Sidesaddle Riders

The original way for ladies to ride, SIDESADDLE!! For those who ride, enjoy watching or want to learn more about sidesaddle.

Members: 19
Latest Activity: Jun 23, 2016

Attention Alberta Sidesaddle Riders! We now have a club: The Alberta Sidesaddle Association (affectionately called the "Twisted Sisters")

Check us out and get involved.

Discussion Forum

Tips for the beginner 1 Reply

Seek professional help.  Even if it's via e-mail, contact someone from one of the sidesaddle organizations for some assistance, that's what they're there for.  The awesome thing I've found about…Continue

Started by Shimmer E. Last reply by Robin Fleener Feb 8, 2012.

western side saddle 1 Reply

Hello all side saddle riders,I am looking for a show western side saddle, light color with silver. It must fit an arabian back and be at least 21" long for my seat. The width should be 14" across the…Continue

Started by Deb Farnsworth. Last reply by Shimmer E Jan 12, 2011.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Jackie Cochran on April 30, 2010 at 2:13pm
I have been looking at Leila's photos of riding side-saddle. Ladies, I really wish I had the balance to ride side-saddle, I think I would have a lot more security than I do now and I might be even able to trail ride securely.
Ironic that my one of my MS symptoms (lack of balance) prevent me from using the method of riding best able to make up for my physical weakness (another symptom of MS.)
I will be following all of your experiences and adventures with great interest.
Comment by Jackie Cochran on April 30, 2010 at 12:03pm
I saw a book on side-saddle riding at Borders. It's "Riding and Driving for Women" by Belle Beach. I had heard of this book long ago, and now it has been reprinted in paperback.
The book I saw on Google books was "The Horsewoman" by M. Alice Hayes. This lady's husband was M. Horace Hayes, author of "Veterinary Notes for Horse Owners", "Stable Management and Exercise" (probably the most plagarized horse book in existence), "Points of the Horse" and many others. In the forward of her book, Alice Hayes says she accompanied her husband all over the world (including India, South Africa and Russia, as well as Europe) working as a rough rider with her husband.
There are many side-saddle books available on, but most of them are EXPENSIVE even in modern reprints. Belle Beach's book at Borders was under $30.00 US.
Comment by Jackie Cochran on April 29, 2010 at 5:25pm
Yes, the side saddle did not become really safe until the addition of the leaping horn. There used to be a third horn toward the right side, but that was discontinued once it was apparent that the leaping horn made riding side saddle secure enough.
I remember writers counseling the ladies to get their habits custom made by a tailer with experience of making habits, because if the habit did not fit well it would make the riders really uncomfortable, and possibly be unsafe. I would insist on sitting in a side-saddle in something ready made before I bought it.
I wish I could give you advice from personal experience, but I can only tell you what I've read from books written when most women still rode in side saddles.
For instance, Lady Anne Blunt traveled in the deserts of Arabia riding side saddle, and in her books records how she would have to restuff her sidesaddle regularly during the trip, which tells me that it would be a very good idea to make sure the panel stuffing is evenly distributed before each ride.
About habits, and again this is not from personal experience, remember that the English sidesaddle riding habit was used for fox-hunting, going cross country over jumps, through briars and all sorts of hazards. Just because of that I would probably prefer the English habit as probably being safer than the ones made for riding around the park looking impressive. You probably won't go much wrong following English sidesaddle hunt attire or what Queen Elizabeth II wears (not the extra decorations) as she is an experienced rider both in the sidesaddle and astride.
Fillis in his book "Breaking and Riding" has a chapter on sidesaddle riding (he was a dressage rider), as does Santini in "The Forward Impulse" and in "The Riding Instructor" (he was Forward Seat-jumping), as well as several books written by ladies just on sidesaddle riding which I have not read but I am sure would be of great help.
Again, I wish I could help you from direct experience, but all I know is from what I've read.
Comment by Shimmer E on April 29, 2010 at 1:46pm
I hear that the addition of the leaping horn has made the world of difference and allows the rider a better "purchase on the heads".
What about sidesaddle attire? I'm getting an english one and I've seen all sorts of different costumes from civil war remakes and copies of what the Queen has worn to simple hunter-type jackets and aprons. Sooo many choices!
Comment by Jackie Cochran on April 23, 2010 at 5:54pm
Hi Amanda, when I learned I have MS I thought about a side-saddle, until I remembered that the rider HAS to have excellent balance or the horse will end up with a sore back.
I have a lot of books that have side-saddle discussions, all the way up to and including the Forward Seat (modern jumping). There is even on google books at least one book on riding side-saddle, by Hayes (Alice?).
I am looking forward to hearing about your adventures. Keep your seat right across the saddle, and remember to keep your shoulders lined up with your hips.
For some reason old time horsemen, at least the ones who wrote books, were enamored by the side-saddle for women, saying that women were not strong enough to ride astride. They would go on and on about how women were SOOOO graceful in the side-saddle, and that the modern improvements (the leaping horn) made the side-saddle very secure for the rider.
So enjoy. Watch your balance. Feel secure.
Comment by Geoffrey Pannell on April 23, 2010 at 5:41pm
Hi Amanda, I jumped on one once, what a mess!! Horse jumped into canter, I fell strait off the other side into the mud. That gave me a whole new respect for those ladies from the old days!!!
Comment by Shimmer E on April 22, 2010 at 12:35pm
I just purchased my first sidesaddle. I'm so excited about getting it and trying it out on my gelding. Any tips on getting used to life aside?

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