Sunday, 12 February 2012

New Acquisition!

The weather has been atrocious here in England and I haven't been able to ride for the past week due to having a frozen school and sub zero temperatures (plus I've been poorly with my low blood cells and now have a stinking cold due to low immunity from my crappy blood!).

We FINALLY got to do a bit of riding yesterday and today as the school defrosted a little. Even though wood chippings tend to be slippery, at least you can still ride on them when it's cold as they crumble apart from each other rather than becoming rock solid like sand. Still couldn't do heavy duty riding in the school due to the frozen footing but we practised a movement from the Prelim 1 test where you walk on a loose rein from K to B then to H (like a V) before picking up the reins and a medium walk at H.

Hattie's free walk on a loose rein is better (not so much "lacking purpose" as before), but when I pick up the reins at H for the medium walk, her head goes up, ears forward and she is busy looking concentrating on everything except the job at hand. Grrrr....

We did this for 30 minutes yesterday and started to make a tiny breakthrough at the end so decided to "reward" Hattie with a canter down the long sides of the school where it wasn't frozen. She liked that.

Today that particular movement was a little better and she started to concentrate more at H but still her mind is on her boyfriend in the field!! We did a bit more cantering today and picked up a nice canter in the corner where it had defrosted with Hattie using her back but then we hit a bit of a hidden slippery spot in the school at the next corner so called it quits to end on a good note. Roll on summer...

I have my side saddle/dressage lesson with Lili tomorrow and will ask her if she could help us work on our Prelim 1 test which is in 2 weeks. Our entries for last Sunday's cancelled dressage show got transferred to March where we will be doing the Prelim 7 test on March 11 but I'm not going to worry about working on THAT test until this month's dressage is done and over. My brain can only handle so much at a time.

The farrier is due out this week (that reminds me, I have to call him) and will get my Beck Morrow head rebent AGAIN. I hope the iron can take it!! I'm hoping the saddler will come out this week with my off-side to test out the panels as well as I'm anxious to start riding in it.

I also have a new acquisition in my antique side saddle photograph collection, an 1880's CDV photograph showing a lady riding in an off-side side saddle!

The image has not been flipped as her bodice buttons on the correct side for females (you can see the seam where her handkerchief is tucked in) and you just just make out the throatlatch buckle beside the cheek piece buckle on the nearside.

The rider is identified as Grandma Jenney nee Ovendon with Walters scratched out. I did Google the name but nothing for that name or time period shows up for England. Maybe one day I will stumble across some information on her like I did with my off-side side saddle. I wonder where Jenney's saddle ended up? Note the lack of balance girth!

If I EVER get to show at the Nationals, I'm going to make a copy of this habit and ride in the historic costume class with this photo as my supporting documents. Hattie is dark like the horse in the photo, getting a double bridle would not be a problem and I already have a bowler, straight cane and the off-side side saddle!

December 25, 2012 Update, here is the other version of this photo which turns out to be Princess Alexandra taken in 1882...

 Photograph | Alexandra, Princess of Wales, on a horse, copied in 1882 | II-65981.0.1


  1. Lovely! I bet there are geneology groups in the UK just as there are stateside. Some of those folks just love the search, and are happy to help others. There are also fee services, though I suspect with the info you have it'd be pricey. Even if the photo has the photographer info on it, it may not be in her home turf, though it could be!

    Is her sleeve cuff another color, or is it just pulled back? As nicely fitted as the bodice is, the sleeve seems a little awkward. Though she's hardly holding her arm in the position the fabric was cut for. Sigh... why can't we cut bent sleeves these days?

    1. I think the sleeve has just ridden up and showed her white cuff underneath. I wonder if that house she is standing in front of, is still standing?

  2. That habit is to die for...I'm currently working on a Victorian habit with an asymmetrical front too, but l'm sure I won't look that nice!

    1. I know, it's lovely! I don't know how mine will turn out if I ever get round to making one either, lol.

  3. The Lady is Princess Alexandra of Wales (Alix), there is a photo from the same shoot, but from the side.

    1. WONDERFUL!!!! Thank you! How strange that another woman's name is written at the back of the photo though :)