If you’ve come here after reading the Washington Post piece on the revival of sidesaddle in America (now going a little viral on Jezebel.com), here’s a selection from the archives – a little bit of everything from balloonists to tragic heroines, scandalous females and zebras ridden sidesaddle. I also wrote in detail about women and girls who rode in Britain and Ireland in If Wishes Were Horses: A Memoir of Equine Obsession. Photos of the Mrs. George C. Everhart Memorial Invitational Side Saddle Race – the first sidesaddle race to take place in the US since the 1930s are here.
If you’d love to read some primary sources on women and riding in America in the nineteenth century, get thee to Archive.org to read Elizabeth Karr’s American Horsewoman and Theo Stephenson Brown’s hilarious In the Riding-School: Chats with Esmeralda. If you want to see what’s under the side saddle apron, well, here’s Eadweard Muybridge – perhaps NSFW.
As someone with a hip or two that are threatening to be arthritic, I’m glad of the sidesaddle revival as in the future it might be the only way I can ride a horse. Barbara Minneci of Belgium has been flying the flag for sidesaddle in paralympic dressage with her beautiful coloured cob, Barilla. There’s more about earlier para-sidesaddle riders in the list below.
- Women, horses and their contribution to World War One in the UK: part one and part two.
- The daring dressage riders of 19th century Europe: Jenny: NOT The Prix St Georges, and beautiful, tragic Emilie.
- Blanche Allarty-Molier performs the famous airs above ground: Flying Sidesaddle.
- A very genteel lady steeplechaser: Dianas of the Chase.
- Exposed stockings and duelling menfolk: Alice Thornton: A Regency Lady Jockey.
- A (Not So Short) History of Women Riding Astride.
- Sidesaddle at the 1900 Olympics.
- A risqué (and very popular) stage hit involving an actress in a bodysuit strapped to the back of a horse: Wild Horses Dragging You Away.
- A former missionary to lepers strikes a blow for womankind: Mrs Hayes and the Zebra.
- “DVD Extra” for If Wishes Were Horses’ 19th century chapter – quotations, photos: Jeunes Filles Bien Elévées.
- Women who defied the classic stereotype of Victorian invalid lady, a-fainting on the sofa: Para-Hunting.
- A intriguing and mysterious horsewoman of Paris: Who’s That Lady?
- Sidesaddle wardrobe malfunctions: How Should A Lady Dress?
- Anything men can do: Side-saddle Polo.
- Mrs Power O’Donoghue catches a maid trying on her riding gear: Upstairs, Downstairs.
- Sidesaddle as drag – in central London: Veiled Delusions.
- Madame Poitevin, a horse and a balloon: Equine Aviation Pioneers.
- Photos from the 2013 sidesaddle steeplechase held in the UK.