The design of the Western saddle derives from the saddles of the Mexican vaqueros - the early horse trainers and cattle handlers of Mexico and the American Southwest. It was developed for the purpose of working cattle across vast areas, and came from a combination of the saddles used in the two main styles of horseback riding then practiced in Spain — la jineta, the Moorish style which allowed great freedom of movement to the horse; and la estradiota, later la brida, the jousting style, which provided great security to the rider and strong control of the horse. A very functional item was also added: the saddle "horn. " This style of saddle allowed vaqueros to control cattle by use of a rope around the neck of the animal, tied or dallied (wrapped without a knot) around the horn.
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