Horses have been ridden side saddle for centuries, as the side saddle was, for a long time considered the only way for a lady to proceed 'properly' on horseback. The 1930s were its heyday, with the emphasis as much on elegance and style as on technique, horsemanship and courage. Ladies were not alone in practising the art as grooms rode side saddle to train and keep their ladies' horses fit. The 1939 - 1945 War meant shortages and the emergence of a less affluent society. Many who might have inherited side saddles and habits from previous generations now chose to ride astride.
However, riders and spectators began to miss the beauty and elegance, which side saddle riders had contributed to the pre-War equestrian scene. Conscious that the side saddle rider was becoming extinct, in 1974 Valerie Francis and Janet Macdonald formed the Ladies' Side Saddle Association (now known as the Side Saddle Association) to recapture and preserve the traditions of the earlier years, when riding side saddle was in its heyday and daring and elegance its chief characteristics.
For more details on the Side Saddle Show, please contact Wellow Equestrian Centre.