Riding Philosophically, Riding Culturally

Hello folks, I haven’t been such a great blogger lately because I’ve been working on The Next Big Thing – actually the Two Next Big Things. They’re books two and three, the first of which will be underway this spring, and the second needs whipping into shape so that it can be rolled out sometime …

Flying Side-saddle with the Foxes

I had a wonderful, wonderful day in February with the Flying Foxes Side-saddle Display Team – aka The St Trinians of side-saddle – at Audley End for a forthcoming Telegraph piece (will run on the 24th March 2012). Here’s a behind the scenes slide show that gives you an idea of what a team effort …

If Wishes Were Horses: Diminutive Dianas

Here’s some Pathé footage of the International Horse Show at Olympia in 1920 (spot the hydrangeas and the standard lamp shades!), the King’s Gold Cup in 1921,  opening day in 1922 (plus side-saddle) and a little showjumping. You can just make out the backdrop of Lowther Castle in this film from 1923. And this – …

The Queens of the Circus

Thank you to French site Hyppoblog for passing on news that the Musée Vivant du Cheval in Chantilly is launching a new show to honour the equestriennes of the nineteenth century circus. These ladies performed haut école movements and bold tricks like leaping over dining tables and through hoops – all while side-saddle. They were …

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Thank you to Christina for this link about an Olympic three-day-event hopeful who survived a catastrophic barn fire. The NYT features includes a short film and a slideshow. Christina also sent this extraordinary story about a rescued horse. It’s not so much the rescue that stands out, as the practice it sheds light on. Apparently …

How Should a Lady Dress?

‘I should be guilty of a grave sin of omission if I did not in this chapter make some allusion to the difference in female hunting costume between the beginning and the end of the century. The long skirt is now only familiar to us through the drawings of Mr. John Leech. The marvel to …

Polo Week: Side-saddle Polo?

“there has been a craze for what I may term popular polo, and in 1898 I drew up a set of rules for ladies’ polo, which were published in the July number of the Ladies’ Field for that year. These rules were a modification of the Hurlingham Club Rules, and the principal alterations which I …

Riding in the Kaiser’s Berlin

I cannot help thinking that the Germans are more devoted to riding than any other Continental nation. I have not hunted in Germany, as I was there only during the summer; but I sold a good hunter to a German Count who was a fine horseman and a Master of Foxhounds. He told me that …

Side-saddle in Tatler

Martha Sitwell in October’s Tatler sporting a very nice tweed habit with full-on leg o’mutton sleeves and a purple bowler. Here’s Martha hunting side-saddle in bottle green and a top hat. If I read the Tatler page correctly, she has a new line of side-saddle riding habits called Sitwell and Whippit but I can’t find …

Ladies of the Chase

Team chasing is an amateur British sport linked to hunting in which bands of four competitors complete a course of country fences at a hunting clip. The Legover Ladies, sponsored by Patey Hats, are a little unusual, as some of them compete side-saddle. Nutters. The team was founded by children’s author and horse breeder, Babette …