Side saddle training is a new venture for Worcestershire BHS, the first day being held in June of this year. The events are subsidised from our committee funds and, as a result, are for Worcestershire BHS members only. Due to the popularity of the June event, a second date was organised for Saturday 22 August due to the number of enquiries and requests for another session.
Once again Vicky Nicholls, a BHS and British side Saddle Association registered instructor, ran the day for us and those who took part were treated to individual tuition, benefiting from her expert tuition and guidance.
After a 15 minutes warm up, each participant had a 45 minutes individual lesson with Vicky, the mechanics of the saddle itself being explained, this being followed by basic instruction on balance and seating position, etc.
The lesson then progressed from riding at a walk, through trotting and then slow canter. Some of the participants even gained enough confidence to try jumping, which was quite a spectacle.
Input also included general control of the horse via leg aids, etc., which are obviously somewhat different to those used when riding “astride” the horse, in the traditional manner.
From a spectator’s point of view it was quite obvious just how much everyone progressed as a result of the advice and tuition from Vicky, some being somewhat “wobbly” at the start and graduating to looking quite secure and professional at the end!
Everyone who took part thoroughly enjoyed the day and requests have been received for Worcestershire to hold similar sessions in 2016. Obviously this is something for the Worcestershire Committee to discuss, but if arranged, details will be published probably in February next year. Keep your eyes open because places go extremely quickly.
Our thanks go to Vicky for her patience and expert input and tuition and also to Jo Raggett at New House Farm for the use of arena!