Wednesday, 14 December 2011

What Are The Odds?

We did some schooling today for the clear round jumping show on Sunday despite the freezing cold and it went good! I remembered to scoot myself MUCH more forward that I was used to and the saddle didn't feel too bad in doing so. The panels will still need bringing down all over due to being so overstuffed but sitting more at the front of the saddle, caused it not to tilt to the left so much and opened up more room behind for my big bum. Hattie seemed happier and our jumping was quite good. She took off on the correct spot and got her correct leads afterwards. Hattie will do auto-changes BUT, and a big BUT, only if I'm sitting balanced and secure. I think she was happier with my sitting more at the front of the saddle.

It felt weird as I'm not used to it but it did feel secure. I kept having to check that I could get two fingers width between the back of my knee and the fixed head to make sure I hadn't slipped back. In the 20- 25 minutes we were schooling, I pretty much stayed put and only once had to "reset" myself to sit more at the front of the saddle so that was good!

I've got the rest of the week to adjust to my new position so hopefully by Sunday, we will be ready! If this cold weather keeps up however, I'm going to have to wear my vintage 1930's wool habit despite it being a teeny bit short for me and my wool waistcoat as my summer weight Mears habit is going to be FREEZING!

On the subject of vintage things...

For over 10 years now, I have collected old photographs of side saddle riders. The earliest image I have is from the 1850's with most stretching over the entire Victorian period with the latest image dating from the early 1930's. Most of my photos have been bought on Ebay but some have been bought from antique fairs.

One such image was one that I bought probably about 2004-ish. It was before I got back into riding and horses due to life stuff and pregnancy any ways but at least collecting side saddle images kept me connected to horses in a way. An antique dealer that I used to see at fairs, kept it aside for me as he knew I collected side saddle photos and thought I would be interested in it. I think he was asking some silly price like £5 for it so I bought it. I always wondered who it was in the photo and thought it was just a photo taken of some regular unknown woman on her horse as all it had to identify her was, Di on "Be Truthful" 1923, hand written in old ink on the photograph. The plain frame and old mount that it's shown in, are original to the photo.

Fast forward 7 years to 2011 and I'm sitting yesterday evening flicking through my To Whom The Goddess book written in 1932 by Lady Diana Shedden and Lady Apsley, when I came across the SAME photo on the frontispiece and identified as Lady Diana Shedden herself!

This is the frontispiece photo scanned from my book...

I have owned this book since last November when I bought it from Your Horse Live but never put two and two together, I may not have even realized their was a frontispiece as I was busy looking for the information on Mrs. Straker, whose several side saddle habits I had owned in 2005.

Mrs. Straker probably knew Lady Shedden as all the hunting ladies knew each other back then as they were all of the same social standing. This is probably why Mrs. Straker's photo is in the book but what are the odds of me owning items from both ladies all these years in the future without realizing it AND buying them even before I started riding side saddle??!! I think this realization is confirmation that I'm meant to ride side saddle! :)


  1. That is just too neat! Love items that have a story to them.

  2. What a great discovery!!!! I never ever find anything sidesaddle related down here in Texas.. boo hoo... and I go to antique auctions every week.

  3. OMG OMG OMG!!!! That is just way too cool!!!

  4. I know guys! I couldn't believe it when I realized who it was and what I had! Man, I love collecting antiques...

  5. Hi,I have acquired 'to whom the goddess' recently and decided to do a little research on Lady Diana Shedden (ne Somerset) her father was the 9th Duke of Beaufort.She married captain Lindsay Compton Shedden in 1925.The picture you have was taken around 1932 and sadly she died in 1935 aged only 36yrs old.I don't know how she died it just says without issue but she did have a bad fall out hunting a few years before and never fully recovered.

    1. It's actually earlier than that :) Mine is signed in old ink, "Di on Be Truthful 1923".