Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What Breed of Horse is Best for Sidesaddle?

The simple answer to this question is ANY! As long as the saddle fits the horse and the horse is already well schooled in basic equitation for the discipline you wish to ride - Hunt, Saddleseat, Western etc. any breed of horse can be used to ride aside!

Most of us envision an athletic Thoroughbred..

...or maybe an beautiful Arabian.

I dream of riding aside on a Saddlebred with their long elegant upright neck!

..but what about other breeds? Here is a Morgan...

..a Lipizzaner..

..a Clydesdale.. Appaloosa

Here is a Pasa Fino..

...a Welsh..

...or how about a Mule???


SolitaireMare said...

Great Pictures!

If I ever try sidesaddle, it will be with either a TB or Warmblood type. Question - considering the different style of the sidesaddle seat, do you think a horse that would look too small in stature for a taller rider when riding astride would look suitable for the same rider when riding sidesaddle?

For example: I am 5'9" tall and I find the ideal picture in the showring on a horse 16.2 and up. But would I still look as suitable on a 15.3 horse when riding sidesaddle?

LOL, I told you I'd have questions!! :)

WarPony said...

Ah, I LOVE side saddle (though I have only ever ridden side saddle once and felt completely out of place). I dream of being able to ride my own horse aside some day... but first I have to get a horse that is taller than 3 feet tall, hahaha!

The picture of the Clyde made me grin like a fool.

Julie said...

Solitaire Mare,

To answer your question...kind of depends upon the type of horse you will ride. As you said you would likely use a warmblood which not only normally are a taller breed - but also do have a bit longer neck. Not quite as long as a Saddlebred though.

If you thumb through the different breeds of horses I posted - with aside riders you will see quite a bit of difference. All horses will look shorter necked when being ridden aside because almost all sidesaddles are much "thicker" than the standard english saddle - therefore raising the rider up higher. Again - thumb down and look at some of the different sidesaddles I have posted. Some, including the one I bought sit almost 6 inches higher than the horses back!

It almost looks odd to me, as if the rider is towering over the horse!...because I am so used to the high headed Saddlebred and having to look through their ears!

There really is not a "suitable" size. If the horse is comfortable carrying you astride and you are also comfortable on the horse, it is just going to look like a different picture when the same horse is saddled aside.

Did that answer your question???

SolitaireMare said...

Yes! I understand a bit better now the relationship between this kind of saddle's construction and how it applies to the overall appearance of a particular horse and rider combo. Thanks for the reply.

BTW, the picture of the gal on the Clydesdale made me smile, too!

sunvalleysally said...

Any idea who the Clyde rider is? I just bought a Belgian of foundation lines, have ridden aside off and on for years and really would like to try my new guy sidesaddle. I'm wondering how draft riders aside have gone about the task of finding an extraordinarily wide tree saddle and anything unusual with drafties that riders aside on light horses don't ever experience. Thank you.