SRS Saddle Cloths Speak Volumes
Once you start to study the Spanish Riding School in depth, you learn that everything means something. There is an intent to every detail, and nowhere are the details of this institution more significant than in the design of the saddle cloths.
First of all, these are actually ornaments, and not part of the saddle. Unlike the saddle cloths that you and I use when we ride, these attach to the back of the saddle with buckles.
The color and stripe pattern of the cloth tells whether the horse is to be used for the high school demonstrations, the quadrille, or the long rein training.
The simplest gold border tells you that the rider is an aspirant; two stripes are for riders, and three stripes signifies the oberbereiter rank.
The saddle cloth shown is worn by Conversano Dagmar for the long rein exercises. The double eagle is a symbol of the Austro-Hungarian empire that once dominated Europe. The short- and long-rein cloths would be the only full square saddle cloths in use. They are used with a stunning bright red girth.