Definition of saddle in US English:



  • 1A seat fastened on the back of a horse or other animal for riding, typically made of leather and raised at the front and rear.

    • ‘In his workshop Donald makes bridles and saddles from sheets of leather.’
    • ‘She fell and was left hanging from the saddle with her riding hat scraping along the road after her instructor lost her grip on the reins.’
    • ‘There were extra pieces of leather to fix broken saddles and reins with.’
    • ‘Each horse had two saddles and bridles each, one set for English and one for western.’
    • ‘Still made in the USA, Tucker saddles use the finest leathers and hardware available.’
    • ‘The children left their friend loudly and cantered off on their horses, their cloaks bundled on the saddles in front of them, the weather being too hot for cloaks.’
    • ‘But all too soon, we were tacking up for our afternoon lesson, which ended around 6 pm, after which we cooled down our horses and cleaned our saddles.’
    • ‘Cochrane returned to the saddle to exercise a horse for trainer James Fanshawe last week.’
    • ‘The crowd cheered wildly as she shimmied her way back in to the saddle and patted her horse for keeping his mind on the job at hand.’
    • ‘Check out the old Toyota ute with a cowboy hat on the dash, a kelpie in the front seat and a saddle in the back.’
    • ‘There were, of course, many shops selling equestrian items, anything from saddles, bridles, horseboxes and therapeutic equipment for horses.’
    • ‘Sullivan unsaddled their horses and dropped the saddles in front of the tent.’
    • ‘Under saddle, your horse will mirror your breathing patterns and the shapes you make with your own body.’
    • ‘It also includes used animal trappings such as harnesses, saddles, halters, reins, rope and chain.’
    • ‘On the manager's office's left side was a grand, immense tack room, holding saddles, bridles, leathers, irons, and all assortments of tack to a large magnitude.’
    • ‘The soldiers ride bays or chestnuts and use United States Army regulation saddles, saddlecloths, halters, bridles, and curb bits.’
    • ‘Most saddles interfere with the front or the back of the horse, and sometimes with both.’
    • ‘Put the saddle on the horse, but don't tighten the girth too much right away.’
    • ‘The accounts amaze me; horse bites, riding runaway horses, saddles that fall off, getting kicked, and all because the horse owner did not give any instruction beforehand.’
    • ‘Proper Tuareg riding saddles are placed in front of the camel's hump and you sit cross-legged with your bare feet resting on the camel's neck.’
    1. 1.1 A seat on a bicycle or motorcycle.
      • ‘However, most women are shorter so the Bandit has rubber cushions under the saddle and handlebars.’
      • ‘There is no better way to experience a new place than from the saddle of a bicycle.’
      • ‘In the last few weeks I have written about many topics such as goal setting, traveling, and bicycle saddles but I have overlooked a fundamental topic the sport of cycling.’
      • ‘There may be a better land where bicycle saddles are made out of rainbow, stuffed with cloud; in this world the simplest thing is to get used to something hard.’
      • ‘Motorcycle parts like saddles are provided with products that can make them look new and desirable again.’
      • ‘Perhaps it's time for scientists to take a second look at toilet seats, bicycle saddles and other gym equipment.’
      • ‘Tommy rides chopper-style, with a low saddle and the handlebar raised as high as possible.’
      • ‘I have just replaced the saddle on my road bike and it feels close to the right spot but obviously isn't.’
      • ‘The efficiency of your motorcycle saddles affects you as a rider.’
      • ‘Leaving a saddle in the trunk or back seat of a closed car during hot weather will reduce the life of the cover, foam and base.’
      • ‘The result is your saddle height, measured from the middle of the crank axle, along the seat tube, to the top of the saddle.’
      • ‘The position of the bicycle saddle, the type of shorts worn, and the women's perineal hygiene were optimum.’
      • ‘One could stand at one end of the street and look down an endless row of saddles and handlebars.’
      • ‘For the last four years I have cycled more then 20,000 km annually, which equates to too many hours sitting on a bicycle saddle.’
      • ‘Bicycles still have rubber, inflatable tyres, wheels with spokes, drop handlebars and narrow saddles.’
      • ‘Of course, after the Goldstein scare we were offered a flood of bike saddles designed to cure the problem.’
      • ‘The difference between the top of your saddle and the top of your handlebar should not exceed this number.’
      • ‘For years we've been warning you that hard bicycle saddles can press against the nerves and blood vessels that lead to your happy place, potentially resulting in numbness and even impotence.’
      • ‘I wanted to know if it was possible to see something of Farndale's famous daffodils from the saddle of a bicycle rather than on foot.’
      • ‘You can rely on these specifications and use them as a guide in your purchase of a fulfilling saddle or motorcycle seat.’
  • 2A low part of a ridge between two higher points or peaks.

    • ‘Hop off at the summit and fly down a monstrous 35 degree chute flanked by rugged saddles and knifedges.’
    • ‘The pre-Columbian ruins of an entire city were essentially forgotten, perched on a mountain saddle 8,400 ft above sea level.’
    • ‘You have to climb Ruadh-stac Beag by its back door - from the high saddle that connects its south ridge with Spidean Coire nan Clach of Beinn Eighe.’
    • ‘Carn Brae has three summits separated by two saddles.’
    • ‘A small shoal of barracuda patrol a saddle in the ridge, but there are not the enormous shoals of barracuda or trevally to be found at Richelieu Rock.’
    • ‘Amid the saddles and hidden valleys of the mountains spring mist hung like clouds.’
    • ‘Grayling farmed both sides of a sharp ridge near the top of the Tarata saddle.’
    • ‘From its porch, you see a snow-covered moonscape of ridges and saddles.’
    • ‘Beyond the summit the hill's E ridge drops down to a saddle from where you can descend N to the head of the Allt Mheuran and a path back to the starting point.’
    • ‘For five rainy days he tramped ever-widening circles out from the base, traversing ridges and saddles and moiling through valleys while the armed guard followed him every step of the way.’
    1. 2.1Mathematics A low region of a curve between two high points, especially (in three dimensions) one representing the highest point of a curve in one direction and the lowest point in another direction.
      • ‘Indeed, one can imagine the surface as the sum of an infinite number of saddles.’
      • ‘Such a surface cannot be drawn in three dimensions, but it can be imagined as a surface which everywhere has the curvature of a saddle.’
  • 3A shaped support on which a cable, wire, or pipe rests.

    • ‘The design also has two pinions on top of the grader's saddle for superior support.’
    • ‘Simply mount the saddle in the desired place thread the tie through the holes and zip it around the cable bundle.’
    1. 3.1 A fireclay bar for supporting ceramic ware in a kiln.
      • ‘The cooler tubes rest in saddles in a ring-shaped member surrounding the rotary kiln and are retained in the saddles by caps with clearance so as to permit axial movement and radial heat expansion of the cooler tubes.’
    2. 3.2 The part of a draft horse's harness which supports the straps to which the shafts are attached.
      • ‘Mr Kotovs said a horse working six days a week would probably need a new saddle and harness every six to eight months.’
  • 4The lower part of the back in a mammal or fowl, especially when distinct in shape or marking.

    • ‘In case of the tie-point model the shifted location of these points over the umbilical saddles should have changed the suture pattern.’
    • ‘A trend towards wider external lobes and higher median saddles can be observed in the stratigrapic succession of Goniatites species.’
    • ‘The backward and forward stretching lobes and saddles actually provide resistance to pressure perpendicular to the septum.’
    • ‘For example, a female as dark as an American Black Duck was counted as a hybrid if she had a nasal saddle and some white on both edges of the speculum.’
    • ‘The suture is quadrilobate and of modest complexity, with two trifid lobes represented on the flanks, margined by bifid saddles.’
    • ‘The front part of the body (ending just after front legs) and its hind legs are black, while its back has a saddle of grizzled white or grey.’
    • ‘Both specimens have the different shape of saddles and the digit patterns of lateral lobe.’
    • ‘Both the fourth external lateral saddle and the fourth internal lateral saddle generally lie beneath, but close to the alignment of adjacent saddles.’
    1. 4.1 A large cut of meat consisting of the two loins.
      • ‘Trim fillets from the saddles, wrap lightly in cling film and set in the fridge.’
      • ‘A saddle of hare is a similar cut, but extends to the tail.’
      • ‘Boned saddle of lamb was roasted, barely seasoned and, though tender and pinkish, was really rather boring and not quite hot enough.’
      • ‘It's always steaks, chops, saddle of lamb, beef Wellington or hamburgers.’
      • ‘The rabbit was served as a tiny saddle, loin and liver.’
      • ‘Bone out the saddles into two loins leaving the belly attached.’
      • ‘Roast saddle of lamb is smartly surrounded by rustic eggplant caviar and cracked wheat.’
      • ‘Fillets come from the saddle and are best pan-fried until medium rare.’
      • ‘Vicky plumped for the rabbit, which came two ways, with the shoulder braised with rosemary and the saddle roasted with pancetta.’
      • ‘Even as it was carried across the room, it was clear that the crimson-red saddle of marinated venison was exceptionally succulent.’


[with object]
  • 1Put a saddle on (a horse)

    ‘he was in the stable saddling up his horse’
    • ‘All four horses of the team will be saddled, but only the two horses on the left will carry mounted riders.’
    • ‘Along one wall are stalls where the beautiful white Andalusian horses are being saddled.’
    • ‘Our horses remained saddled up to 12 hours a day, and we rode up to 8 hours daily.’
    • ‘She went down to the stables and saddled her horse herself.’
    • ‘They saw Darryl there, saddling up his favorite horse, named May.’
    • ‘Ben saddled his horse and rode across the desert.’
    • ‘In the light of a lantern Wiley Thomas was saddling up his horse and adjusting his saddle bags.’
    • ‘I couldn't resist buying an original sketch of cowboys saddling up their horses.’
    • ‘Madonna penning a kids' book may be seen by some as one of the signs that the pale horsemen of the apocalypse will be saddling up any day now.’
    • ‘Her tack was resting on a bale of hay in front of the stall, and soon the mare was saddled and bridled.’
    • ‘They never had much trouble except when it came to saddling the horse to come home; they simply weren't big enough to do it.’
    • ‘So I went to the stables myself, saddled my horse, and mounted.’
    • ‘Once you have groomed and saddled the horse, be sure to use a lead rope or a lounge line with the horse.’
    • ‘I saddled my horse and rode to the other side of town; I needed to talk to Alec.’
    • ‘I do remember overhearing them one other time while they were saddling up their horses.’
    • ‘The two young men saddled their horses and rode downtown, looking for Nicolette in any of the places that they had seen couples at.’
    • ‘Together the two men saddled their horses and rode from Virginia City.’
    • ‘The 64-year-old grandad is saddling up for a 874-mile charity horse ride from top to bottom of Britain - a journey that will take him 65 days.’
    • ‘He closed his eyes and listened to the sounds of the girl saddling up a horse.’
    1. 1.1usually be saddled with Burden (someone) with an onerous responsibility or task.
      ‘he's saddled with debts of $12 million’
      • ‘Equally alarming is the amount of debt many Rochdale families are saddled with.’
      • ‘Mom is now saddled with the additional burdens of becoming the primary breadwinner and household repairman.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, we are now saddled with this problem.’
      • ‘When she was saddled with ‘neighbours from hell’, the mother-of-four resolutely set about keeping a record of the antisocial activities that were ruining her life.’
      • ‘But this just saddles her with responsibility for the least interesting element of the movie.’
      • ‘One is not sentenced to be drug or alcohol dependent in the way people are saddled with schizophrenia or multiple sclerosis.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, he's saddled with a mom who shifts him with her from pillar to post; and eventually she dumps him on a farming family that is already overburdened.’
      • ‘It will mean many young people being saddled with thousands of pounds of debt just when they are starting a home/family etc.’
      • ‘You realise you are saddled with responsibilities.’
      • ‘By whatever means parents chose to fill the void between themselves and their daughters, ordinary mothers were saddled with the task of teaching their daughters the realities of a woman's domestic roles.’
      • ‘Now he was saddled with responsibility and confusion.’
      • ‘Then it just might be possible to have her be guardian for the others, but why should such a young person be saddled with responsibility like that?’
      • ‘It said the knock-on effect of this would be that people were saddled with debt for longer and would be unable to get on to the housing ladder or start paying into a pension until much later in life.’
      • ‘Study hard and try to better yourself and not only will you be saddled with tens of thousands of pounds of debt when you leave university, you will also be denied tens of thousands of pounds of pension money when you try to retire.’
      • ‘Because of the rocketing cost of buying a house, many people are saddled with mortgages they can barely afford even at the record low interest rates of recent years.’
      • ‘Walking on back to him is the last thing the speaker wants the Pretty Woman to do; he's just happy he's not saddled with the responsibilities of fatherhood.’
      burden, encumber, lumber, hamper, weigh down, land, charge
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (of a trainer) enter (a horse) for a race.
      • ‘Armando Martinez rode three winners on the program while eight different trainers saddled winners.’
      • ‘The Saltburn trainer saddles The Granby in the Minnow Novices' Chase and Richard Guest's mount has a splendid chance of victory.’
      • ‘‘One step at a time,’ said veteran trainer George Handy, who saddled his first horse at Rockingham Park in 1946.’
      • ‘A Chicago native, Rivelli, 34, said he is looking forward to saddling a horse in an international race for the first time.’
      • ‘Dermot has saddled more flat race winners in Ireland than any other trainer.’
      • ‘The Cheshire-based trainer saddled the great Red Rum to dominate the marathon steeplechase over a five-year period more than a quarter-of-a-century ago.’
      • ‘A year ago the Lambourn trainer saddled Haafhd to win this Group 3 race before that colt went on to 2,000 Guineas glory a fortnight later.’
      • ‘The winning trainer, who saddled two horses in the race, was a bit disappointed when her other charge, Lyon Guest, made a mistake two fences out, putting paid to his chances when vying for the lead with the eventual winner.’
      • ‘Trainer Dennis Hall saddled Indian Express, whom Bob Baffert trained in his previous three North American starts.’
      • ‘Trainer Jeff Mullins saddled three of Bone's winners.’
      • ‘Ian Semple has a good record at this track and the Lanarkshire trainer saddles an interesting runner in the Golf Course Handicap over a mile.’
      • ‘The small North Yorkshire trainer saddles recent Doncaster winner Inn At The Top, who, on his favourite ground, can successfully defy a 3lb penalty.’
      • ‘Smith ranked as champion jumps trainer in 1968 after saddling Red Alligator to win that year's Grand National steeplechase.’
      • ‘There was joy on the double for racing's first Lady Jessica Harrington at Leopardstown as the County Kildare trainer saddled the winners of the two feature races.’
      • ‘The Middleham trainer saddles my Nap selection Golden Quest in the Perfect Panes Handicap and Joe Fanning's mount is worthy of close attention.’
      • ‘Tim Easterby, who was gaining his first Group 1 victory, was not on hand for the Sprint because he was saddling runners at another race course.’
      • ‘Trainer Cole Norman has never before saddled a horse at Keeneland Race Course.’
      • ‘Trainer David Elsworth saddled the 1,000th winner of his career when Trillie won at England's Salisbury racecourse on Wednesday.’
      • ‘O'Neill unseated Bob Baffert, who saddled horses to 21 wins at Oak Tree in 1998 and '99.’
      • ‘John Gosden has a powerful squad of horses at his disposal again this season and the Manton trainer saddles a promising filly in Lurina in the Directa Gaffa Maiden Stakes.’


  • in the saddle

    • 1On horseback.

      • ‘Warm temperatures during the week made plenty of stops essential to water the horses but the riders coped well, spending up to six hours a day in the saddle.’
      • ‘If your legs are weak, your entire sense of balance in the saddle will be off.’
      • ‘A lot of beginners can be rhythmical on the ground but once they're in the saddle, they tend to hold their breath and react when they get frightened.’
      • ‘The Irish rider, winner of six jockey titles in the UK, has few equals in the saddle and boasts a habit of bouncing back from troubles.’
      • ‘Manolo, the horseman, haggard after twelve hours in the saddle and a sleepless night, reached out to shake me fully awake.’
      • ‘Mrs Tomlinson and her brother aim to finish the journey in three weeks and will spend five or six hours a day in the saddle.’
      • ‘Stewards found the racecourse had been used as a training ground and that jockey Timmy Murphy had made insufficient effort in the saddle.’
      • ‘Sitting deeply in the saddle will encourage the horse to slow down and take shorter steps.’
      • ‘For any type of riding, you must have forward motion, but many riders hinder this by not sitting up in the saddle.’
      • ‘By the end of the lesson, she is sitting deep in the saddle as her horse canters in a controlled, relaxed manner.’
      1. 1.1In a position of control or responsibility.
        • ‘The drama immediately puts the working class in the saddle as the necessary actor and rescuer of the said society.’
        • ‘He must be thrilled to be back in the saddle, running for president, which is the only thing he knows how to do.’
        • ‘Army careers were flexible in the 19th century, and there is no reason why Hervey should not stay in the saddle almost till Crimea.’
        • ‘It's one of Cronenberg's best works, and may just put him back in the saddle with the non-arthouse crowds.’
        • ‘Back in the saddle again, we go, folks, with all placid on the Y2K front, bogus threat that it was.’
        • ‘He actually became a judge at the unusual age of 15 and his reputation kept him in the saddle ever since.’
        • ‘Jonathan has already contacted clients telling them about his mishap and is looking forward to getting straight back in the saddle.’
        in charge, in command, in control, responsible, at the top, in authority, in the seat of authority, at the wheel, in the driving seat, at the helm
        View synonyms


Old English sadol, sadul, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zadel and German Sattel, perhaps from an Indo-European root shared by Latin sella ‘seat’ and sit.