Saddle flasks are a vintage hunting and equine accessory commonly used by horse riders in the last few centuries. They are still quite popular and primarily used for storage of liquids, particularly spirits. Hunters and long distance travellers keep one when out hunting or horse riding in the wilderness. Saddle flasks are a popular memorabilia item, with passionate collectors willing to pay a steep price to add all possible varieties to their collection.
There are essentially two types of saddle flasks commonly available today – one variety made from glass and the other made of pewter. Many older ones are made of heavy crystal, while others are made entirely of stainless steel, lead or silver. Some may even be silver-plated. The flask is attached to the D-rings at the front of the saddle. It is secured to the horse by a broad strap that passes under the saddle flap and attaches to the girth straps. The leather case allows attachment to most saddles on both sides. The shape of such flasks is usually conical. However, some may even be rectangular.
While glass saddle flasks are mostly plain on the outside, others have beautiful intricate designs engraved on them. Some even have a short quote or a date for a memorable occasion engraved onto them. Saddle flasks may be coloured or may be transparent. Common colours are blue, cranberry, and light green. Flasks for women are smaller and have designs that are more intricate. The capacity of the flask usually varies from 300ml to 400ml, and their standard height is 27cm (11 inches).
Bespoke saddle flasks are accompanied by a handmade leather saddle case. The case usually comes in two colours – black and brown, though users can ask the makers to customize the colour as required. The case maybe lined with pigskin. Traditional flasks are hand blown to fit snuggly inside the case. The flask usually has a silver plated lid to prevent spillage. Some saddle flasks also come with an innovative funnel that allows the owner to pour the liquid into the flask without causing a mess or waste. The more functional flasks also have drinking cups attached to their lid. These cups enable the rider to share a drink with fellow riders.
The practical use of the saddle flask is on the hunting field. They are ideal when one is out shooting, during horse races and even sporting occasions. One can easily carry a favourite spirit to keep warm in cold weather. These flasks can even be used to carry water and other liquids, albeit, without the saddle case because they add a style statement. Saddle flasks ooze quality and last a lifetime. They make a great gift for shooters, horse riders and people who appreciate luxury and vintage items.
Though these flasks were essentially available in stores that sold hunting or leather accessories, the advent of the web meant that many makers and retailers have also opened online sites. Aficionados can visit the website, make their selection and order the flasks they like. Easy and quick delivery options means that buyers can get their products with 1-2 days.