I haven’t really said much about Lil yet, mainly because I’ve been distracted by Tybalt’s illness (she’s getting about now). We had a couple of nice rides last weekend and Jenni took some lovely pictures which I have put on my Flickr – tagged as Lil. She’s settled down really well and while I haven’t really been pushing her at all (or myself for that matter) we have tried a couple of new things, well for me anyway. I had hoped to try her with the Rings game on Queen’s birthday Monday but the weather was quite crappy. Instead I moved all the house plant pots up to the house while Nick dug around inside the digger which has stopped going (unsuccessfully unfortunately). Hopefully the weather will stay nice this weekend and we’ll be able to get in a games session and maybe a road ride.
We’ve also packed Jack off to Suzie’s for weaning. Jenni took some great photos of the float loading process – he really didn’t want to go even though his Mum was on board. But he was resistant – not frantic and arrived quite excited but not sweated up or anything. We put him in a small paddock alongside the arena and mummy got to play a bit. Actually Zoe went really well given that she hasn’t been ridden in a couple of years really. Nick is planning to ride her through winter and we’ll get her in foal again this spring. Like Lil she has a cutting background so should take to the games like the duck to water.
I’ve just finished reading a fabulous book about riding side saddle called The Art of Side Saddle by Rosamund Owen. I’ve always wanted to give it a try and according to most the horses take to it very easily. Its also been having a bit of a come-back – one of the local riding schools was giving lessons last year and there are still women hunting side saddle, taking on huge jumps and winning competitions against astride riders too.
Of course modern side saddle is not much like medieval side saddle, however apparently Catherine de Medici was the first to sling her right leg over the horn of the saddle so its possibly in-period for an Elizabethan. I however have decided to ride astride, in men’s costume, in the SCA. I have 9.5m of light brown cotton velvet to make a pair of trunk-hose, doublet and hopefully if there’s enough left over a short cloak. I’ve decided to make a leather morion that will slip over my riding helmet. Its great to be enthused by a project again – its just difficult finding the time to actually work on it.