The saddle is the most important piece of cowboy gear, where for months at a time a cowboy would spend the better part of the day and half the night. It also served as a pillow. A saddle that was well fitted to the horse allowed the rider to travel up to 70 miles or 15 hours in a single day. So indispensable was the saddle to the cowboy’s life that the phrase “he sold his saddle” meant that he either died or was finished as a professional cowboy. The saddle was the exclusive property of the cowboy and often was customized to reflect his own personal style. The Western saddle, as it evolved on the plains, was a direct descendent of the sixteenth century Spanish War saddle, which was a support harness that held a rider on the horse’s back.