Ladies Guide To Riding on Horseback
 By Winniefield Park   •   28th Aug 2013   •   8,434 views   •   0 comments
Ladies Guide To Riding on HorsebackA young lady, when she learns to ride, must understand that elegance and safety in the saddle comes only with diligent application of the skills of equestrianism. Most beneficial will be the procurement of a riding teacher. The young equestrienne must understand that riding requires more than the ability to retain her seat and direct her steed by means of the reins. Therefore, diligence must be given to the proper principals.

The Horse
In most cases, a gentleman will choose the most suitable mount for the neophyte equestrienne. A ladyís horse must be sufficiently docile, tractable without being dull, of beautiful color and attractive form. It will be of course, in proportion to the lady, as to suggest elegance and grace. Most desirable is a bright bay coat and second most, chestnut. Small amounts of white on the forehead and legs are attractive, while too much white may be the inverse of desirable. Some admire grays, and especially those with black manes and tails are held in high regard. Cream, dun, sorrel, piebald and roan are unsuitable.

Every well-bred equestrienne should show neatness, simplicity and modesty of dress. Everything should be of refined and judicious taste, avoiding all that is gawdy or elaborate. The habit should be close fitting above the waist, with the skirt full and flowing. The color should be dark, but not black.

Hair should be secured, either plaited or dressed in a manner that prevents it loosening and blowing into the eyes, or becoming embarrassingly disheveled. A bonnet is unsuitable. A short veil may be firmly attached to the hat, and all should be neat and carefully secured to avoid loss and to avoid startling a horse of sensitive temperament.

The Tack
Anything elaborate or decorative is in bad taste. Nettings, saddle cloths, cruppers and breast bands are to be abandon. The judicious young lady does not follow the Ďfickle goddess, Fashioní.

How to Mount
Approach the horse with the skirt of the habit gracefully draped over the left arm, while right hand holds the whip. The groom arranges the reins and hands them to the lady, who receives them in her right hand, passing the whip to the left side. Retaining the reins, the lady offers her left foot into the right hand of the gentleman attending, placing her left hand on his right shoulder. Straitening her leg, he rises, until she is seated on the saddle. She may use her hands on the pommel of the saddle to aid her ascent.

The Seat
The lady must learn to sit gracefully on the seat of the saddle, not hanging on the crutch. The rider must sit erect, with the shoulders even. She should be balanced and move harmoniously with the horse, and her position adjust to the horseís paces. Her posture should not suggest timorous gaucherie.

The Gaits
The lady should walk the horse in a straight line, holding the reins delicately, then practice turning left and right. Once the walk is attained, the trot should be attempted, being careful to rise straight up in the stirrup, and not bending towards the left, which is very bad form. Next, the canter should be performed, the most elegant and agreeable of all paces. No lady of decorum gallops.

Now, does anyone feel like putting on a pair of neon colored tights and going for a good gallop?

Reference: Treatise on the Art of Riding on Horseback, for Ladies
Image Credit: © Branislav Ostojic |
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