Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sidesaddle Display, The Maiden Voyage

(CoBloWriMo Day 9, Big Project)

This has been in the works for several years now, since before I got married (which at the time of this writing is over 3 years.) Riding sidesaddle is like the dead center of the Venn diagram that is my life--history, horses, and special outfits.

Jackson, c. 2015

None of this would have even begun if it weren't for my wonderful trainer, who has always supported my efforts and didn't bat an eyelash when I brought up learning to ride aside.  Also my husband who has supported my horse craziness and basically did all the heavy lifting of getting the whole display together.  And I can't forget my coworker buddy who helped me build the sit-on saddle stand, by which I actually mean I scribbled a few ideas on a sticky note and he made an amazing, beautiful object in just a couple hours while I flailed about with power tools.  So a big thanks to you all, because all I did was have an idea.  Without you guys I wouldn't have run with it!

The Sidesaddle Display, Halifax NC 2017

Closer in on the saddles.  Myyy precioussss...

My collection includes a mid-19th century example:

"This one's pretty comfy!"
Photo by Chuck LeCount

As well as a charming little saddle I was told had 18th century provenance:

"That one is gorgeous, but pretty fragile so I don't put my butt on it."
Photo by Chuck LeCount

You can also see the 20th century Elan I'm sitting on (although not sitting properly, oops!) as well as the lovely stand made by my very skilled friend.  That thing is solid and worked perfectly!  Some other of the lady participants at the event were brave enough to give it a try and see how it felt to sit 'sideways.'

Now, in the interim between the first photo above, from 2015, to the first run at the display in 2017, my dear little paint pony Jackson passed away.  I will always be grateful for how much he taught me, and for his wonderful steady nature that gave me the confidence to try ridding all askew on him...but I'm currently without a mount for riding aside.  In the future, the goal is to find a new equine partner and a saddle to fit us both, so that we can actually demonstrate what it's like to ride aside in period attire.  So, stay tuned, and keep an eye out for us.  We're hoping to get this show on the road soon!

All displays are enhanced by the inclusion of cute puppers!
Photo by Marie Beyer-Denig


  1. This is beyond cool! I've always wanted to learn to ride aside, and I hope that you can find the proper equine partner.

    1. My trainer has been teasing me with pictures of beautiful horses she wants me to try out and I keep telling her I have to save up a little more! I hope you find an opportunity to try out riding's really weird but so fun!