Side Saddle? Not For Women Easily Pushed Aside

For those who have ventured, executed, and excelled within the world of equestrianism, riding astride is well akin to riding “half assed” if you excuse my language.  Side Saddle: the saddle that possesses more than meets the eye. You are on the verge, the fringe, the farthest point of extreme; on an animal that is hurdling towards a 1 metre hedge with a ditch to greet you on the other-side. That is if you are lucky enough to be hunting.   It is the hardest way to ride a horse, the corset of saddles,  and yet women rather than be constrained,  have mastered the tack for centuries.

Side Saddle, to ride aside rather than astride, was introduced in 1382 to fashion a modest way for a woman to ride a horse. Anne of Bohemia {1}  historically attributed to the side-saddles’ inception created an apparatus that made it difficult for the woman to ride let alone control the horse. Catherine de’ Medici, improved the British Queen’s model, allowing for more comfort and independence for a woman to have control over her own steed rather than be led about. Isabelle Queen of Spain “without tiring, giving the impression of being in all places at the same time, Isabel rode her horse from one side of the kingdom to the other exhorting her people…she rode between 100 and 200 miles per day, crossing frozen mountain passes in order to convince some lukewarm nobleman to send her 500 soldiers.” [1]

Women for five centuries, rode either in cortège with delicacy, defeated the recalcitrant saddle- Elizabeth I known for her penchant of intense hunts or, spurned the rules all together (usual suspects included – Catherine the Great, Marie Antoinette) and rode astride. It was Jules Pellier who in 1830 created the second pommel, the greatest addition to the side-saddle, it gave woman a leg up (pardon the pun).

391px-Damensattel

The second pommel, the leaping horn,

511px-STACE-Esther_M
{1} A little tid-bit regarding Anne of Bohemia, was the birth of the Chess Queen on the chess board.

More on side-saddle riding

Articles – Tatler April 2013

Screen shot 2013-04-20 at 12.34.47

tatler1

tatler2

tatler2

tatler3

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s