SADDLE (a word common to Teutonic languages, cf. Ger. Sattel, Dut. zadel, also in Russ. siedlo and Lat. sella, for sedla; it is not derived directly from Lat. sedile, which means a chair, but all the words are to be referred to the root sad-, which gives Lat. sedere, Eng. " sit," " settle," " seat," etc.), a seat, usually of leather, fixed by girths to the back of a horse for riding; also a padded cushion for the back of a draught horse, fastened by girths and crupper; to it are attached the supports for the shafts, and rings for the reins (see SADDLERY). The word is also applied to many objects resembling a saddle in shape or function, such as a block to support a spar in a ship, or in machinery to support a rod, or in masonry (q.v.) the top or " apex stone " of the gable of a roof, etc.
Saddle bars, in architecture (Fr. traverses), are narrow horizontal iron bars passing from mullion to mullion, and often through the whole window from side to side, to steady the stone work, and to form stays, to which the lead work is secured. When the bays of the windows are wide, the lead lights are further strengthened by upright bars, passing through eyes forged on the saddle bars, and called stanchions. When saddle bars pass right through the mullions in one piece, and are secured to the jambs, they have sometimes been called " slay bars."
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)