With more and more people taking up side saddle (women AND men), many are finding that they cannot ride on the nearside due to various physical reasons. I know even a gentle hour walking hack on my nearside saddle is often too much for my hip but unfortunately, vintage off-side and reversible side saddles are few and far between and the Zaldi Lady England side saddle seems fraught with tree design problems judging from the emails I've received and the reviews I've read.
I was VERY lucky in the fact I found an off-side side saddle and a reversible that happen to fit Hattie AND my own tall height but think most of the luck was down to Hattie being a Thoroughbred, the breed most vintage side saddles were made for. If I had a cob type, I would have been out of luck, however, these vintage side saddles are coming to the end of their long lives so something has to be done to meet the need of Equestriennes and Equestrians who need to ride on the off-side (and who don't fancy taking up driving to get their horsey fix, especially when they still have one good hip that works!!).
To meet this demand, Sarah Parry who owns A Bit on the Side Saddle, has taken to designing a new modern off-side side saddle called the Megan, which will be very similar to her nearside Melody model which is coming out this year. With many years of working in the Equestrian Industry for many of the top UK saddlery and riding apparel companies and as well as being a side saddle rider herself, Sarah is more than experienced to take up this challenge.
The saddle will be manufactured in Europe from European materials, the tree, also European made, is based on a Mayhew and will be reinforced for jumping and will available in a whole range of tree sizes including the very wide tree widths. The seat will be adult sizes in even increments up to a UK 18" but if the demand warrants, smaller seat sizes will be made as well.
This is the protoype of the Megan but is still going through design changes and testing so the final product may look slightly different but at least it is in the works! Sarah hopes to get the finished product (as well as other side saddles and side saddle goodies!) in time for the SSA Nationals this summer at Addington.
Any inquiries about the off-side Megan or about any of her other products and saddles, can be made to her through the contact page on her website, A Bit on the Side Saddle or she can be reached through the Bit on the Side Saddle Facebook page.
Needless to say, I am VERY excited for the Megan!!!!
Off-side saddles are not the only "off-side" thing that Sarah makes either! Check out my lovely new REAL silk cover purchased from A Bit on the Side Saddle! I use it under my fleece cover to keep the leather nice and smooth and it's just lovely! The covers are available in near and off-side models as well as different fabrics.
Updated February 3, 2014, presenting the Off-side Megan!