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Riding Aside

Updated: 2018-01-21T11:41:16.788-06:00


Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service


Although an "official" nursing service was not established until 1881, the corps traces its heritage to Florence Nightingale, who was instrumental in lobbying for the support of female military nurses.  The Army Nursing Service, which had been established in 1881, and which from 1889 provided Sisters for all Army hospitals with at least 100 beds, had only a small number of nurses in its employ. In 1897, in an effort to have nurses available if needed for war, the service was supplemented by Princess Christian's Army Nursing Service Reserve (PCANSR). Nurses registered for the service and by the beginning of the First Boer War the reserve had around 100 members, but swelled its membership to over 1400 during the conflict. PCANSR eventually became the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service.   Some of these nurses rode aside in the field to reach their patients faster.  In March 1902, Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) was established by Royal Warrant, and was named after Queen Alexandra, who became its President. In 1949, the QAIMNS became a corps in the British Army and was renamed as the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps. Since 1950 the organisation has trained nurses, and in 1992 men were allowed to join.The associated Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps Association is a registered charity. Queen Alexandra was President from 1902 until her death in 1925. The following year she was succeeded by Queen Mary.[...]

Spindletop 2016


Each year the Historic Outdoor Living Museum at in Beaumont Texas has an Equestrian Day and I have had the privilege of being invited to participate for the last 5 years.  Bluebonnet Farms from Bellville , TX also participates and they graciously bring several American Saddlebreds to show, including the horse I rode aside whose name is Chip.  I actually trained Chip in sidesaddle and showed him a few times!  We are old friends.  Assistant trainer Austin Hazlewood rode an up and coming show horse in training who had never been off of the farm.  He was so impressive!  Mr. Perwin, owner of Bluebonnet Farms came with his lovely wife Ada and he exhibited his driving horse Ipod.  The children and parents who came had lots of questions and had a wonderful time!This is me waiting for Chip to be tacked up.  By the way, at this point I had no idea if Chip would allow me to ride him with the parasol...After I mounted and got comfortable, the photographer opened up the parasol and ever so slowly handed it to me.  We did this early when there were only a few spectators. Chip never flicked an ear, even once when I was adjusting my reins and tapped him on the neck with it!  Such a wonderful horse!!It was quite warm for an early November day...quite warm!Spindletop Outdoor Historic Museum is a place where you walk around the restored 'Boomtown'  You can walk through each building..a Post office, Print shop, General Store, Doctors office etc and get a taste of what life was like back then.This is Mr Perwin.  SHHHHH don't tell him I told you - but I think he is now over 90...but that does not stop him from driving this fancy boy named Ipod.This is Austin Hazlewood - assistant trainer at Bluebonnet Farm and his young charge - I believe he is a 4 year old gelding who is in training to be a 5 gaited show horse.  He preformed beautifully for the crowd.[...]



For years now I have been participating at Spindletop Equestrian day in Beaumont, TX. Again, this Saturday I have the honor of showing off not only our beautiful American Saddlebred horses, but to exhibit them in sidesaddle!  This picture was taken 4 years ago with Cherryl Finney on the other horse.
(image)  This picture was from 4 years ago when Cherryl Finney rode as well.

....and this is why it is all worth it!


A couple of days ago I received the nicest letter from a young lady who is now competing instead of me trying to interpret what she said... here is her letter to me:Hello Julie! I've been following your blog for ages. You were one of my inspirations for actually going out and trying sidesaddle, instead of just mooning over it on facebook and blogs. THANK YOU for that! I absolutely love it, and am an active participant in the community. I'm an eventer in Lexington, KY, with a little AQHA mare named Pixie. This fall, with our very supportive trainer, we made our showing debut. I did a horse trial (Starter), my first show, all aside! We placed fourth out of 8 (33.4%, and two double clears) and best of all, everyone was super supportive, even though they'd never seen an aside rider anywhere but tv.I'm so grateful that you put your own adventure on the web for me to find. I hope it inspires others! Good luck in your own adventures.Thank you,Samantha Peterson Here are a few pictures Samantha sent me of she and Pixie:Wow Wow WOW!!!!  Look at them go!!  I cannot tell you how you made my day Samantha by taking the time to share this with me.  I am so impressed with your accomplishments and can't wait to hear more from you.  God Bless you and your adorable Pixie!![...]

Horse Show at The Devon Inn in 1896


Wow!  What a great historic sidesaddle event.  So glad it was captured on film.


1897 Sidesaddle Cartoon


“Well Kitty, this delightful season is nearly over! Do you suppose we shall have to take those stupid bicycles again!”


Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raiders


I am an Angelina Jolie fan.  Here she is training for her role in the movie Tomb Raider.

More Beautiful Sidesaddle Art!


A Morning Ride, the Yellow Sheltie, 1913, by John Charlton (1849-1917)




..just when I thought I have seen most of the historic sidesaddle art...

Adolfo Belimbau (Italia 1845-1938)


Blast From Texas Past!


This photo is labeled with only the information as follows:Equestrienne in bowler hat, stylish gauntlets, and with horsehair quirt, stands beside her horse, which has a horsehair bridle and cowgirl-style, double-rigged, heavily carved sidesaddle, c. 1900Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, TexasThere is little that I do not love about this - the sidesaddle Western rig, including the bridle, her unique multi-strap buckle closure of the jacket combined with the big fashionable sleeves and bowler or maybe the uniquely fringed and stitched gloves!!Traces of Texas reader Arthur Wellborn remembered us by sending in this fantastic late 1800s photo of his great great grandfather's saddle shop in Snyder, Texas. His name was Pierce Mashborn Wellborn and the name of the shop was Wellborn and Sons Harness and Saddles. Can you imagine how good the interior of this place smelled?..and here is a photo from a harness/saddle shop in Deleon Texas!  Interior of Dabney Saddlery and Harness ca: 1900. Notice the Moon brand buggies and buggy whips along the left wall and stirrups hanging from the counter on the right. Ebb E. Dabney is on the right behind the counter. A.C. (Bunn) Martin front left. Behind Martin is believed to be Nute Koonce. The two men in the center are unidentified.[...]

Rosy Mule


Meet Rosy Mule!  

2015 Swallows Day Parade, San Juan Capistrano, CA
Photo by Amy Morris

I never thought of a mule as elegant, but this picture sure has changed my mind!  Rosy Mule even has a fan Facebook page!!!  Rosy & Jacquelynn host a group ride in or around the San Diego area once every month. 

Here is Rosy's bio:
I was born in Hemet, CA in 1996 and lived there until 2001, when I was bought and moved to my home in San Diego. 

I started my career with lots of local shows, camp trips and trails. Now, I primarily camp and do group trail rides, although I thoroughly enjoy the show ring and hope to pick it back up soon!


Loula Long Combs


Loula Long Combs, daughter of lumber baron R.A. Long, was a world famous equestrienne and owner of Longview Farm in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She dedicated her life to raising and showing horses but she was well known throughout the community as a philanthropist and passionate animal lover.There are two other presentations on Loula Long Combs that have focused on her personal history and as a carriage collector. I will discuss Mrs. Combs as a woman of her time, who came of age during the era of Progressive reforms and who reflected the cultural milieu of that time.Local historian Jane Flynn included Loula Long Combs in her book, Kansas City Women of Independent Minds, a collection of short biographies of prominent women in Kansas City history. Mrs. Combs, known primarily for skills as a horsewoman, might seem an unusual choice since most of the others in this collection were known for their work in social causes, political reforms, or as artists, educators, or in other professions. However, Loula Long Combs was definitely a woman with an independent mind and one that was attuned to the changes going on around her.The Progressive era, from roughly the 1880s to around 1920, was one characterized by reform movements of all kinds. The best known of these is the suffrage movement which culminated with gaining the vote for women with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1920. However, there were other reforms as well: prohibition, children’s welfare and prevention of cruelty to animals. Mrs. Combs played a role in each of these movements.While she never expressed any interest in politics that I found in the Museum archives, she did advocate equality for women in the world she knew best - the horse show ring. One of the first steps she took toward gender equity was discarding the traditional side saddle and its habit of ankle length skirts to riding astride like her male peers. Like the Bloomer girls of the late nineteenth century who traded skirts for those voluminous pants in order to take part in a more active, athletic life of riding bicycles or playing tennis, Mrs. Combs wanted to be able to play polo and jump horses. She found the sidesaddle handicapped her ability to do her best. She adopted the split skirt and later jodhpurs and coats so that she could compete equally.Even as a young girl, Loula Long was an aggressive horsewoman. Early in her life in the show ring, she ignored the accepted rule that women should ride in ladies classes only. She competed in, and won, open roadster classes that were usually for men because of the strength required to manage the horses. In London, England in 1910, she drove her prize winning horse, The King, as the only woman in the open roadster class, and won first place at the Olympia Horse Show. She won again in 1913 in Madison Square Garden where she shocked the more sedate Eastern men by racing her horse Aspiration in Midwestern style around the ring. Often turning corners on two wheels and flying past her competitors to the cheers of the audience. Her showmanship gained her recognition from Barnum and Bailey who asked her to join the circus, a request she found amusing but declined.Loula Long displayed her sense of equality in her personal life as well. As a wealthy young woman who travelled the horse show circuit at home and abroad, she was sought after by many with marriage proposals that she consistently refused. When a European nobleman travelled to Kansas City to ask for her hand, she took him to the stable to meet her horse, The King. The King expressed his displeasure by trying to nip him. Miss Long turned him down as well.Finally on April 22, 1917, when she was 36 years old, she married Robert Pryor Combs, a man she had known for years, the son of[...]

Now This is a Chair!!!


George III Hunt Chair England 18th Century. Unusual George III mahogany arm chair with beautifully painted polychrome hunt scenes on leather panels on the backrest and lower sides all around.


You, Your Sidesaddle and Your Horse.. Making it all fit!


This  has to be one of the best diagrams and instructions I have ever seen to get the right fit!

Found this on Pinterest of all places!


Chastain 1997 - 2015


It is with a very heavy heart that I announce that I went outside to feed this morning and was shocked to find Chastain had passed on. He was only 18 years old, but had several medical issues throughout his life. He was my very first sidesaddle horse and although I never took him into the show ring, he helped me to learn the basics. (Notice the ill fitting saddle!!)  Rest in peace sweet boy.




A pannier /ˈpæniər/ is a basket, bag, box, or similar container, carried in pairs either slung over the back of abeast of burden, or attached to the sides of a bicycle or motorcycle. The term derives from the Old French, fromClassical Latin, word for bread basket and typically looks something like this:However, here is a sketch rendition of tourists riding in horse panniers in France, circa 1833!Now that is a new twist on riding aside!!![...]

Merry Christmas!!


...and we have the most precious sidesaddle picture of them all!!  May God richly bless each and every one of you this Christmas!! 


A Day of Fun!!


I got to spend the day with some friends - celebrate Mary's birthday and RIDE!!!

You would never guess Oliver was the old man of the group by the way he showed off! 

Simple plates on the front and nothing on back.  Riding in simple unweighted bell boots.

Oliver is 18 years young.  This is the same horse I am riding on the blog header, only that was at least 5 years ago.(image)

Dream A Little Dream...


...or Dream BIG!!  Which do you think I do???  Well - I am going to share something with you that is dear to my heart:

I am immersed right now in building our house, BUT do I ever have plans for the farm after the house is done!!!  I really Really REALLY want to have a riding academy for young girls to learn how to ride aside!!  In our State, there is a sidesaddle riding club, but it is for Paso Fino horses, a non-trotting breed.  Well, trotting is the most difficult art of riding aside, especially if you have a fancy trotting horse!  Now, if you think all of this is a big dream.. hold on because - I want to find a way to share the horse riding experience with those who cannot afford it.

Right now - all of this is just in my prayers, but if God says Okay - He will Deliver!!!!! 



Look Alike!


A few ladies have sent me this picure thinking it was me..

..and each time I get it , I count it as a big compliment!!  After all, she is beautiful, her horse is beautiful with the same high head carriage I love and some motion in the legs, a roached mane with little adorable ears!!.. but sadly No - this is not me.  I do not know who it is either, but Wow - what a beautiful sidesaddle rep she is for us all!(image)

Sucker Punched!


.. Not sure anyone reads this blog anymore.  You see, I have laid aside showing both aside and astride while we build our dream house, a project a long time coming!!  If you want to see more on that, go to where we are charting the progress on that project...

Anyway - we do have an assortment of adorable horses here at the farm that I still pleasure ride.  It has been a while since I have ridden sidesaddle though - and feeling guilty about that, I asked my  husband Don if he would watch over me as I rode my daughters horse, Southern Revival sidesaddle last Sunday.  He agreed.  Rev, as we call him can be as amped up as any American Saddlebred... but on the other hand, he can be a gentle as a lamb and he is my #1 pick for my Grandaughter to ride.  Yes - he is that level headed!!..and to think he was a stallion for 11 years.

Lots of my sidesaddle riding muscles are in pretty poor shape, so I was not asking much out of Rev.  He was not sure about the first direction canter since I could not give  him the leg queue, but out of 3 tries, he got in twice!  we trotted too, but not for long - my fault not his..

Back in the stall, I was starting to untack him.  I noticed some flies as I removed his bridle and started to put his halter back on and then..WHAM!!!!  All I remember was the sound of the back of my head hitting the stall wall and feeling wet.  My brain was screaming at me to MOVE!!  Don was above me helping me to get up and asking me what happened.  I honestly had to think about what had happened before I could answer him!

As I raised my hands to put Rev's halter back on, he shook his head to get the flies off and that was it.  His massive facial bone hit my cheek - hit me so hard it threw me across the stall.  I hit the wall and slid down to end up sitting in his water bowl!  The flight response set in and my brain was trying to get me out of that stall...Don heard my head hit the wall and said he thought he heard a kick, which sent him rushing over.

Poor Rev really did nothing wrong and was just standing there as still as could be - probably trying to figure out what had happened as well.  For over 30 years I have owned and worked with horses.  I am not stranger to their strength, but I have to say that I never imagined the strength of just a toss of the head to shoe away a fly would have sent me flying through the air!!

I am fine... my face is a slight color of green and there is swelling.  Funny thing is that I feel the swelling more on the inside of my mouth than the outside.  A bit lower and I would surely have lost a few teeth.  A bit higher and I would be in the hospital dealing with an orbital fracture.  As it is, I have a good strong cheek bone and a real life expereince to know what it must be like to be a prize fighter!!


Lillian Chaudhary


It is a sad day for me as I just found out this wonderful lady passed away today.  Lillian restored every sidesaddle I owned that needed work and we became friends during the many conversations we had.

Lillian Chaudhary at Heritage Tack & Saddlery has been working with both astride saddles and sidesaddles for over 30 years.  Her expertise in the field of saddle design and construction is recognized globally.  In addition to her work with the saddles themselves, she has also given many lectures and conducted clinics in which she shares her knowledge with those seeking to build a strong foundation in the elegant art of riding aside.You can read more about her here:

Taking a Break From Showing ..


.. this year so I can pay close attention to the construction of our house.   We recently broke ground.  If you are interested in watching the progress, I am posting it on

For The Love of a Nice Figure...


.. I am willing.... are you?  Ha ha ..


Throw Back Thursday...


Today I am going to tell you about my very first horse.  Not horses that were on my Grandfathers farm .. but the very first horse I bought and cared for on my own..His name was Trojan - aptly named because of his enormous size as in the Trojan War Horse.  He was a Tennessee Walking Horse and a full 17 hands high at the withers.  The horse behind him was standing on higher ground.  He is the strawberry roan colored horse on the left side of this picture.  This was a typical sight .. as he was the favorite neighborhood horse and rarly only had 1 rider!I met a man where I worked whose Father needed to sell a horse.  Trojan was living in a sand lot all by himself.  It just all felt right when I went to see him.  He was not registered... so when I first saw him, I was told he was 8.  When I agreed to buy him a week later, he was 10.  Then when I picked him up - he magically turned 12... (ahem)... No comment...No worries - I had that wonderful feeling deep inside me that this horse was mine and I was right.  He was a great family horse...a gentle old soul.  Although he was not affectionate towards people - not liking to be fussed over, he was the most obedient and gentle natured animal we could ask for.  He was the highlight of every birthday party we had and everything I could ask for in a trail horse.  I learned a lot from Trojan.  I learned how to care for an aging horse whose teeth were useless or gone.  I learned how to manage a horses feet with and without shoes.  I learned how important it is for tack to fit the horse as well as the rider and so much more..Recently at a family dinner, our daughters reflected of the things they loved the most about their childhoods and the 2 things mentioned first were growing up in the country and having the horses.  From there they launched off into multiple memories of sneeking out in the middle of the night for 'tackless night rides'; the time they felt guilty for riding him in the heat of the day - so they brought him into the house .. allowing him to cool off under the ceiling fan in the den!; .. or the many rides with their friends as pictured above..Towards the end of his life, he survived a massive heart attack and lived an additional 5 years as 'yard art' before he passed away at the ripe old age of 30.  We had the priviledge of loving Trojan for 18 years.  He had a stroke and could no longer stand for any lenght of time without falling.  Our hearts broke as we had to make the decision to have him put down.  To make matters worse, it was just 6 months prior to moving to our farm, so we were unable to bury him here...but he will forever be in our hearts. Thank you Lord for such a Blessing - one packaged with 4 hooves and an orange mane and tail!  We could not have asked for a better companion for our daughters!! [...]