Old English sadol "seat for a rider," from Proto-Germanic *sathulaz (cf. Old Norse söðull, Old Frisian sadel, Dutch zadel, zaal, German Sattel "saddle"), from PIE *sed- (1) "to sit" (cf. Latin sedere "to sit," Old Church Slavonic sedlo "saddle;" see sedentary). Figurative phrase in the saddle "in an active position of management" is attested from 1650s. Saddle stitch (n.) was originally in bookbinding (1887).