Ten Things You Know If You Hunt Side Saddle

1 Early in the season, when the weather can’t quite make up its mind whether to be Indian Summer, or Bleak Midwinter, is a trying time. One minute you’re smugly wrapped in your apron, waistcoat and coat. The next you’re trying not to faint while someone in rat catcher complains about the heat.

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Photograph by Jenn Hewson

2 Having to borrow someone’s lorry ramp to mount. The stress of ever having to dismount in the field.

3 You field questions every single meet. Common ones : “Is it hard to ride side- saddle?” “I would fall off, have you fallen off?” “Can you jump?” “Do you wear anything underneath?”

4 There is nothing more satisfying than hearing somebody question your ability to ride aside (“Oooh look she even canters”) and then fly over a fence while they look on in wonder.

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5 The sheer horror that is cleaning both a coat and an apron. Especially after a mad dash across the wettest, muddiest field in the country.

6 The awkward moment when you are a committed side saddle rider and you are lumped together with the show- off who rides aside for about five minutes on Boxing Day.

7 People always make references to Lady Mary in Downton Abbey. Guys, that apron gives you nightmares.

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8 The pockets in your habit are just a tiny bit too small for easy access to a hip flask.

9 Narrow gateways can be a bit of an issue. So are low branches when you haven’t quite got your eye in for the extra height the side saddle awards you.

10 You have so much respect for the ladies of yesteryear, who had no choice but to ride this way. And a tiny bit of envy, because they had a groom to clean their tack.

Kick on (with your left leg) side saddle ladies <3

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