2013 Burghley Horse Trials

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September 5th -6thCross Ciuntry
September 7thShow Jumping
(Final Horse Insepection)

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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).


The second pommel, the leaping horn,

{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

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For The Library: Young Entry

A delicious, light hearted read that allows you to enter the Irish world of hunting, heiresses, best friends and the men who come between them.

“Nineteen year old Prudence is being raised by her three very conservative guardians.  Something of an heiress she’ll soon come into her money, but she’s kept in check until then.  Or at least her guardians try to keep her in check.  Prudence is a far more carefree spirit and spends time with her best girl friend, Peter, having little adventures and just being young and lively and generally getting into little mishaps.  Trouble pops up in the form of one Major Anthony Countless from England, who becomes the new Master of Hounds.  While Prudence is very lovely and social, she’s the type of woman who isn’t aware of her beauty or its effect on young men.  Moreover she’s more interested in her dogs and horses than in said young men.  Peter, however, welcomes Tony’s overtures, so you can imagine where all this will lead and how it might come between the two friends.”[A Work in Progress]

A sporting read which you can find at Amazon for a insanely low sum!

Hello New Year (2012): The H’s – Singing The Hallelujah (of a certain variety))

Theres Only One Store Where, If I Could Actually Sing, I Would Belt Out The Hallelujah in Soprano, While Opening Its Doors
(And Providing It Wouldn’t Result In Me Being Escorted Out In A Straight Jacket, and/or worse Banned)


A Stocking Present That Can Fit Even the Smallest of Budgets!

Clou de Selle (Horse Soup)

 Been Very Very Very Good This Year?
See Below

An Even More Savvy Present
For Those Who Don’t Puff Like Chimneys!

Quadrige (Ashtray)

To Purchase Elsewhere (Ebay)

Other Hermes Items That Would Make Ones Holiday Last The Year!