A saddle serves as a seat for the rider of a horse, cinched on to the back using some sort of a strap, and providing support to help the rider stay atop the horse during riding. There are five general types of saddles: English, Western, sidesaddle, military, and Australian stock.
A Wade saddle is a type of Western saddle, inspired by the old Californio school of riding. The Californios were Spanish-speaking inhabitants of California before it was incorporated into the United States. They belonged to the school of natural horsemanship, and had strong working relationships with their animals. Their saddles are easy on both the rider and the horse, providing a nice balance.
Like all Western saddles, Wade saddles have no built-in padding, and should be used with a blanket or other form of padding between themselves and the horse's back. The girth is a leather cinch, and Wade saddles are meant to be used with stirrups.
This type of saddle features a dipped seat and a strong plate rigging system. This rigging system helps evenly disperse the pull of the saddle evenly, reducing impact on the horse. Most often the fork of the saddle sits very low on the horse. A large horn is featured to aid in roping. Stirrups are hung directly under the rider, allowing one to use their feet for support while letting them sit comfortably, in a fusion of Western and English styles.
Above all, Wade saddles are built with maximum comfort on extensive rides in mind. Every aspect of the saddle is built around buckaroos riding rough terrain for full day rides. It is no surprise then, that they are most favored amongst Western riders in the American south-west. Though for some time they were of secondary popularity to other Western styles, they have recently enjoyed a resurgence of interest; many top-end saddle makers now produce high-quality Wade saddles in a variety of sizes.