Dancing with Lusitanos

I’m interrupting polo week to bring you the maestro, Nuno Oliveira. I wrote a little background on him here to accompany some sketchy YouTube footage, but HHO just directed me to these two short films on Daily Motion. Bliss to watch happy, relaxed horses working hard and moving so beautifully. (for some reason WordPress won’t […]

Flying Sidesaddle

In my post on my first sidesaddle lesson I mentioned that, in the nineteenth century, women might have been confined to sitting aside (apart from a few eccentrics who rode cross-saddle) but it didn’t stop them from matching male riders on the Fred and Ginger principle. Everything you do but backwards and on high heels, […]

Cirque du Pony!

Thanks to the Daily Telegraph, here’s Jive Pony, “the UK’s premier female equestrian display team” who vault, dance with their horses and do all kinds of tricks and stunts. Always certain to make a big impression with equine stars Ronan, Navey, Tinker and Casper, the three svelte girls who precariously balance on their ponies’ backs […]

First Sidesaddle Lesson: Not Quite “Posed Audaciously Like a Wing”

My Christmas present this year was an hour’s sidesaddle lesson at the Pine Lodge School of Classical Education in Norfolk, with top teacher and judge Sarah Walker. Aside from actually buying me a pony, this was probably The Best Gift Ever. Not only did I get to try a style of riding I’ve been curious […]

Jenny: NOT the Prix St Georges

Just to give you an idea of the level of skill involved in being a circus “écuyère” or haute école rider in the nineteenth century, here’s a routine of the great Baroness Jenny de Rhaden, taken from Hilda Nelson’s book.  Every écuyère had a team of three horses, two for haute école and one “jumper” […]

Emilie

“… it is thanks to her that I already experienced as a child the revelation of the troubling beauty of a woman on a horse, this plastic coupling of two curvilinears that are the most perfect creation: the stallion, aggrandizing woman in all her majesty; woman on the creature she rides, posed audaciously like a […]

Continental Fancies

Some suggestions of names for horses from A New Method  and Extraordinary Invention to dress Horses, And work them according to Nature; As also, to perfect NATURE by the Subtilty of ART; Which was never found out, but by the Thrice Noble, High and puissant PRINCE William Cavendishe (1657): Bonissimo Grandissimo La Petite Barbe L’Amour […]