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View Full Version : Dressage...... Sidesaddle! Our first show. More pics added, p2 post 30.



Brigit
Jun. 16, 2011, 04:02 PM
I thought I would share some photos from my first (ever) dressage show which I rode my mare sidesaddle. We did the Training Level, Test 1 and entered it on a whim 2 weeks before the show thinking it'd be fun to try and good exposure.

We had a fantastic test and scored 65.2% which placed us 2nd in the Open division. I couldn't have been more pleased. (Ok except for the part where my mare gave the ooogly eye at the judge as we went past and I heard her say "Resistence" to the scribe LOL)

On to the photos!
You'll have to excuse our "overbent" neck in a few photos, it's really highlighted by her roached mane which I should have re-clipped prior to the show. Her mane is extra thick at the top of her neck and really thin nearer to her withers so when left to get a bit long it looks goofy.

http://i54.tinypic.com/21j7tjr.jpg

http://i51.tinypic.com/16c3v3p.jpg

http://i52.tinypic.com/2sbwyvk.jpg

And this one is my favorite.

http://i54.tinypic.com/x6csbs.jpg

Lost_at_C
Jun. 16, 2011, 04:06 PM
Aw, lovely! Congratulations - you two look like a great team.

buck22
Jun. 16, 2011, 04:10 PM
how lovely!! you two look like a great team indeed. You look poised and relaxed and natural, as does your lovely mare. Your saddle looks like it fits both of you well. Very well done, I'm envious!

Brigit
Jun. 16, 2011, 04:14 PM
Thanks! Some days we sure seem to butt heads but she really seems to enjoy being ridden sidesaddle. I think in some of the photos I was thoroughly out of breath! I had ridden the test at home lots to practice but our arena is TINY compared to that one so I was huffing & puffing by the end of it! lol

sparkette
Jun. 16, 2011, 04:17 PM
Both of you look wonderful! :)

Piaffe11
Jun. 16, 2011, 04:19 PM
Really beautiful! I'm impressed by the sidesaddle - I'd be dead trying to do that ;) Congrats on a great score!!

pryme_thyme
Jun. 16, 2011, 04:25 PM
My thoughts exactly Piaffe..... Good job! Looks great!

Brigit
Jun. 16, 2011, 04:32 PM
Nah I bet you guys would be surprised at how easy & secure it is! I cantered the 2nd day I tried it and have had my mare try the "spin & bolt" routine and never came close to coming out of the saddle. It just takes awhile to build up the stamina & muscles to ride an entire test sidesaddle.

MyssMyst
Jun. 16, 2011, 04:42 PM
This looks amazingly cool! I am in awe.

Velvet
Jun. 16, 2011, 04:43 PM
Looks like a lot of fun! But, I always thought the rule was that you had to (mandatory) carry a whip in the right hand. Is that not true? Did I miss the whip? Just curious. I haven't looked at rules for sidesaddle in quite a while. :)

Teacup
Jun. 16, 2011, 04:49 PM
Great job, you two are a lovely pair!

smokescreen
Jun. 16, 2011, 05:10 PM
I did my novice level dressage test sidesaddle at a local CT. Scored 36 penalties (low score good in eventing) and a clean jump round to win the class. I can't say my horse loves the sidesaddle but he is a good boy. Sorry no photos.

Holly Jeanne
Jun. 16, 2011, 05:15 PM
Cool! You two look great!

Velvet said:

! But, I always thought the rule was that you had to (mandatory) carry a whip in the right hand. Is that not true? Did I miss the whip?

Could be wrong but I think that's one of the rules for sidesaddle appointment classes in the hunter ring, along with the mandatory flask and sandwich. :lol:

Velvet
Jun. 16, 2011, 05:18 PM
Cool! You two look great!

Velvet said:


Could be wrong but I think that's one of the rules for sidesaddle appointment classes in the hunter ring, along with the mandatory flask and sandwich. :lol:

I think a dressage whip in a hunter class would be a disadvantage--especially if you're going over fences! :eek:

Brigit
Jun. 16, 2011, 05:22 PM
Looks like a lot of fun! But, I always thought the rule was that you had to (mandatory) carry a whip in the right hand. Is that not true? Did I miss the whip? Just curious. I haven't looked at rules for sidesaddle in quite a while. :)

I don't think so. I know in most shows you aren't allowed to ride with a whip *unless* you are riding sidesaddle and from the way I understand it, it's not a mandatory thing. That's up here in Canada though, not sure about the US rules. We don't have anybody that *really* knows the proper sidesaddle rules up here so we kinda do as we please at the shows in terms of dress lol.

Holly Jeanne
Jun. 16, 2011, 05:33 PM
I think a dressage whip in a hunter class would be a disadvantage--especially if you're going over fences!

I specified hunter appointments classes. This is what I was referring to:

http://www.sidesaddle.com/reference_pages/attire.htm

Big_Grey_hunter
Jun. 16, 2011, 09:30 PM
Wow! Great job. Sidesaddle looks like fun, but I like life a bit too much to try :lol:

SmartAlex
Jun. 16, 2011, 09:57 PM
Guys, if you have any desire to ride aside, try it! It only feels weird for a few minutes. I rode 4 times over the winter, and just put mine on again this past weekend, and in no time I was trotting around securely. If I hadn't been in a hurry, I would have tried cantering. It's a blast!

OP... you look great as always ;)

Lateralwork
Jun. 16, 2011, 11:12 PM
Would love to know where OP got her riding habit and saddle. Very elegant, although the ASTM helmet is not as classy as the hat and veil that is traditional with a sidesaddle outfit. (pls no blasts from the helmet crowd - purely an historical notation). Have not sat in a sidesaddle for ages, but have always wanted to do a dressage test in one. The only one I have is an antique that needs a lot of rehab. Curious if someone is still making these saddles.

paulaedwina
Jun. 16, 2011, 11:28 PM
Wow! You both look awesome. I would love to try side saddle, but you guys look so very high up :eek: It always looks cool though.

Paula

ArabDiva
Jun. 17, 2011, 12:52 AM
very impressive! it is my goal to learn to ride sidesaddle.

ACP
Jun. 17, 2011, 03:24 AM
Speaking as an old lady....

It really is easy to ride aside. You will think, "I am going to fall off to the right," but when you see how the horns on the saddle are arranged, it all makes sense.

The biggest issue is getting a saddle that fits the rider based on her thigh length. A proper side saddle puts your seat bones down in the lowest point of the seat, from the tail bone up you sit exactly straight, elbows equal, etc. Hands are wider apart and on either side of your right knee, but still the same "straight line from elbow down arm to bit" ideal.

Yes, there are still sidesaddles being made. Check out the ISSO - International Side Saddle Organization.

Napoles
Jun. 17, 2011, 06:07 AM
Lovely photos and lovely horse. Looks like a very comfortable side-saddle ride. I've done a bit of side-saddle dressage and it's lots of fun. What type of saddle do you have?

Velvet
Jun. 17, 2011, 10:25 AM
Wasn't Neidersuess making a sidesaddle a few years ago? One for wider backed horses since the old models are usually too narrow for most horses these days?

smurabito
Jun. 17, 2011, 10:38 AM
You look great! I rode a few times as a teenager and loved jumping in one. Probably because I was a teenager with no fear. Not sure if I would have the courage to do it now. :)

Napoles
Jun. 17, 2011, 10:43 AM
Wasn't Neidersuess making a sidesaddle a few years ago? One for wider backed horses since the old models are usually too narrow for most horses these days?

Wide old ones can be found. I have a fabulous Owen that fits my middleweight perfectly. :yes:
If at all possible it is worth trying to get an old saddle - the make quality of a lot of the new ones just isn't great.

ThreeFigs
Jun. 17, 2011, 10:44 AM
I tried a couple of sidesaddle lessons years ago and could not get comfortable with it. Always wanted to look as good & comfortable as you do. My gelding has back issues (old jumping or transport-related injury -- not sure which). I don't think sidesaddle would be good for him...

Sigh. It looks so lovely!

AllWeatherGal
Jun. 17, 2011, 10:44 AM
The implement one holds in the non-leg side is typically a "cane" that is supposed to provide support on that side, so you don't use it like a whip, even.

I took sidesaddle lessons for a while when I was learning to ride in the UK ... I did find it very secure (especially over fences, the natural inclination to "clench" works perfectly!), but I didn't get the back/seat thing down well enough to be comfortable and willing to spend the money on very expensive tack and togs!

Hats off to the OP for a LOVELY turnout!!

Coyoteco
Jun. 17, 2011, 12:12 PM
I love seeing your photographs and following your amazing progress.

Brigit
Jun. 17, 2011, 12:37 PM
Thanks so much everyone! It's a blast to share with you guys!! We're entered in a BIG dressage show on the 25th/26th of June and I'm NERVOUS! I have the training level 1 test memorized but now I have to memorize two more! Eeek! I think I may get a reader so I don't screw up! lol


Sidesaddle looks like fun, but I like life a bit too much to try :lol:
I bet you'd be super surprised at how secure it is. My mare has had some pretty good spooks and whatnot and I've never even come close to coming out of it.


Would love to know where OP got her riding habit and saddle. Very elegant, although the ASTM helmet is not as classy as the hat and veil that is traditional with a sidesaddle outfit. (pls no blasts from the helmet crowd - purely an historical notation). Have not sat in a sidesaddle for ages, but have always wanted to do a dressage test in one. The only one I have is an antique that needs a lot of rehab. Curious if someone is still making these saddles.

Does your antique saddle have a label or maker's mark anywhere on it? I'd love to see some photos if you have any. There are a few people that still make sidesaddles but they are pricey, as with any custom saddle. As someone mentioned, most people prefer to ride in the old name saddles as they were just built so well.

I actually bought all of my stuff off of the internet from people in the US or UK. My habit was a craigslist find, saddle was from Cherry Blossom Farm, balance strap came with the saddle, found the girth at a used tack store etc. I absolutely LOVE looking for sidesaddle stuff, it's almost like a treasure hunt! I also made a linen apron last summer and had someone make me a linen jacket to match. The navy habit in the photos will be up for sale soon as I've ordered a new habit.
I agree that the top hat looks much more elegant but at training level they require you to wear a helmet. I do have top hats and break them out whenever possible! lol I have an antique tall silk one and a blue silk dressage topper. Here's a couple top hat pictures for you!
This was the first winter/spring I had my sidesaddle and just had to get outside for some photos!
http://i56.tinypic.com/ztvneb.jpg

This was last summer at our annual sidesaddle clinic at the Bar U Ranch (historic federal heritage site).
http://i54.tinypic.com/t5t0mv.jpg

This was about a month ago at a big horse expo we did some demo's at.
http://i55.tinypic.com/2s696qd.jpg
http://i53.tinypic.com/nwkbhk.jpg
http://i53.tinypic.com/2u8xkc3.jpg


Lovely photos and lovely horse. Looks like a very comfortable side-saddle ride. I've done a bit of side-saddle dressage and it's lots of fun. What type of saddle do you have?

It's an Aulton & Butler, so a bit of a newer make but it's gorgeous. Nice wide pommels and flat seat. It's in need to some more flocking in the panels and they're getting a bit squashed down but nobody up here knows how to do the flocking properly. Perhaps next winter I'll send it to someone to get reflocked. For the time being I just put a riser pad underneath it. I'm thinking of cutting apart a felt western saddle pad I have and engineering some type of riser pad out of that but we'll see!
I've also got a Champion & Wilton (made in 1898) but I'm not such a fan of riding in it as it has the slightly dipped/uphill seat. I don't ride as well in it. I *should* sell it but I'm having trouble letting it go! lol

SmartAlex
Jun. 17, 2011, 01:29 PM
Oh you can't sell it! You have to hoard it! I'm currently stalking some of the rather nice side saddles currently on ebay with no other thought in mind than hoarding them :D

Brigit
Jun. 17, 2011, 01:33 PM
haha Yes, that's about it! I do feel like I'm hoarding it. It's such a neat saddle, I don't want to sell it. But on the other hand, I feel bad cause I figure someone else who wants to be riding sidesaddle could be if I sold it.... We'll see!

SmartAlex
Jun. 17, 2011, 01:46 PM
I know, that's it, I thought about other people who would miss out on trying if I have 5 I don't use. On the other hand, I'd love to try a few more and find just the right fit.

Heinz 57
Jun. 17, 2011, 03:42 PM
OK, dumb questions time. These pictures are just too tempting!


There is no one to my knowledge around here that gives sidesaddle lessons, but it seems like a bad idea to just...get a sidesaddle and teach yourself. Like buying a dressage saddle and just teaching yourself dressage. Or am I way off base, and it's not really that big of a deal?

I have two rather well-behaved horses and would love to try it out, even dream of showing locally someday.

SmartAlex
Jun. 17, 2011, 04:10 PM
...it seems like a bad idea to just...get a sidesaddle and teach yourself.

Somedays it feels like a bad idea. :yes: I think the biggest challenge is getting a saddle that fits you and your horse properly and then getting it on right. That has been challenging. But, as long as you don't make your horse sore in the process, or get discouraged with the difficulties you pose to yourself, what can it really hurt? As long as your goal is to learn and have fun.

You can check my blog (link in my signature). All I've got is my wits, a computer, and the excellent and generous help offered by my blog followers (spread internationally by the way) and I'm having fun. Heck, Anita in New Zealand (there's a link to her blog Dressage Aside at the bottom of mine) has even had to try making flocking adjustments to her saddle herself. Where there's a will, there's a way. Would it be a lot easier to have someone show up and solve all my problems? Oh probably so... :lol:

lovey1121
Jun. 17, 2011, 04:51 PM
Brigit- All I can say is, VERY VERY COOL:cool::cool::cool::D

Heinz 57
Jun. 17, 2011, 05:08 PM
Well, given that...

any recommendations on finding a saddle? :lol: I have two geldings of roughly the same shape, that fit into a medium tree Passier GG with some help. Any measurements I need (of myself or otherwise) I'm happy to take!

I see a few used, decent quality ones on craigslist for reasonable prices, but I have no idea what I'm looking at!

SmartAlex
Jun. 17, 2011, 05:16 PM
I will direct you to the NEA's excellent website:
http://www.sidesaddleinfo.com/saddles.html

This little explanantion on saddle shopping:
http://reviews.ebay.com/Sidesaddle-shopping-side-saddle_W0QQugidZ10000000002992008

And, let me find a resource for one of the basic books...
Here, this is a very good one: Side Saddle Legacy
http://www.hundredoaksinc.com/sale_corner

You also ought to be able to find it second hand if you look

MyssMyst
Jun. 17, 2011, 05:23 PM
I will direct you to the NEA's excellent website:
http://www.sidesaddleinfo.com/saddles.html

This little explanantion on saddle shopping:
http://reviews.ebay.com/Sidesaddle-shopping-side-saddle_W0QQugidZ10000000002992008

And, let me find a resource for one of the basic books...
Here, this is a very good one: Side Saddle Legacy
http://www.hundredoaksinc.com/sale_corner

You also ought to be able to find it second hand if you look

Thanks for the resources!

Brigit
Jun. 17, 2011, 06:08 PM
There is no one to my knowledge around here that gives sidesaddle lessons, but it seems like a bad idea to just...get a sidesaddle and teach yourself. Like buying a dressage saddle and just teaching yourself dressage. Or am I way off base, and it's not really that big of a deal?

I have two rather well-behaved horses and would love to try it out, even dream of showing locally someday.


Well, given that...

any recommendations on finding a saddle? :lol: I have two geldings of roughly the same shape, that fit into a medium tree Passier GG with some help. Any measurements I need (of myself or otherwise) I'm happy to take!

I see a few used, decent quality ones on craigslist for reasonable prices, but I have no idea what I'm looking at!

Nah it's not a terrible idea at all! I was about to do that when I stumbled across a sidesaddle clinic a few hours away. Most horses don't care that you're riding sidesaddle at all, they take to it with no issues (given that it fits right). Almost all of the sidesaddle crowd is super helpful and glad to answer questions etc, so if you've got them fire away!
The International Sidesaddle Association also has a bunch of sidesaddles for sale and they're all in repaired, rideable condition. Sometimes you can find some gems on Craigslist but a lot of times the saddles on there haven't been well maintained and I'd be worried about the integrity of the billets. Whatever you do, do NOT buy a Hiliason or a Silver Fox or really any "new" saddle for that matter. They're garbage and you'll hate them and won't enjoy riding sidesaddle, plus when you go to try and sell it, it will be nearly impossible to get rid of. Waiting a little longer to save up a bit more $ and buying a good "old name" saddle is definitely the way to go.

Heinz 57
Jun. 17, 2011, 07:10 PM
Oh boy!

Looks like if I get one, it'll be a steal-of-a-deal craigslist find. I have a difficult time with the prices on some of those saddles!

Hopefully my saddle luck continues. I have a Delgrange and a Passier - neither of which cost me more than $300. :)

SmartAlex
Jun. 17, 2011, 09:06 PM
Waiting a little longer to save up a bit more $ and buying a good "old name" saddle is definitely the way to go.

My side saddle decorates my livingroon. The other day I was gazing at it and realised that, I spent more of my own painfully saved money in one chunk on it than any other single object I've ever bought.

JRG
Jun. 17, 2011, 10:49 PM
Wonderful!! I have always wanted to try it. Since I don't jump anymore, this looks like a great option and a lot of fun. Congratulations.

Lateralwork
Jun. 18, 2011, 12:12 AM
Brigit, thanks for info on saddle & clothing sources. The few times I rode my antique, I honestly felt as secure as any time astride. You've inspired me to get the antique out and see what I've got, and see if it fits the new mare.

How do the judges at the shows react? Do they comment about the sidesaddle, or just judge away as though you were astride?

Brigit
Jun. 18, 2011, 01:08 AM
Oh boy!

Looks like if I get one, it'll be a steal-of-a-deal craigslist find. I have a difficult time with the prices on some of those saddles!

Hopefully my saddle luck continues. I have a Delgrange and a Passier - neither of which cost me more than $300. :)

If you can find a rideable saddle on craigslist for less than $500 I'd be pretty impressed. Not saying it's not impossible but it's hard to come by. A lot of the saddles that are listed on craigslist are either those one pommel one (not very safe to ride in) or the old catalogue saddles that tend to be made for really small ladies. And a lot of those saddles have been sitting in someone's barn for 80 years and should have their billets replaced by someone that knows sidesaddles, which will probably cost you a couple hundred at best. Just trying to give you an idea that with sidesaddles, sometimes a cheaper saddle will end up costing you more in the long run.
If you really want to get into sidesaddle, it's not cheap at all (but it's oh so worth it!), just means you have to save up here and there and you'll get there.
Anyways, if you do find a good one for cheap and you want a second opinion, pop me a message or an email and I'd be happy to take a look at some pics for you!


Brigit, thanks for info on saddle & clothing sources. The few times I rode my antique, I honestly felt as secure as any time astride. You've inspired me to get the antique out and see what I've got, and see if it fits the new mare.

How do the judges at the shows react? Do they comment about the sidesaddle, or just judge away as though you were astride?

Well I'm glad to hear that!! And I expect to see pictures when you do ride in it again! Would love to see pics of your saddle too. I really think the outfits are the best part of showing sidesaddle, it's so much fun! I am working on a full closet of outfits.... a linen habit for summer, navy habit, black apron and an edwardian costume outfit and I'm having two new habits made, a navy wool one (to replace my current one) and a tweed one (because I adore tweed lol). Oh and can't forget about a historically correct victorian habit with a fitted bodice. LOL

Most judges are super impressed as it's very uncommon up here for someone to ride sidesaddle unless you ride on the Arab circuit. When I went to that dressage show the judge came up to me afterwards to say how impressed she was and admitted that she had to check the rulebook to make sure I was allowed to do it (which I am lol). I haven't ever had a bad reaction but I'm careful what I enter in. The only class a person isn't allowed to ride in sidesaddle is Equitation, I'm guessing because it's just too hard to compare apples to oranges so to speak. For pleasure & hack classes they really shouldn't judge any differently, personally I think it maybe almost gives you an advantage if you can nail everything in a sidesaddle because you don't have that leg there so your horse has to be extra good and so do you. That's just my thought anyways lol.

Isabeau Z Solace
Jun. 18, 2011, 03:37 PM
Good for you OP!! I recently ran into a young lady in OH who wants to take her horse PSG aside. She's got the saddle, and is working on the PSG part !

After a few expensive attempts at purchasing a side saddle by shipping them back and forth, I've decided to haul my beast to the annual show at Gladstone this August to try out saddles.

I was all hot and bothered to buy one in the Fall, but finding a saddle that fit's the critter well enough ain't easy !!

Brigit
Jun. 19, 2011, 01:20 PM
I know what you mean, it can be a real guessing game. I lucked out with my saddle and I sent a really good set of wither tracings down to see if it would theoretically fit, which it does. I wish I was close enough to take my horse to Gladstone! That is fantastic idea and in the long run probably cheaper than sending saddles back & forth numerous times.

Lateralwork
Jun. 19, 2011, 06:22 PM
Today I went to my mom's and got the sidesaddle out of the barn. It is a tooled Western saddle with a leaping head and suede seat, made by RH Linn of Buffalo Wyoming. It has a small purse integrated into the off-side flap, maybe for your hankie and smelling salts, not sure what else would fit in there! I could not find much about the maker, other than he was the first saddlemaker in Buffalo, and had a shop there in the 1880's. The saddle belonged to my grandmother, who was born in 1890-something and lived in Montana. It is quite nice, and in surprisingly good condition, except that the panel underneath is deteriorating, and the underskirt is pulling away from the wood and rawhide tree (screws coming out). I took it to a western saddler near me who makes and restores saddles. He is going to repair and clean it. I'll post photos when it's done, and you can tell me what you think of it. Is there a good book around about sidesaddle riding?

Brigit
Jun. 19, 2011, 08:23 PM
That is fantastic!!! Please please post pictures when you get it back! It sounds like a fantastic old saddle. I really have a soft spot for western sidesaddles, they just have so much character.

I have to tell you about my western sidesaddle (yes, I'm an addict, I have 3 sidesaddles). It's a goodnight western saddle made by the Great West Saddlery in about 1903. On the maker's stamp it says "Great West Saddlery, Calgary NWT" (NWT = North West Territories). This is significant because the province of Alberta was created in 1905, so I thought it was a super cool piece of local history. In it's lifetime it had made it's way from Calgary, where it was made, all the way down to Texas. When I saw it, I just had to bring it home again! Neat eh?

If you email the ladies at either the International Sidesaddle Organization or American Sidesaddle Association they are an absolute WEALTH of knowledge, they have information on all kinds of saddle makers, most of which I've never even heard of. They've found information for me on some of my saddles.

StellaTMK
Jun. 20, 2011, 02:26 AM
Great job on the test, you look wonderful!!! I have been given a double-dog-dare to try a test (in front of a judge at an actual show). I ride exclusively aside and my gelding is also ridden astride by a great gal that competes with him in dressage.

Because I do a little of everything (literally, team penning to hunting to historical demonstrations), and dont have a need to specifically post to the trot or even trot when a nice canter is so much nicer to sit for a few miles at a time, how did you handle the entire test with the posting trot? Did you really have to exagerate to show the judge that you were indeed posting? Posting to the trot is so very much different aside that it is more of a shift in weight to behind the knee, that I have had friends tell me that I have to post when I actually am. And I can barely handle 1/2 of a 20 meter circle before my muscles cramp up trying to post. Did the judge mention anything? Or did you do a higher level in which a sitting trot is called for? I will probably just do an intro or training test since Beau will also be doing a 'proper' test with his half-leaser, and this will be just a warm up for him.

Or do I just suck it up and work at it till I have the stamina to post the entire trot work of a test :)

sadlmakr
Jun. 20, 2011, 04:41 AM
Dear Brigit, Fantastic photos!
I am so proud of you and the progress you have made in sidesaddle.
We just had a Sidesaddle demo day here in Winters Ca. where we had about 10 women wanting to learn about sidesaddle. I brought several of mine both English and Western. The ladies tried out several that fit the horses at the farm we were meeting at.
One lady fit the C&W and another lady fit the western catalog sidesaddle.
One lady had a long thigh and rode my modern Western. It was a great day for us and we all had a great time. Everyone learned about sidesaddle. Even a grandson of one of our ladies rode in an 120 year old small Western and he loved the whole idea. The husband of the same lady rode the big Western sidesaddle and felt it was far more secure than an astride saddle.
We were all tired out but went home very happy to have been able to meet and enjoy the afternoon trying out sidesaddles.
They all learned that fit is so important for both the horse and the rider.
Be careful of the sidesaddles on Craigslist. Most of them are either antiques needing lots work or Asian imports, also needing lots of work to make them balanced to ride right. Most need reflocking. So use care in choosing one unless you can try it out for fit on both horse and rider.
But you are right, It is great fun.
There are several regional groups affilitated with the American Sidesaddle Association all over the USA. You can go to Yahoo groups and see where there is one near your area.
Sidesaddle is growing in popularity. It is just finding sidesaddles that fit right that is the problem.
But once you find the right saddle, it is great.
kind regards, Lillian

Brigit
Jun. 20, 2011, 06:03 PM
Thanks Lillian! You've been a wealth of knowledge and a huge help along the way!

Although today I am wondering if one of my saddles (not sure if it's my sidesaddle or astride saddle) is causing my mare some issues. She's been really cranky & reactive to everything & especially rushy for the past few weeks (have been riding aside hardly at all, so thinking it's the astride saddle). She's put on some weight since we moved barns and perhaps that is causing the saddle to not fit quite right. Ugh, I hope I don't have to go on a search for saddles again!



Because I do a little of everything (literally, team penning to hunting to historical demonstrations), and dont have a need to specifically post to the trot or even trot when a nice canter is so much nicer to sit for a few miles at a time, how did you handle the entire test with the posting trot? Did you really have to exagerate to show the judge that you were indeed posting? Posting to the trot is so very much different aside that it is more of a shift in weight to behind the knee, that I have had friends tell me that I have to post when I actually am. And I can barely handle 1/2 of a 20 meter circle before my muscles cramp up trying to post. Did the judge mention anything? Or did you do a higher level in which a sitting trot is called for? I will probably just do an intro or training test since Beau will also be doing a 'proper' test with his half-leaser, and this will be just a warm up for him.

Or do I just suck it up and work at it till I have the stamina to post the entire trot work of a test :)

Actually most lower level tests say you can sit OR post, whichever you chose, so I sat for the entire thing. I actually even forgot to "post" the stretchy trot circle but I don't think the judge noticed and perhaps it didn't really make a difference. To be honest though, I was huffing & puffing about half way through the test. Our arena at home is sooooo small compared to a full 20 x 60m dressage arena so I was pooped!

We're off to a BIG dressage show this weekend and I'm hoping I can get Brigit figured out and happy again before then.

belambi
Jun. 20, 2011, 06:35 PM
Fantastic to see, congratulations

I have a sidesaddle claim to fame!.. I am one of the few guys qualified as a sidesaddle coach!

I went to school in Ireland.. and in those days, horses entered for the ladies show hunter class at Dublin Royal had to be certefied to have hunted sidesaddle. I used to make loads of pocket money going hunting sidesaddle to qualify peoples horses for the Show.

Its way way more secure than you would initially think, most sidesaddle accidents normally involve the horse falling, rather than the rider falling off, since you tend not to get thrown clear!

Someone on here has a signiture I think that says something like..In an ideal world Men would ride sidesaddle!

Brigit
Jun. 21, 2011, 01:36 AM
WOW! Isn't that just too neat! Thank you for sharing that tidbit! Do you have any photos of yourself riding?

belambi
Jun. 21, 2011, 01:48 AM
No unfortunatly we lost them all with our house in our recent flooding adventure!!

I used to have two saddles, one left and one right headed, which was a great way of balancing out the work. One of thm I bought for 10 irish pounds about 25 years ago in a garage sale!!

sadlmakr
Jun. 21, 2011, 01:56 AM
Chek the mare's back after you ride. See if there are any dry spots where there are pressure points. Check your pads also. See if there are any places that look like there is excessive pressure. A good saddler can reflock the saddle for fit. Make sure the saddle is behind the shoulder blade and not on it.
Wish I were closer to you. I'd love to reflock it for you.
But I am sure there are good saddlers who can do it just as well in your area.
Kind regards, Lillian

Brigit
Jun. 22, 2011, 05:14 PM
There aren't any dry spots with the sidesaddles (although they DO need more flocking still) but we did find a major issue with my astride saddle. It fits her shoulder well and is the right tree size, however the gullet is too narrow for her spine and is "cupping" and putting pressure on it. That and the back panels are overstuffed and causing a pressure point . Not good! No wonder she's unhappy! We're going to be saddle shopping as well as showing this weekend. Such fun. So in the meantime we'll be doing bareback and sidesaddle exclusively.

We have 2 master saddlers in the area, one who says he knows how to work on sidesaddles but it makes me nervous! I don't really want my saddle to be the "sacrificial lamb" so to speak to see if he really knows or not. I think I may just cut apart a felt pad I have and make shims for now and perhaps in the winter I'll be sending my saddle down for you to fix up! I have a C&W that you fixed up a few years ago and your work is excellent!

Tiger Horse
Jun. 23, 2011, 12:53 PM
Late to the party - but you guys look great! I discovered sidesaddle a few years ago and absolutely love it. Did a few parades with my mare (incl the Inaugural Parade in DC) then got bit by the dressage bug. Sold my mare (she hated dressage), bought my TB gelding and am hoping to find a saddle to fit him so that we can do a few shows aside!
Hoping to find a nice old name saddle I can afford.

Sold my Steele western sidesaddle - way to wide for the new guy - hard to do, but didn't want her (the saddle) to just sit unused.

Congrats again!

Napoles
Jun. 23, 2011, 01:16 PM
I went to school in Ireland.. and in those days, horses entered for the ladies show hunter class at Dublin Royal had to be certefied to have hunted sidesaddle. I used to make loads of pocket money going hunting sidesaddle to qualify peoples horses for the Show.

Excellent! :D Nowadays we just have to have competed at a registered side-saddle class prior to the RDS.
I think some of the ride judges would definitely prefer the old rule as horses would by default be a bit more experienced and perhaps steadier. :D

Competing 4 yr old hunters side-saddle while the cheering and clapping is going on next door for the Aga Khan is not always the best fun. :(

Brigit
Jun. 23, 2011, 01:33 PM
Late to the party - but you guys look great! I discovered sidesaddle a few years ago and absolutely love it. Did a few parades with my mare (incl the Inaugural Parade in DC) then got bit by the dressage bug. Sold my mare (she hated dressage), bought my TB gelding and am hoping to find a saddle to fit him so that we can do a few shows aside!
Hoping to find a nice old name saddle I can afford.

Sold my Steele western sidesaddle - way to wide for the new guy - hard to do, but didn't want her (the saddle) to just sit unused.

Congrats again!

Very neat! Check out the Sidesaddlery.com website and American Lady Aside, Hundred Oaks Inc and Sidesaddle Heaven. Between those four websites, there are a ton of saddles listed and hopefully you'll be able to find what you're looking for!

Tiger Horse
Jun. 23, 2011, 01:38 PM
Very neat! Check out the Sidesaddlery.com website and American Lady Aside, Hundred Oaks Inc and Sidesaddle Heaven. Between those four websites, there are a ton of saddles listed and hopefully you'll be able to find what you're looking for!

Have been checking them religiously! Have my eye on one or two - must continue to save my pennies . . .