Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Western Style Sidesaddle Fashions









11 comments:

Hosanna said...

Wow! Check out that dude! Why on earth.....? The sidesaddle clinic I went to last winter had a person riding western. But she was getting out of it, and selling her saddle and horse and everything. Since I ride Hunt seat AND Western, is there a kind of saddle to go "both ways"?

Sydney said...

Maybe we can just say the last one is gay? Hahaha thats too funny. I would love to get one of these western sidesaddles.

sunvalleysally said...

LOVE THESE! Beautimous, as the SBR people would say. Julie don't you dare even think about doing this with leg-o-mutton sleeves and a bow for a bustle. That style of sleeve makes a top heavy look sidesaddle that creates the sense of a mushroom riding on a log. And bustles flop. Oh lordy do they ever. Bows even worse. Think of a judge's eyes transfixed in horror at the bustle/bow bounce, around 'n around 'n around the ring....

Re dudes sidesaddle. Bit o'history. Started in England after WWI. Of the brave soldiers who survived "The Great War" many were avid horsemen who rode to hounds. And many of that group had lost a leg. So they were not about to forego a good day's hunt or even a quiet hack, they simply borrowed sidesaddles and went to it.

In more recent times there have been male participants in sidesaddle clinics - including male participants who for one reason or another, generally a physical one, could not ride cross saddle.

And where I lived formerly a carded judge who wanted to really understand the skill took a bunch of clinics and could give chapter and verse to a sidesaddle rider in a class he was judging, in the lineup, with the rider blinking in shock at what he would tell her. Men often have excellent sidesaddle posture, I think the narrower pelvic structure and flatter thigh muscles assist with a correct seat position.

Years ago (seventies?) when gay men were "coming out" there was a costume class at a local Arabian show. One big time trainer (who was married to an understanding woman, BTW, but was still "suspected") arrived for the class in the persona of Carmen of Bizet fame complete with rose in the teeth. Sidesaddle. Full-on drag. Not long after, set up permanent shop with another previously unsuspected trainer and they are still to this day together. Arabian people will probably know to whom I refer.

sunvalleysally said...

Hosanna, depends on where you want to show or even "if" you want to. Short answer, if you get a sort of generic sidesaddle without tooling or silver that doesn't have skirts but just flaps you might be able to go either way "depending." That having been said please don't adopt some of the more severe oddities sometimes seen in the breed show ring with western bridle/historical costume/english sidesaddle or mix 'n match of all of the foregoing (even parts of bridles mixed!) If you do parades, it won't matter anyway, just a safe saddle and over-the-top historic costuming is what you probably want for most parades unless you are in a formal hunt attire group. If you are showing at Upperville or Devon and you are thinking of going hunt seat on a sidesaddle of doubtful persuasion, you might want to think twice and borrow something more appropriate. But breed shows? A lot of them, it's just open season as you most likely won't get a judge who is deeply knowledgeable (but some of the audience will be....). If you want more details Julie can pass along my e-mail address to you, I'm happy to send info and contacts yourway.

Julie said...

Nope - thought the photos were good..but Western is not my cup of tea. It is fun to check out all the different types and styles of sidesaddle..both equipment and fashion...but I like what I am doing and will stick to that!

Can't remember if it was Hosanna or Sydney..but one of them is the one who suggested I do something on Western sidesaddle.

phaedra96 said...

I was in love with the first costume until I read the comment on flopping bows and bustles. Okay, pretty but not for show ring. That said; is the arab world the only place western sidesaddle is shown? Jus' wunnerin'

phaedra96 said...

Forgot to say I love the new banner, too. Very nice photo.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Two of my favorite classes at Arabian horse shows are the ladies sidesaddle- both English and western! The costumes are so lovely!! The closest I've ever gotten to riding aside is sitting on a sidesaddle in a tack shop. I am in awe of the horsemanship required!

Hosanna said...

My husband tells me he rode aside once - on a dare. I do remember something being said at the clinic I went to about the fact that men did indeed ride aside frequently. I don't know; it just struck me as odd; because I always associated riding aside with the riding habits and dresses.
And no, I would never mix things up in the show ring as far as tack/clothing. I don't do breed shows anyway. And, I have never shown western - only hunt seat. I don't even have a "western" horse at the moment - all Thoroughbred hunters. So no worries there. Besides, for me, getting a sidesaddle is a good ways off. I have to save up to get one - we just got married and are just starting out so you know how that is!! Thanks for tips and advice though.
And I love the new banner too! Pretty, pretty!

Julie said...

Although I do not have this in specific writting..I have been told by more than 1 person that the only breed that prohibits female riders from competing aside is Quater Horses. I was amazed by that information too with all of the beautiful Western sidesaddle equipment and the history. I automatically think of Quarter horses when I think of Western riding...but maybe that is because I am a Texas girl!

sunvalleysally said...

Julie - re AQHA and sidesaddle. In the eighties the various sidesaddle groups made a determined effort to get SS legalized in AQHA shows (as you may know AQHA is not regulated by the "other" organization). Lots of funny stories about those efforts but one sticks in my mind considering that sidesaddle is the "traditional" way for a "lady to ride." This good 'ol boy rep from AQHA sneeringly dismissed the sidesaddle promoters as "you Gol' durned wimmin libbers."

Other breed shows do have SS classes and prefer aside riders to stick to those specific classes rather than riding aside in "regular" classes. Those include Morgans, TW, some gaited specialty shows, Arabian. You will also find many SS riders in SS classes AND regular classes at east coast hunter shows.