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The saddle is a
supportive structure for
a rider or other load,
fastened to an animal's
back by a girth. The
most common type is
the equestrian saddle
designed for a horse,
but specialized saddles
have been created for
camels and other
creatures.[1][2] It is not
known precisely when
riders first began to use
some sort of padding or
protection, but a
blanket attached by
some form of surcingle
or girth was probably
the first "saddle,"
followed later by more
elaborate padded
designs. The solid tree
was a later invention,
and though early stirrup
designs predated the
invention of the solid
tree, the paired stirrup,
which attached to the
tree, was the last
element of the saddle
to reach the basic form
that is still used today.
Today, modern saddles
come in a wide variety
of styles, each designed
for a specific
equestrianism discipline,
and require careful fit to
both the rider and the
horse. Proper saddle
care can extend the
useful life of a saddle,
often for decades.

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