1. “Do you wear anything underneath your skirt?”
No darling, I am all wool habit and no knickers
Felicity and I were meant to be together. I first met her on the side of a road when I collected her and another saddle off her owner to bring her to be used on a horse at a side saddle camp a friend had organised. I knew sweet FA about side saddles at the time but loved the look of her as she was a dark leather in contrast to the other doe skin saddles.
Theres a new film coming out
About standoffish Mr Grey
And a moron without sense
Who bites her lip all day
I’m confused by all these women
Who think this is such kink
If they turn up in the stable yard
They won’t know what to think
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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.
When some of the side saddle ladies including Ciara my side saddle friend and mentor recently declared that lipstick for side saddle showing should not be red, I was relieved. I have nothing against red lipstick but it simply doesn’t suit me. I either end up looking like a child in their parents make up or a lady that should be on a street corner somewhere. I won’t profess to know a whole lot about side saddle but thanks to being a complete makeup junkie I know a bit more about make up. After a chat with Ciara on what make up we should be wearing while riding aside I was able to pick out what exactly I need from my makeup stash.
Neutral shades, matte textures, weatherproof and smudge proof make up.
Frost/shimmery eye shadows, bright red lipstick, orange foundation or bronzer, clown blusher
Bright shades of eye shadow, glitter (let’s be clear, no one 100 years ago had glitter on their face while on a horse), tide lines, panda eyes.
“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity” is one of my favourite phrases. So often in competition, especially when things go wrong, we talk about what you can buy – the best horse with the most potential, the expensive clothing, the sessions with the best coach / instructor / sports psychologist. However it is the existence of luck that levels any playing field. You cannot buy it, sell it, create it, harness it or control it. Luck can be at your back propelling you to victory or pushing against you to defeat. Luck will defy all odds and laugh in the face of assumption. Luck is the unlucky pole down that your horse barely touched, it is the lost button, the bad weather or the little spook or buck that the showing judge was looking away for.
“What’s the difference between a horse and a pony”
I’m serious, two colleagues in my office job conference called me one day to ask me to answer this in order to settle an argument between them. Turns out they were both wrong, go figure.
“Aren’t they dangerous?”
To riding alongside new friends
To making new memories with old ones
To the horses we lost and the memories we keep
To the days where we won and the days where we learned
To riding sideways and moving forwards
To the days with the sun on your back
and the days with the rain in your face
~ To 2013 and to many more adventures in 2014 ~
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