View Full Version : Regency Horse-Riding

11-24-2009, 10:38 PM
How does a young lady dismount from a horse, circa 1815? If there are gentlemen present, is one of them supposed to help? How?

Thanks in advance!

11-24-2009, 10:46 PM
Side-saddle, I assume? She would take her left foot out of the stirrup, take her right leg off the leaping horn, turn completely sideways and jump down. It would be rather unsafe if the horse moved, so I would hope that there would be someone there to hold the animal's head. A gentleman could offer his hand to assist. I don't think horses were terribly tall then, she might be riding something in the 15 hand range? Not a big drop to the ground.

I've only ridden sidesaddle twice, so this is a bit of a guess. :D

11-25-2009, 12:11 AM
It would be uncommon for a woman to ride astride, but some did, as long as people have been riding. Not knowing your character/circumstances, cannot guess how she's dressed, if she's astride (leg on each side) or not. There are two ways to dismount:
clear the feet of the stirrups (or stirrup, if riding side-saddle) swing one leg (almost alwasy the right) to the other side side (a step not necessary for side-saddle, obviously) and jump, or,
step to the ground with one foot still in the stirrup (so you kicked the right foot free of its stirrup, swung the leg around ((almost always over the horse's butt, really, really almost always, and yet, one certainly can swing the free leg over the neck. I've done it...at least a quarter of riders have done it at least once...most likely when they were young)) and stepped the free right foot to the ground not taking the left foot out of the stirrup until the right foot is on the ground.

If there's a fella around in Regency times, he's a naughty boy if he doesn't lend a hand.
And she may use a mounting block or tree stump, which makes the distance to the ground much less.

11-25-2009, 07:51 AM
A lot of this would depend upon the young lady and where she was. Young ladies in London who could barely ride would have a groom to hold the horse and lead it to a mounting block, where she would be provided assistance. Young ladies in the hunting field who could ride would still get the groom, but would jump down.

A good rider use to a side-saddle can dismount in one, fluid motion. (I've seen it, never tried it.) As described, you lift your right leg over the leaping horn, as you remove your left leg but use it to propel you a little bit up and off to the side. It's hard to describe even knowing how the saddle is made. And I can't find any video of it.

Factor into this whether the young lady was a flirt or not. Inadvertent showing of ankles and some touching by males was acceptable during the dismount. Real flirts might get two or more males to "help" them dismount.

Here's one of those situations where if we know what the plot needs, we probably can answer this better.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

11-25-2009, 09:01 AM
Actually, you've answered my question perfectly already. Many, many thanks!