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un livre pour les amazones , en vente sur ebay, avec une description détaillée que je copie-colle en attendant de prendre le temps de traduire tout cela!



SIDE-SADDLE, by Doreen Archer Houblon, foreword by Brigadier-General C.C. Lucas, M.C., illustrated from photographs and film strips, published by Country Life Ltd., London, and Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1938, STATED FIRST EDITION, hardback, dust jacket, 115 pages including a 3 page index. 


According to the inside flap of the dust jacket, “Ms. Houblon is a well-known rider and teacher of riding.  She has studied the art of side-saddle and equitation, and has reached certain conclusions as regards the seat and make of the pommel which involve a considerable change from present practice.  Her films, shown at the Institute of Horse Lectures, have aroused great interest, and are the basis of illustrating this book.”


According to the foreword, “The writer has taken Cinderella from her fireside and dressed her in the latest fashion; the result is fascinating and provocative.  The sidesaddle is the focal point of the book, but the whole art of horsemanship is reviewed in a pleasant and original manner, and in English shorn of shibboleths and catchwords.  The author is well qualified to express her opinions.  Under the eye of her father, Colonel Walter Charles Lindsay, whose name as a horseman was well known far beyond the shores of Britain, she rode from early childhood, and since then for many years she has devoted herself to the study of the art of riding in a side-saddle.  Beyond the interest and discussion aroused, the book merits careful study.  It is not dogmatic; it is reasoned logic; they why and wherefore are given for the opinions expressed, and nothing is forced on the rider.”


Topics include Broad Principles of Riding Astride and Side-Saddle, Advantages and Disadvantages of Riding Side-Saddle; Riding an Art of Movement; Balanced Seat; Details of Key Position of Seat and Hands; Analysis of Horse’s Movements at Walk, Trot, Canter and Gallop and Rider’s Reaction to Them; Language of the Aids, The Leg, Stiffness in Cause and Effect, Weight of the Body, Hands, Methods of Holding the Reins, Voice, Whip, Spur, Impulsion, Balance, Collection, Reins and Whip as Substitute for Rider’s Leg on the Off Side, Lateral Movements, Cantering with Named Leg Leading, Changing the Leg at the Canter, Jumping, Movements of the Horse When Jumping, Leaping Head on the Saddle, Hands When Jumping, Approach to a Fence, Speed When Jumping, Regulating a Horse’s Stride, Riding Refusers, Riding Horses with Bad Habits, Napping, Rearing, Bucking, Shying, Mounting, Dismounting, Gate-opening, Hacking, Fitting of Side-Saddle, Girths, Balance Strap, Shape of the Seat, Suppling Exercises, and more.


According to the author, “The slope of the thigh is affected by the length of the stirrup leather.  If the leather is too short it raises the knee too high, thus cramping the seat, throwing the weight of the body too far back and restricting the use of the leg for the application of the aids.  If, on the the other hand, the leather is too long, the thigh will hang too steeply and it will be deprived of much of its power as a “prop.”  The rider will also have a tendency to slip donw on the near side of her saddle, and it will sorely tax the muscles of her right thigh to resist this tendency.”


And, “If you ride along behind a woman who is rising correctly, you will notice that her saddle has no more movement than it would have were she riding astride, simply that caused by the movement of the horse’s quarters, which appears to shift the saddle very slightly from side to side on his back.  But the sideways swing of a side-saddle caused by rising from the stirrup will shock anyone who observes it from behind, and it will chafe any horse’s back but the most insensitve and hardened.”


And, “But contact is nt a god term, for to many people it seems to imply a constant dead pressure, and nothing is more tiring to a horse or more ruinous to his training than a dead pressure on his mouth.  With a real horsewoman there is no pressure on her horse’s mouth, other than the weight of the reins, as he steps lightly along as if treading on air, relaxing his jaw, mouthing his bit, and bending at the poll.”


And, “To obtain collection, therefore, the rider must use her hand strongly enough to get and keep her horse’s hocks under him, while her hand influences his head and keeps it in the right position, making him bend his neck at the poll and relax his jaw, and prevents an increase in the pace until it is required.”


And, “To make a horse strike off into a canter on the straight with the near fore leading, the corresponding aids must be used; but now, in a side saddle, we are faced with the disadvantage of having no leg on the outside with which to influence him when the right diagonal comes to the ground.  Our left leg, applied to his near side so as to ask him to start the canter, may displace his quarters to the right and put him onto an impossible position for cantering with the near fore leading’ while the left rein will make matters no better, and may make matters worse.  The result will probably be that the horse will hesitate until his left diagonal is on the ground, and then strike off so that the off fore is leading instead of the near fore.  Here the right indirect rein of opposition behind the withers comes to the rescue and may help us to start correctly…”


And, “In Victorian days and even later a lady’s horse to be perfect had to always canter with the off fore leading, and, indeed, with the cramped seat often adopted in those days, cantering thus was, no doubt, more comfortable.  Even today, with the rider’s weight carried further forward on her horse and her left thigh hanging at a steeper angle than it would have been in the old days, she may find that on a horse with rough, ungainly paces the off fore is the most comfortable leg with which to make her horse lead.  I think the reason for this is to be found in the fact that most hrses at a canter d not move perfectly straight’ as already described, the tracks made by their forelegs and their hindlegs are often not the same’ they are parallel and close, but not coincident.  If such a horse is leading with his near fore, fr instances, the track f his forelegs is n the right f that of his hindlegs, and his bdy is just a little inclined t the right.  This measns that he is to a certain extent cantering against his rider’s legs; whereas, leading with the off fore, with his body in consequence inclined slightly to the left, he is cantering, so to speak, away from his rider’s legs, and tis is the most comfortable of the two movements. 



The more habitual it becomes for him to canter with a particular leg leading, the more pronounced becomes the difference in feel between his canter when leading with that leg and when leading with the other.  Hence, from the assumptin that to have her horse leading with the off fore would be the most comfortable for the sidesaddle rider came the custom of teaching a hrse intended for  a lady always to lead with that leg.  The more he did so the mor uncomfortable he became when leading the the near fore, and the more rooted became the idea that a hrse never could become comfortable for a woman unless he led with the off fore.  Nowadays, however, when school riding and the careful training of hacks has become more general, it is found that if a horse during his training is given as much cantering on one leg as on the other, and is carefully and evenly muscled up and suppled, he is equally as smooth in his canter on either leg; and there is so little difference in the comfort that it is often only by actively thinking that one can feel which leg he is leading.”

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