Thursday, January 28, 2010

NEWS...News..and More News!

First of all, I would like to point out that I have made a few changes to my blog. I have added a Google Search if you are looking for something I posted a long time ago, just type in a key word and it will search my whole blog to find it for you!

Second, I added a side bar with every Sidesaddle Internet sight I have found so far for Associations and Clubs in the United States. I plan to include at a later date International sights as well. There are more clubs, but not all have Internet sights...and not all the international sights are in English!

Third, March 5-7Th, I will be showing at a Saddlebred / Arabian horse show called SASHA in Beorne, Texas. Since they have sidesaddle classes for the Arab's, they graciously added a sidesaddle class for All Breeds! Yeah - for the very first time, I get to compete in a class against other sidesaddle riders!

Forth, Another wonderful thing that is happening at the SASHA show is a Fund Raiser for Saddlebred Rescue...that started because I have been riding sidesaddle at the Saddlebred shows! A very talented gentleman and friend of mine named Bill Marple was giving me some riding advice on a public saddlebred forum; He was telling me that I needed to allow Oliver to move out and go forward more. As you know, the reason that I was not doing this was because I was having such a difficult time balancing at the trot ... well one of my readers told Bill that she would pay money to see him try to post the trot in a sidesaddle on a Saddlebred. Bill accepted the challenge. It took off like a wild fire and people started to pledge money to Saddlebred Rescue! SASHA will have a "Special Class" just for Bill, who incidentally will be in FULL DRAG! The class is called Sittin' Pretty for Saddlebreds! I will be there, with camera and video camera in hand... so you will get the FULL story after the show! This is Bill when he was showing one of his horses at the Texas State Fair.

By the way ... does anyone have any questions for me? Maybe something I have not thought to address... It might be a fun post for you to ask and I will do my best to answer..nothing too techinical though - God knows I am NO expert ..


Michelle said...

That is too neat! What a great idea and I can't wait to see the pictures! (Of both you and Bill riding SS)

Sydney said...

Wow thats so funny!
When we do our driving show sometimes we have a womans/mans class and do a laundry race where the woman drives and the man has to pick the laundry off the line then re-pin it after putting it all on during a trot around the arena.
Well during mine the bra got stuck. My friend went to pick it off and the wheel of my carriage caught the edge of the clothes line and BOING!! The bra rockets 30 feet into the air. All these cowboys are sitting on the edge of the ring hooting with laughter as the bra hits the ground right in front of them with a THUMP.

Julie said...

Sydney - now THAT was a great horse show event!!!

Mary K said...

Oh too funny... you'll have to post pics! What a great idea to raise money for the rescue!

SmartAlex said...

The proceeds from Bill's ride will be donated to Saddlebred Rescue. When Bill piped up that he hadn't ridden sidesaddle, but could still offere advise, I told Julie I'd pay money to see photos of Bill riding sidesaddle. Then I upped the ante by saying I would particularly donate to SBR, a cause near and dear to all of our hearts. I am hoping this will draw attention to Saddlebreds and to SBR in particular. There are many wonderful BROKE horses waiting to be adopted there who would make great sidesaddle mounts. Bill is a terrific sport for accepting the challenge. But then, Bill is generally a fun kinda guy!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Questions: How do these horse's tails stand up so high like that? Are they born that way, or broken?

Why do the horses stand so oddly with their legs spraddled apart? And why do their hooves look so terribly long?

What give these horses such an animated step? Is it genetic or taught?

Have you ever jumped side saddle? How in the world does someone balance when jumping or turning when sidesaddle?

I'd love to hear more about your horse's rescue and past history and how you came to have him.


attafox said...

Julie, you need to check with Bill as to who the original person was who challenged him to ride. While a trotter ... it was all the way back in the Fall ...

attafox said...

@Laughing Orca Ranch;

To answer a couple of your questions.

Tails: For some divisions in the Saddlebred saddle seat division, you can show with what is called a 'set' tail (such as the photo of Bill Marple's horse.

In short, the tail is braced to get the height. It is NOT broken.

A longer explanation is that some of the horses have an incision made in a ligament which then allows the tail to stretch and bend to that height. Other trainers will just keep massaging and manipulating the tail to achieve the height. While highly visible to those outside the discipline, if a horse doesn't approve of the tail being braced, you will know it. This harkens back to the old practices of docking and cutting tail ligaments as a precaution against clamping on driving lines, but, as with so many human things, was taken further and is pretty much cosmetic.

The horse retains the ability to swat flies and complete use of the tail (unless some idiot botches the whole thing).

As to why the horses stand "parked out," it was originally taught to horses so that they wouldn't move upon mounting. It is the way many of the non-stock breeds (such as Saddlebreds and Morgans) show off their in-hand horses.

As to the animated step - the answer is "both." There are many videos available showing Saddlebred babies bouncing around in the field with their knees popping. As with any training, the training is meant to enhance the motion.

Disciplines shoe specific to their discipline. For example, race horses wear aluminium plates. Personally, and my farrier backs me on this, many of the stock breeds feet are actually too short - in the rush for a barefoot trim, some folks take it to extreme and cut off too much, and thus make their horses ouchy. The longer toe on a Saddlebred show horse changes the arc of the movement and can enhance it. This shoeing is supported by padding as the concussion from the foot and leg hitting the ground can be quite intense. That is why it is important to the breed that they have bred for such good bone and foot.

As to Ollie's story, while I know much of it, that is Julie's to tell!

Oh yeah - jumping and balance. A sidesaddle has two horns (now). The top horn allows you to rest your right leg (usually) over to the side and makes it a side saddle. The bottom, or leaping horn, is what you will press forward into when you are jumping.

Your balance comes off of your right thigh mostly. You ride the horse with hips and shoulders in alignment as you normally would, but the leg is draped to the side.