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An Introduction to Side Saddle Riding

Side saddle riding may be traditional, but it is not old-fashioned. Every year new riders, young and older, take it up for different reasons.

How do you ride Side Saddle?
Firstly, you don't ride sideways. You actually sit absolutely straight and square in the saddle – from the back it should look the same is if you were astride.

The saddle has two pommels sticking up at the front of the saddle. Your right leg goes around the top one, and then hangs down. Your left leg will be in the usual position, and with the second or lower pommel – the leaping head, curved over the top of your thigh, but not touching. Your left foot will be in a stirrup as usual. To replace your right leg aids you carry a stick on that side.

Most of the time, your right leg should be quite relaxed, and your left in the usual position. But, in times of dire need, you can use the pommels to create an emergency grip with both legs - clamp your legs together around the pommels and then it really is very difficult to fall off.

It does feel strange at first – you are quite a bit higher than in a normal saddle, and using very different muscles. You should not feel too uncomfortable though. If you do, is probably because the saddle does not fit you or the horse – or possibly both.
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Why do it?
To keep the ancient art alive and of course let's be honest, when done correctly, it looks fantastic. Additionally riding aside offers the rider with an ordinary horse a chance to compete at the highest levels. Most horses can be ridden side saddle. They do not need to be well-bred or particularly talented, but should be reasonably well schooled, and well mannered. It can often extend an older horse's competitive life.

What to Wear?
You can begin with your normal riding clothes, but if you want to compete or hunt, you will need a habit – a jacket with matching apron (the large piece of material that looks like a skirt, but is actually open backed, and covers your legs) - and the correct hat. Habits tend to be second-hand, but there are some excellent ready-made ones now available, and again they can sometimes be hired. You can also buy or hire some of the more theatrical and historical costumes – or maybe you know someone handy with a needle and thread?

Competing in Equitation Classes
Please click here for hints when competing in Equitation Classes

Please note that all information is given in good faith: The Side Saddle Association is unable to give specific recommendation to any commercial concern, & can accept no responsibility if Members/ Non-members are not fully satisfied.

 

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DATES FOR YOUR DIARY 2017

Side Saddle Association 19 March AGM
Side Saddle Association 4 - 6 Aug National Show

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Judges, Examiners & Training Committee (JET)
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NATIONAL SIDE SADDLE SHOW


We would like to thank you all for attending the 2016 National Side Saddle Show organised by the NSSSG. We look forward to welcoming competitors back in 2017 Read More... The Side Saddle Association

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MEMBERSHIP - JOIN NOW!


The Side Saddle Association aims to encourage and promote the practice of riding side saddle. There are a number of categories of membership and application may be made online Read More... The Side Saddle Association

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COMPETITION DIARY 2017


The Association offers a wide variety of classes, to suit all standards of rider and horse/pony to encourage and give all side saddle riders the opportunity to participate in a range of disciplines Read More... The Side Saddle Association

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GENERAL ENQUIRIES

HON. GENERAL SECRETARY
Ms S M Lane
The Lodge
Glebe Farm
Broughton Astley
Leicestershire
LE9 6PG
Telephone: 01455 208345
Mobile: 07442 504071
Email:
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KEY DIARY DATES

41st AGM : 20 March 2016
SSA Celebration Weekend : 2020
National Show : 5 - 7 Aug 2016

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Please note that all information is given in good faith: The Side Saddle Association is unable to give specific recommendation to any commercial concern, and can accept no responsibility if Members/Non-members are not fully satisfied. The Side Saddle Association does not operate any social media sites including, but not restricted to, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus or YouTube etc and any information that may be shared on these sites does not represent the views of the Association. Download our Social Media Statement Here


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