I have been watching a lot of movies and TV shows that depict life in the Western US during the 19th century. Sometimes it shows women riding side saddle, while other times it shows them riding the same way that men do.
For example, I was watching an episode of “Wanted: Dead or Alive” that included a nun in the story line and she was riding all over the place side saddle. As I watched her it seemed like an extremely risky way to ride a horse. It’s looks harder to keep your balance, since neither of her feet appeared to be in stirrups, and getting on and off the horse seemed particularly challenging.
I realize that during the Edwardian and Victorian periods women had to do lots of things that today they wouldn’t think of doing, and riding side saddle appears to be just another one of those customs.
My questions is why did some women choose to ride like men while other chose to ride side saddle? Did it depend on your age or rank in society? Given the limitations of riding that way I would think that most women who rode a lot would switch to not riding side saddle once they realized the benefit of having better control of the horse, especially if it takes off in a full gallop.
So what’s the SD on women riding side saddle in the old west?