A friend of mine called me earlier this week. He told me that he was playing Super Smash Bros. Melee and wondered something. He wondered why if Yoshi is Mario’s friend does he still wear a saddle. Easy enough. Yoshi is mentally challenged (that’s why I went for the freakish look in panel two). One too many punches to the back of his head caused some serious brain trauma. And as a result he thinks that its fun to carry overweight plumbers on his back.
Seriously, I think it’s nothing more than obsolete character design that unfortunately has become a recognizable trait of said character. He had a saddle, but no longer needs a saddle, but looks odd without the saddle. So they do their best to make Yoshi look normal, but at the same time to not draw a lot of attention to saddle. Take a look at Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It looks less like a saddle and more like a turtle shell. That’s my opinion at least.