Sidesaddle

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Couvi
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I hope this will open. It is an excellent work on riding sidesaddle, something about which I know nothing.
https://www.quora.com/Why-would-women-r ... e-old-days


Couvi

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Pat Holscher
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Couvi wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 5:48 pm I hope this will open. It is an excellent work on riding sidesaddle, something about which I know nothing.
https://www.quora.com/Why-would-women-r ... e-old-days
It is interesting, but I fear there's an aspect of it that's missed, which is that modern women's undergarments have, well, significantly evolved. And by evolved, I mean come into existence. So the concerns over "decency" were real in more ways than one.

I.e., women's under pantaloons, if you will, really didn't make an appearance until just before trousers for women did. They're a late 19th Century thing. And like most things, they didn't come on all at once. Women (in almost every culture around the globe) wore skirts as a compensation for the female anatomy, which at one time was acknowledged to be different, and even function differently, than men's, in all sorts of ways.

So, not to be too indelicate, politically incorrect, or shocking, but movies may find the thought of people riding around on horseback on their bare naked bottoms, etc., attractive, but that's because they aren't doing it. And sociologist may find accommodations for female riding sexist, but that's because they weren't trying to pull up a long skirt to ride, and that's because they weren't wearing long skirts with more skirts, effectively, underneath it, as Victoria's Secret and the like hadn't made their appearance.
Pat

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Here’s what Lida L. Fleitmann (later Bllodgood) had to say on the subject in her book “Comments on Hunters and Hacks”; Scribner’s Sons, 1922. She was good friends with the leading forward seat proponents of the time, Santini, Chamberlin et al, and was present at Tor d’Quinto when so much was going on there vis a vis the modern forward seat. It was she who convinced Piero Santini,after he was injured and could no longer ride, that he must to take up the pen and delineate and spread Caprilli’s doctrines for a wider audience. One couldn’t go far wrong in following her precepts on horse training as presented in her book. I find her comments on the side saddle to be endearing and touchingly honest. After ten pages of laying out the pros and cons of sidesaddle riding she concludes with the following:

“So much for the practical side of the matter. When it comes to appearances, even a blind man wouldn’t argue the point ! …

“Fat does not look well on either a side-saddle or a cross-saddle, but a large, portly, matronly woman may still ride a side-saddle with a fair degree of modesty, dignity, and security, while on a cross-saddle she would be a laughing-stock.The young slips of girls, who now appear so attractive in their trim little breeches and boots, are no standard to go by; wait until they are fair, fat and forty, and watch how many of them will have given up riding because they look so queer, while their more “old-fashioned” sisters will be able to maintain their enjoyment in the sport until extreme old age.

“It might perhaps be argued that appearances should not count against comfort or safety, but I, for one, do not think that there is a great enough difference in the degree of safety or comfort afforded by the cross-saddle over the side-saddle to warrant our disregarding looks altogether. …
We would undoubtedly be more sensibly clothed if we did not run around in low-necked evening dresses in the winter, and yet who among us would abandon them on the score of comfort or safety? Why, therefore, shouldn’t women be willing to submit to the very few inconveniences of the side-saddle in order to look graceful and feminine, and ladylike, instead of like a vulgar, badly shaped and knock-kneed man.”
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Lyda hit it squarely. And although I have not tried it, I am told by those who know that it is not inherently more difficult or unstable than riding astride. A girl I knew in college had parents posted to Greece and learned to jump sidesaddle. She didn't find it to be difficult.

However, Lyda skips Pat's point, possibly out of delicacy. Even when pantaloons came in, they were simply open where the rider meet the saddle. That is why the Cancan was a scandalous dance, done onstage with high kicks...
Joe
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browerpatch
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My late sister, who studied at Meredith Manor in West Virginia, rode both astride and sidesaddle. She did dressage and hunter-jumper in both seats. She told me once that riding sidesaddle correctly is as secure a seat as riding astride, especially with the development of the leaping horn.

She also told me that one of her instructors had known a former military officer who'd lost his right leg, but continued to hunt riding sidesaddle. I don't know if that's factual or not, but it seems reasonable.
Frank
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