The first step is to prepare to ride side saddle in general and you can find a guide to this here. Once you have mastered the bar stool and ridden side saddle on an actual horse without face planting it is time to start preparation for hunting side saddle in Ireland. Once Autumn hits everyone will start talking about hounds, meets and hip flasks so if you plan to participate, get some practice in.
Once again the bar stool with one leg shorter than the other three is your friend here and will allow you to practice in a safe environment. It is also a lot cheaper than the fancy simulation horses and less likely to object than a real horse.
Step 1 – preparation for ladies in warmer climates
- Buy waterproof mascara
- Invest in thermal underwear
- Go outside whenever it is raining without a coat or umbrella
- Start taking very cold showers
Step 2 – grooming and dressing
- Spend the first week before your practice session looking at photos of people hunting side saddle on the internet and asking the advice of randomers on Facebook groups in order to decide on a suitable hunting outfit from your side saddle wardrobe that will not give any of the traditionalists a stroke but which will also allow you to show a flash of personality.
- On the day of your practice session take out your bar stool and polish that bad boy to perfection.
- Clean yourself off and dress yourself in your chosen outfit ensuring that you don’t have a hair out of place.
- Fill a hipflask with something lethal made from berries and alcohol (instructions here) and attach to your outfit.
Step 2 – actual practice:
You will need:
– Your bar stool
– A grassy area of undulating terrain with rocks stewn through it.
– A hose
– A bucket of mud
– A lunge rope
– A hunting horn
– A helper
– A hedge
– A filled paddling pool
– A ditch / big hole
- Pour several inches of water onto the grassy area and stomp about in this in your wellies until you have a proper muddy mire.
- Dig a trench a few feet deep in this mire.
- Have your helper place your bar stool in the middle of your mud patch.
- Dress yourself in your hunting attire.
- Mount your bar stool, sit to the side and wrap your right leg tightly around the stool leg with your toe pointing down.
- Have your helper tie the end of the lunge rope to one of the legs of the stool
- Hold on for dear life as your helper pulls and releases the rope repeatedly to rock the stool at speed
- Once you have mastered some semblance of balance allow your helper to repeat the exercise while hosing you from a height with cold water
- Take a break and enjoy a generous sup from your hipflask
- Practice key phrases from here
- Have the helper rock your stool again while throwing handfuls of mud in your direction.
- Allow the helper to round up any over excitable local dogs
- Permit the dogs to run freely around the muddy area
- Have your helper continue with the stool rocking while running in circles with a handful of bacon followed by the over excited dogs.
- Have another break and a large sup from your hip flask
- Finish your session by having your helper drag the bar stool through a hedge and the paddling pool while you hold on tight on top. Have helper drag your stool through your ‘ditch’. Repeat ‘right shoulder back’ to yourself.
Step 3 – the aftermath
- Dismount from your stool.
- Bring stool back inside and clean until it has been restored to its former glory
- Walk back into the pub without getting changed
- Sit by the fire, enjoy a hot alcoholic drink and some sandwiches
- Amuse the locals with tales of your hunting adventures
- Allow the height of the hedge and the depth of the paddling pool and the width of the ditch to increase incrementally every time you have another drink.
- Go home and attempt to clean your now filthy outfit while treating each patch of mud as a badge of honour
Congrats you are now ready to attempt to hunt in Ireland on a horse!
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