When the ladies side saddle class returned to the show ring in the 2014 RDS Dublin Horseshow it was not filled with professional riders on professional show horses. Instead the ring was filled with a variety of horses and riders that served as a beautiful demonstration of versatility. The majority of these riders were not professionals and each one had earned their right to be there by competing successfully at one of the four qualifiers held earlier in the year. The class included show horses, hunters, ex race horses and all-rounders. Likewise the riders themselves hailed from different backgrounds and disciplines from hunting to point to pointing.
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.
“Feel the fear and do it anyway” isn’t that what they say? Well I can safely say I managed to accomplish that this week. My arms might be two inches longer than they were before (unfortunately not my legs!) but I am still in one piece and haven’t sprained my Jennifer muscle too badly.
Has anyone else ever watched the movie ‘Minis First Time’ it’s a rather odd but awesome film about a rebellious teenager who decided to embark on a series of ‘firsts’. While the main characters ‘firsts’ included getting high and joining an escort agency my own were slightly less exotic or illegal. Still the concepts of ‘firsts’ is not bad one all the same and once I started to embrace with a side saddle theme last week.