Posted by Anita the guest on April 24, 1998 at 23:31:56:
In response to What's it like?, written by Lu on April 24, 1998 at 15:17:32
Lu, it is so much fun. You have to remember that "modern" sidesaddles (1880 forward) were built because it was thought that women needed an added advantage to keep up with the men in the hunting field (besides the issue of sexuality which is a whole 'nother subject). The idea of women being weaker than men actually gave them an advantage in this case. I would bet money that, assuming the saddle stays on the horse, I could stay with a bucking horse longer than a man on a western saddle! People not only jump, but barrel race, endurance ride and do cutting horse competition - although the AQHA has banned sidesaddles from any AQHA affiliated shows :( Something I have heard others say is that your balance is better after riding sidesaddle than if you had not.
Normally, if you are in correct form, you should not fall backwards. In fact, it is hard to be unseated at all. If necessary, you can use a crop or whip as an aid. In most cases, the lady only rode a well trained "ladies mount" that would have been trained for sidesaddle. It would not be proper for a lady to have been out in the field and be fighting with her horse to heed her commands. My mare was trained on voice, hand signals and long reins (ground driving) before she was ever started under saddle. Leg aids are not the only means of signaling your horse and can be phased out. If you are training a horse for sidesaddle, you may start by using leg aids and then just gradually decrease the use of the right leg til it is not used at all.
I hope that all makes sense. I have been corresponding with a lady in England trying to explain how to cinch up a western saddle they recently acquired. She emailed me saying, "There are all these straps and I don't know what to do with them." The irony of it all!
I'm including a link to the World Sidesaddle Federation and there is alot more information you might find interesting.
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