Category Archives: Side Saddle
The Fictional Show Jumper
“I can jump 1.20”. Sure you can……at home…..badly….over a single fence. The miraculous feats achieved by the fictional show jumper will often happen when there is no one around to see, video or photograph it. Likewise, none of these skills have yet been displayed at a competition where the fictional show jumper is usually jumping several grades lower than their stories centre around.
The Directionless Wonder aka those with zero survival instinct aka the zombie apocalypse
‘left hand to left hand’ may very well be a rule of open schooling in the arena but the directionless wonder has no concept of left and right and will fail to notice that they are in any danger when you are heading straight towards them. The directionless wonder will somehow always end up riding in the same area of the school as you and will stroll along behind or in front of a show jumping fence as they have not noticed that you are jumping it One may often wonder how the directionless wonder has managed to ever cross a road given their complete lack of self- preservation. When riding in the vicinity of the directionless wonder the normal rules of schooling should be disregarded and instead the best practice is simply to stay out of their way, roar jumping whenever you are approaching a fence and give them an extremely wide berth if on a young or green horse
To the tune of ‘I will Survive’ by Gloria Gaynor
At first I was excited, slightly terrified
Heading down to Co. Meath for my first sidesaddle ride
I spent oh so many hours thinking how it could go wrong
I might fall off, the horse might be way too strong
How make up is never really ‘stay all day’ or ‘budge proof’ unless it doesn’t rub off your forehead after wearing a hat and can withstand twelve hours of mud, wind and lashing rain. Extra marks if it stays on after you get a branch to the face on a hunt.
Having no sympathy for someone who broke a nail or got a paper cut. Sure that’s nothing compared to landing head first into a pole or ditch or being lifted off the ground by an animal several times your size. Suck it up.
Being reasonably sober after many generous slugs of god knows what from several hip flasks yet absolutely hammered after one bottle of beer.
“Ah sure one horse is more than enough for me”
“I was too busy cleaning the house to go up to the horse”
“Why would I need more than one habit I can only wear one at a time anyway”
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. Read the rest of this entry
So about a week and a half ago the orange train and I headed off on another side saddle adventure, one I had been looking forward to for weeks. Ciara O’Connell (this lady: http://sidesaddleciara.wordpress.com/) had organised for a group of us to travel back to Ballyduff House near Thomastown in Kilkenny to avail of lessons with side saddle instructor Jennifer Torrance before staying over and heading to Mount Juliet the following day to hack out.
Never take the p*ss out of a side saddle instructor online before she gives you a lesson. You will regret it!
If you don’t know much about wine its fair enough to judge and choose a bottle by name – who could say no to a glass of antares?
A friend on an online equestrian forum recently created a thread that invited fellow members to post their earliest and most recent photo of them on their horse. I went searching through my laptop for photos while feeling that aside from trying new disciplines not much else would have changed in terms of my riding. How wrong I was. I found a photo of us competing at dressage in 2009 at the AIRC festival and another of us competing this summer at the same event.
“Irish Hunting Cob” = comfortable square shaped horse with a short thick neck and a big shoulder. Usually feels like a couch, moves like a tank and jumps whatever is in front of it. May be hogged (mane shaved off) so a ‘Jesus strap’ may be needed
“Jesus Strap” = neck strap of a running or hunting martingale or a separate neck strap on a horse with no martingale. Used during those moments of unbalance where you think ‘oh Jesus’ and need to hold on tight. Particularly useful on horses that are hogged