Side Saddle is a form of equitation which allows a rider to sit with both legs to one side. Riding aside rather than astride dates back to antiquity, but was developed in the middle ages as a way for women in skirts to ride a horse in a modest fashion, and up until the war was the most usual way for girls and women to ride.
Side saddle today is becoming more popular again, as people are rediscovering the elegance and comfort. The modern side saddle rider may be seen in many equestrian disciplines, including dressage, eventing, show jumping, hunting and western pleasure. Speciality side saddle classes with either traditional equipment or period costume are popular at many horse shows.
Side saddle riders are often seen in parades and historical re-enactments.
Riders with certain types of disabilities may find side saddles more comfortable than riding astride, because the design of the saddle provides extra security to certain types of riders.
What do Valley Farm Offer?
At Valley Farm, we have a number of horses and ponies trained to carry side saddles so we are able to offer lessons for adults or children.
If you would like to try side saddle for yourself, either to train towards your side saddle exams, or simply to try out this elegant form of riding, then please contact the office to discuss your individual requirements.
We have friendly qualified instructors who are able to take you through from the very basics, right up to working through the Side Saddle Association exams.
We are able to provide private lessons at a time to suit you, and are also able to cater for small groups.
Provided you are familiar with the basics, it is possible to join in with any of the regular class lessons/hacks (jumping, flatwork or western) using a side saddle if you would like. Simply let the office know when you book your lesson.
Side Saddle Association Examination days and shows are occasionally held at the centre.
Can I bring my own horse?
If you are lucky enough to have your own horse, and you would like to find out if it would be suitable for side saddle then yes, you can bring your own horse for lessons and use one of our saddles. If it is something you chose to continue with and you purchase your own tack and equipment, you are still more than welcome to bring you own horse to join in with our lessons, shows and competitions.
Hire a side saddle horse
Side Saddle horses are also available for hire for weddings, or other special occasions. Please contact us to discuss your individual requirements.
The simulator is an excellent way to get started. This helps you to coordinate your aids and work on developing the core muscles in the right places, which can make it so much easier when you move onto a real horse.
More information about Side saddle
If you want to get more involved in side saddle locally then contact the Side Saddle Association by following this link www.sidesaddleassociation.co.uk
We are in Area 4.