Michael Clayton, author, hunting historian and formerly hunting correspondent and editor of Horse and Hound and Chairman of the BHS, opened the ‘Introduction to Side Saddle’ evening in the beautiful Melton Carnegie Museum in Melton Mowbray.
Michael lead us through the history of side-saddle riding, including some of the notable exponents across country, such as the Empress of Austria who caused a sensation by riding to hounds with dash in the Shires during the 19th century.
Nadya Brown, Vice Chairman of the Side Saddle Association, and side saddle examiner, judge and instructor then followed with an introduction to riding side saddle in the 21st Century.
With examples of saddles to look at, the importance of the correct fitting of the saddle for both horse and rider was discussed before ending with turnout and what to wear, with model Louise Chatterton-Crane looking very elegant in her habit.
Appropriately, the evening coincided with an exhibition of paintings by local 19th century painter, John Ferneley who specialised in portraying sporting horses and hunting scenes. He is regarded as one of the great British equine artists, and attendees were able to enjoy the paintings on display as well as the exhibits celebrating all Leicestershire and Rutland has to be proud of. This recently refurbished museum is well worth a visit.
Pictured left to right James Buxton, Treasurer BHS Leicestershire & Rutland; Sally Andrews, BHS East Midlands Development Officer; Nadya Brown; Michael Clayton and Louise Chatterton Crane.