Eques’ Centre Line in Tatler August 2013

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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).

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The second pommel, the leaping horn,

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{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!

Best of the British Hunting Season: The Kit

Best of the Hunting British Season:
The Kit

The Tweed

“Knows One’s Stuff – What, What”

Purdey (Tweeks)

Holland & Holland

Schoffel
 

A Little Dash of Flash
Holland and Cooper

Who are they?: Holland & Cooper ‘Tweed with a Twist’
Facebook
Blog

The Jacket

“One of the Guns!”

Purdey

Schoffel

Barbour

“Not on a Day Out However, Lovely for a Country Walk”! 

Holland Cooper

 “One of the Game”: 

Barbour

The Cartridge Bag

“Has a Loader on Retainer”
Barbour

“Town & Country”

Longchamp



“Good If Hopping the Pond for the Season”

THE WELLIES

“If one Keeps Downstair Loo Stocked with Country Life, & The Field” 

Le Chameau

Dubarry – “Galway Boot”

Hunter -“The Balmoral”

“If One Again Wishes To Be Considered Game”
 

The Socks

“Your Chance to Get Fashionably Unhinged”

Required Protection/Adornments 

Ear Protection:
So As To Avoid Sounding Like Your Hard-At-Hearing Granny 

MSA 

The Links:
“Keeping One Cuffs About You”

Thomas Pink

Purdey
Labrador Cufflinks


Pheasant and Grouse Cufflinks

The Cap:
“To Keep Ones Head on One’s Shoulders”

Schoffel

Purdey
 

Holland and Cooper

“Will Be Going Home in the Warden,
Along With the Rest of the Bagged Birds ”
 

Liquid Warmth – Courage

Purdey

Stick:
The Only Seat to Have During a Drive! 

EXTRA: A Guaranteed Invitation for Next Ye’ah!

Find time to whizz through these before the season:

Coming Up Part In Three: ‘Shooting Hugh-ma’