a.m. PST

Agree with Brian -- much less chafing even when wet. When my mother-in-law was caring for her mother-in-law and her mother after their strokes, she used a lambskin under them to reduce any folds in the bed sheets and eliminate any chafing.

And the cavalryman would have put a saddle cloth, normally a light light blanket, over the horse's back before putting the saddle on. The sheepskin shabraque would then be on top of the saddle.


14Bore26 Sep 2020 11:49 a.m. PST

Waterproofing in the Napoleonic era was limited to oils or waxing as far as I know. Saddle cloths were a must as horses took a beating, read often saddle sores were a major problem and could be smelled a long way off.

Sarge Joe Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2020 1:49 p.m. PST

so sadle upholstery beneath the sadle rot this way of making this sadle type stuffed with horse hair wil take a lot of sheep in europ

Nine pound round26 Sep 2020 2:18 p.m. PST

"They should be white- and if they are yellow, wenewed, Captain Weynolds!"

Andy ONeill26 Sep 2020 3:24 p.m. PST

Sheep have lanolin which is a natural water repellant.
They live all year out there in the elements.

Back in the day, sheepskin was used to line scabbards and protect swords against rust.
Kind of oiling up any sword pushed between those two layers of sheepskin.

On a saddle with a sheepskin on top, that lanolin transfers to the rider.

If you're spending your day in the saddle it'll rain on you occasionally. Maybe all day.
Lube and water repellency on your sensitive parts is a huge plus.

Gray Bear26 Sep 2020 3:50 p.m. PST

Cheers to "lube and water repellency."

Green S Limey27 Sep 2020 3:06 a.m. PST

"… a synonym for codswallop? that Renaissance Man of Letters, Boris Johnson, fills the need:

"twaddle, utter bunkum, balderdash, tommyrot, piffle and fiddlesticks of the most insidious kind." and

"an inverted pyramid of piffle"

(from The Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson, edited by Harry Mount'

Green Slime

Sarge Joe Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2020 6:24 a.m. PST

to nine pound round not only white black as wel

Nine pound round27 Sep 2020 9:59 a.m. PST

That's a fictional quote from "Flashman," the Seventh Earl of Cardigan playing his favorite game of, "let's break it off in the ‘Indian' officers."

A well-imagined scene…..never have seen a picture of a black or gray sheepskin, but someone MUST have done it.

Elting's "Napoleonic Uniforms" has some Knotel plates showing leopard skins and other exotic animal skins for shabraques: I think those were probably only meant for parades, not twenty mile rides.

DrsRob27 Sep 2020 10:28 a.m. PST

The Dutch Horse Artillery used black sheepskin chabraques for a few years from 1815.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2020 2:48 p.m. PST

this way of making this sadle type stuffed with horse hair wil take a lot of sheep in europ

No idea how or why you manage to confuse and conflagrate different issues into the same statements.

Horsehair*- yes has been used as a 'padding' inside a canvas/ linen/cotton case of some form for all sorts reasons, both on and off horses themselves, for centuries if not thousands of years.

*Horsehair – trimmings from tails and manes and other growth depending upon breeds; that like human, continually grow and need maintenance. Also, after an animal is killed, the hide is stripped of all its covering hair which can then be used in dried form for the said padding as guards, straps and protectors often for horses in draft, working etc.

It was also used for a better quality mattress until cotton mass production and transportation took over. In the 20thC it has been used for 'packaging' mixed with a rubberised adhesive for decades [particularly electronics, telephony and computing]; many a wargames table has the result in trees and hedges even today.

Sheepskin- literally a dead sheeps skin,with wool. Have been farmed for meat, milk, their wool (clothing and carpeting) and human sustenace for equally, thousands of years. In our country at one time, we had 60million in farming constantly during our economic heyday of exporting produce to the UK primarily, until the EEC killed that deal.

ARe you also going to infer that too many sheep were eaten? Hard to diferentiate the relative importance of which is a by-product- the meat, skin or attributes. Perhaps the armies were too well fed?

never have seen a picture of a black or gray sheepskin

Never? How is it that nearly every French trumpeter and many [others] musicians rode with them? Wasn't there an aestethic appeal to the 'reverse' colouring used to style such matters?

And yes, the 'exotic' animal skins were equally a form of prowess and wealth showmanship- whether European or African tibesmen, which is where the idea no doubt started.

Many a pre-Napoleonic case exists, even in 'elite' officers clothing and wearing 'bearskin' bonnets (as opposed to chicken feathers) are other such forms of plundering of the 'natural' world by humans.
- – cup

ReallySameSeneffeAsBefore30 Sep 2020 1:31 p.m. PST

Also, a sheepskin was much easier to clean- eg if the horse fell, than a saddle cloth would be.

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