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Dressage Sidesaddle

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  • #41
    I don't believe ss is more hand riding, but equally a horse ss should had more finesse. And there should be a great deal of finesse as to the individual use of each bit (which should be astride as well). And the whip can/does take the place of a leg. Hence a stiffer whip and/or a whip spur.

    (I guess the point was that it is 'horsewomen" vs horsemen.....but then what about the srs riders who prepare the ss horses.....or at least did in the last generation of srs riders.)

    SS is an english saddle, it can be used at any level.
    I.D.E.A. yoda


    • #42
      Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
      Coincidentally someone just posted a photo gallery of the masters, including Dorothy Baumann-Pellny riding side saddle and astride. Amazing pictures. All I can say is WOW.


      Very cool! Thanks for sharing!


      • #43
        Originally posted by oldbag View Post
        Although it does look elegant, I don't think of it as real riding.

        It's more of fancy dress thing. Isn't it?
        Um . . . when I was showing First Level dressage and whipping-in to hounds off the same horse, all of it aside, seemed pretty "real" to me!


        • #44
          Originally posted by oldbag View Post
          Side-saddle is not as effective a communication tool as a rider sat in the middle with a leg at either side.

          Some women still hunt side-saddle - but not the ones who do horse trials! Side-saddle makes it almost impossible to fall off. While most of them are fairly experienced riders they aren't real 'horsemen.'

          Jenny L-C did side saddle quite a lot in showing classes - different to dressage over here - but grew out of it as her knowledge deepened.

          If it's so great why aren't riders doing International Olympic qualifying comps like this?
          I actually was going to do a horse trial aside one time--it would have been no problem for my horse and I to do a Novice. Some friends, daring me, were all for it . . . but Betty Skelton (a very proper Englishwoman!) had ingrained that sidesaddle is all about ELEGANCE; hence it is properly employed in hacking and hunting. Horse trials originated as a military test for officers' chargers; therefore, my conclusion that to ride one aside would be grandstanding and inappropriate. So we didn't.


          • #45
            LOL! So you chickened out. I mean come on, by your measure being female would make you not correct for dressage seeing that we weren't in the military cavalry and all.

            He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


            • #46
              I have ridden sidesaddle for years and have ridden both Western and English aside. My horses did not need a cane on the off side. They learned to respond to my weight shift to one side or the other. Just as you ride astride and use your seat bones to cue the horse. Most of my horses prefered sidesaddle over the astride saddles. I find those who do not understand sidesaddle or how they are ridden are the first to criticise the use of them. If they are properly fitted to the horse and rider they fill a legitimate need in the horse world.
              They have been used in all facets of horsemanship. Yes there have even those who have gone to the top in Dressage.
              But if you listen to the "Nay-sayers" you will hear all kinds of reasons why they feel the sidesadde ought to be outlawed. And the oher side will give an equal number of reasons why they should not be.


              • #47
                Several years ago, Chronicle contained a photo of a young woman who DID compete at a horse trials aside.

                That takes guts! I'd say it's "real"!


                • #48
                  Thanks for all the nice comments! That’s me & my 19 year old, WB mare in those pics! Thanks again Paula for taking them!

                  To answer a few questions through this thread, no it’s not all about the “fancy dresses”, though the “Habits” as they are properly called, are quite fun. Most are very conservative (blue, black, darker colors, tweed or grey) and made of a thick melton wool (HOT in the summer!). The habit in the photos is a vintage 1930’s Roberts & Carroll that was worn by one of the proprietors of the Middleburg Hunt. I’m very very lucky to have it (and to fit in it! Lol)

                  Riding sidesaddle, especially dressage, requires a very responsive horse. Something my uber sensitive (sometimes TOO sensitive) mare seems to do well in. Until you’ve tried it, you really wouldn’t believe how much more effective your seat is in a sidesaddle than astride. Most of my aids come from my seat.
                  I don’t think I’ve become more “handsy” since I’ve started riding sidesaddle, my mare is definitely a neck curler though, doesn’t seem to matter where your hands are, she likes to suck her nose in a bit too much and overbend. Ah well, a 1st place ribbon and 65% says it wasn’t all that bad lol. You do use your hands/reins a bit more to guide your horse but really, not a huge amount more than you normally would or should astride. I don’t usually use a cane or whip on my off-side actually. I should but my mare isn’t a big fan of them, if we want to continue on with 1st level then we’ll have to work that out but we have worked our way through a few left leg-yields simply by using seat & rein aids. The judge gave us a “6” on our leg yield left and a “6” on our leg yield right, so either we did them equally well, or equally not so well LOL.

                  We competed against astride riders all year last year and were generally in the top 3 placings, this was in the “Open” division I might add. We qualified for Provincials and Western Canadian Regionals and ended up doing really well. 3rd at Provincials overall and Reserve Champion at Regionals. Not half bad for a non-serious, dress loving rider haha.

                  And for the record, sidesaddle riders do sit just as squarely on their horse as astride riders. Otherwise that centre line would be an awful wobble every which way LOL. Recently I got to ride a horse at the Prix St. George level and we did everything sidesaddle that you would astride; half passes, piaffe, passage, flying changes, canter pirouettes, shoulder in, haunches in, etc. It was an AMAZING feeling! I would have to say that I think a lot of people don’t do the upper level dressage etc because it’s much harder sidesaddle. How do you get that higher level of collection & headset without having legs on both side to push the horse forward into it? It’s tough, but it’s do-able. I’d bet those ladies you’re talking about Oldbag, simply realized how much tougher it was going to be and figured perhaps they’d rather do it astride. You definitely have to have the right horse & rider.

                  I actually know of a few highly respected ladies that still hunt sidesaddle (and prefer it!) and jump some HUGE fences. They also participate in hunter paces and such. In Europe the high jump record is something like 150 cm. After seeing some of the hunt country in Virginia this spring, the thought of hunting it astride, nevermind sidesaddle, had me sweating! It’s pretty intense country with BIG jumps. FYI in the UK/Europe, Horse Trials/Eventing rules state that you can’t ride sidesaddle, that’s probably why you don’t see it. If the rules allowed it, I guarantee you’d see ladies doing it.

                  Jumping aside is really not *that* easy. I don’t think so anyways. I’m still working on mastering the art of jumping and to be honest, the only times I thought I might come off sidesaddle, was jumping. I’m just not that good at it yet. It really does take a lot of ability & strength to keep your body positioned properly. You aren’t just floating over the fence locked into the saddle as some may think.

                  Do I think I’ll ever go hunting first flight sidesaddle or make it to GP Dressage? Or try to break the high jump record? Heck no! I wouldn’t even consider it. That’s not what it’s about for me and most of the other sidesaddle riders out there. We love the tradition & history that goes with it. It’s a huge part of our history and we’d like to do what we can to keep it alive. We enjoy it and enjoy sharing it with others. Everybody has their “thing” and this is mine. I love it!

                  p.s. Sorry for the novel! lol
                  __________________________________________________ _
                  Proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by Brigit View Post
                    Do I think I’ll ever go hunting first flight sidesaddle or make it to GP Dressage? Or try to break the high jump record? Heck no! I wouldn’t even consider it. That’s not what it’s about for me and most of the other sidesaddle riders out there. We love the tradition & history that goes with it. It’s a huge part of our history and we’d like to do what we can to keep it alive. We enjoy it and enjoy sharing it with others. Everybody has their “thing” and this is mine. I love it!

                    p.s. Sorry for the novel! lol
                    Oh, don't be sorry!

                    I, for one, would love to learn to ride sidesaddle. I have a horse that I think would make a fantastic mount, unfortunately I find the cost of a good quality saddle to be extremely prohibitive!


                    • #50
                      They definitely aren't cheap on average. Though to be honest, I don't think they're any more expensive than a decent quality close contact or dressage saddle. You can find them from places like "Hundred Oaks Inc.", "The Sidesaddlery" and "Sidesaddle Heaven" for around $1500 for a decent quality "old name" saddle. Now if you want a pristine, old name hunting saddle that looks like it just rolled out of the saddle shop, probably $2000-3000 ish, sometimes more for the rarer makes. It's definitely worthwhile saving for a saddle that fits you and your horse. You'll really notice a difference if you do by one of the junky ones or even one that just doesn't fit you or your horse because you'll probably hate it. Unlike astride saddles that you can "make do" with, if a sidesaddle isn't balanced/flocked properly or doesn't fit you & your horse, you'll both just end up struggling and uncomfortable.
                      __________________________________________________ _
                      Proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!


                      • #51
                        Um . . . when I was showing First Level dressage and whipping-in to hounds off the same horse, all of it aside, seemed pretty "real" to me!

                        Yes and the para equestrians who are not always riding in the same way as everyone else are also not doing 'real' riding. Old Nag's post is one of the most stupid things I have seen on this board- and that is saying a lot!.


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by oldbag View Post
                          Some women still hunt side-saddle - but not the ones who do horse trials! Side-saddle makes it almost impossible to fall off. While most of them are fairly experienced riders they aren't real 'horsemen.'
                          And real "horsemen" such as Jimmy Williams used to ride hunters and jumpers in double bridles. While it may be almost impossible to fall off, try the balance and abdominal strength it takes to post the trot as your safety stirrup will come off if you weight it.

                          As someone who rides multiple seats and has ridden sidesaddle since she was 10, that is one of the most insulting statements I have ever read on COTH.

                          I am looking forward to learning to ride my off-side sidesaddle - which, having only sat on it a few times on my horse, is going to prove to be a challenge!


                          • #53
                            For anyone doubting just what you can do in a sidesaddle, I encourage you to take a peek at his link. The group is called "The Flying Foxes" and they do demonstrations and compete in hunter trials and team chases etc sidesaddle. They jump some pretty impressive fences! (little off topic since this is the dressage forum haha)


                            This photo in particular.... This is a solid 3'6" log fence and look at how easy this pair makes it look.
                            Why not jump it with some champagne while you're at it?

                            I believe this is nearly a 4' hedge.

                            This little lady is only 12 and look at her go on her pony! I'm in awe!

                            Now there's a leap!

                            Honestly, I could go on and on! For those that are interested check out "The Flying Foxes Display Team" and the "Sidesaddle Riders" page on facebook. There are tons of videos and photos that will just amaze you!
                            __________________________________________________ _
                            Proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!


                            • #54
                              Ok I just can't help myself! Gotta share a few more!

                              Boy ponies sure can jump! 1.20 m

                              Jumping a fairly massive ditch...
                              And another...

                              One of the most massive hedges I've seen! Yikes! The top of the rails is 4' and the horses are meant to jump "through" the brush on top..... Not try to clear the entire thing!

                              Solid 3'9" wall.... http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...type=3&theater

                              World record sidesaddle high jump at 6'6"

                              Another photo of the then 11 year old sidesaddle rider flying high over a big hedge on her pony.

                              1.30 m high jump

                              And another long one.

                              I'd say any one of these ladies would take you up on a challenge ANY day and probably keep up without a problem.

                              But you're probably right....we aren't serious at all, we just love what we do and enjoy ever bit of it! I could go on and on sharing photos so I'd better stop now! haha
                              __________________________________________________ _
                              Proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by Brigit View Post
                                But you're probably right....we aren't serious at all
                                We're just playing dress-up
                                Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


                                • #56
                                  Oh I never thought of it that way...Just playing dress up? Well yes I do feel very "royal" on a sidesaddle. But due to a hip injury at a young age I had to ride aside for a long time.
                                  I can ride astride a horse now but I still prefer to ride aside. I hate to see these kinds of posts about sidesaddle not being a "real " way to ride. It just shows the ignorance of some who rather than learn about it and why we love it so, they prefer to believe the "Myths" about sidesaddle and post such as this one on page 1.
                                  As an old addage was back in te 60's ," Don't knock it until you have tried it."
                                  Yes sidesaddles have to be fitted properly to the horse and th rider or it will not be fun for either. And yes a good sidesaddle is expensive. But so is a Dressage saddle.
                                  But I will not waste time and energy on someone who has their mind made up to hate sidesaddle.
                                  Each to his/ her own.
                                  Kind regards, Sadlmakr


                                  • #57
                                    It never occurred to me that people thought side saddle was riding lite. I've seen people hunt side saddle, jump side saddle, and ride dressage side saddle. This thread was an eye opener -the contempt that some have for the style of riding was completely surprising to me.

                                    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


                                    • #58
                                      What bothers me about people who have all the reasons in the world why sidesaddles are bad, will not even try to ride one. I asked one of these anti-sidesaddle women to try out one. She adamantly said No! "I have never ridden one and never will."
                                      Then I say they have no leg to stand on. Ignorance is bliss I guess. I am just glad to see so many ladies and girls riding aside now days. It is a legitimate sport in the equestrain world. And it offers a chance for those with hip andback problems to keep on riding. JMHO


                                      • #59
                                        Like foxhunting, PSG and Intermediare 1 dressage, yeah I guess you are right, when I do that aside it isn't really riding. Just a girly dress up thing.....Hahahaha! Funny stuff!


                                        • #60
                                          Sadlmakr can attest to the cowboys charging to the ring to see the side saddle rider who had just been warming up her *bucking* horse at the Cow Palace as they all thought that Barbie/dress up girl "could really ride." Her snorty charger blasted into the ring with her posting a huge park trot, and at the end in the line up, she wasn't "glowing," she was sweating. Big time. And she got a huge cheer from the cowboys who were going to be competing at the rodeo for her win in her fancy tuxedo and double bridle.

                                          But she was just playing dress up. As was the woman who rode barrels. Side saddle. Sub 15 seconds.