It seems that side saddle riding is making a huge come back and we are welcoming it!
The Iberians are wonderful horses for this riding style. Dating back to antiquity and developed in the European Countries for Ladies in their fine gowns It has retained a specialty equestrian niche even in the modern world. Now many women are developing interest in learning this wonderful elegant style of riding.
“The earliest functional “sidesaddle” was credited to Anne of Bohemia (1366–1394). It was a chair-like affair where the woman sat sideways on the horse with her feet on a small footrest. The design made it difficult for a woman to both stay on and use the reins to control the horse, so the animal was usually led by another rider, sitting astride. The insecure design of the early sidesaddle also contributed to the popularity of the Palfrey, a smaller horse with smooth ambling gaits, as a suitable mount for women.
A more practical design, developed in the 16th century, has been attributed to Catherine de’ Medici. In her design, the rider sat facing forward, hooking her right leg around the pommel of the saddle with a horn added to the near side of the saddle to secure the rider’s right knee. The footrest was replaced with a “slipper stirrup”, a leather-covered stirrup iron into which the rider’s left foot was placed. This saddle allowed the rider both to stay on and to control her own horse, at least at slower speeds”. Source – Wikipedia
We are delighted to say in 2016 we will be offering ‘Side Saddle Clinics’ in Portugal on trained Lusitanos with a very special and important teacher, who knows a great deal amount the subject and rides side saddle beautiful.
There will be lots more information shortly but in meantime if this is something that would be of interest to you please message me to on the list for further information. Email Teresa Burton firstname.lastname@example.org
Image by Christophe Taniere Photography