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Author Topic: Marple's Mounting Blocks  (Read 1479 times)

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Howard

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Re: Marple's Mounting Blocks
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2020, 01:47:29 PM »
Many thanks. May we use your explanation as an addendum to the article ?
Martin

@My login is Henrietta You might not have seen this request from @MLHS

MLHS

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Re: Marple's Mounting Blocks
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2020, 09:02:16 PM »
Re your last sentence. As a lady who rode side-saddle for the last 25 years of 60+ years of riding horses, I can tell you that - done properly - one has a groom or gentleman friend to take the lady's hand (or if you were a bit "fast" you'd let them hold your waist) while one jumped down. Sadly, I didn't have a groom or gentleman to hand so I had to hold on to the saddle and jump or as I got older, I slithered down. 

Apart from the elegance of riding side saddle (and as a surprise to those who've never tried it) it's much safer than riding astride.It's virtually impossible to fall off unless your horse falls in which case the safety . An obliging horse is an essential - although my Grandfather used to train difficult horses on side saddle because he was less likely to be dumped on the floor if the horse got nasty.

In the days when ladies rode horses either for hunting or riding in the park they usually rode a mare. Nothing to do with sex - just that mares tend to have longer backs and suits a side saddle better than a gelding - the side saddle sits further back than an astride saddle.

Of course men used the mounting block as did unaccompanied women. You noticed I said "unaccompanied women". "Ladies" never rode alone without a gentleman or a groom but "women" (and girls), the wives and daughters of farmers, well-off shop keepers et al) would be allowed to ride alone on family or business errands locally.

Sadly, my horse died 3 years ago and at my age and decrepitude I don't feel able to take on another horse.

Many thanks. May we use your explanation as an addendum to the article ?
Martin

My login is Henrietta

  • Guest
Re: Marple's Mounting Blocks
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2020, 02:20:34 PM »
Re your last sentence. As a lady who rode side-saddle for the last 25 years of 60+ years of riding horses, I can tell you that - done properly - one has a groom or gentleman friend to take the lady's hand (or if you were a bit "fast" you'd let them hold your waist) while one jumped down. Sadly, I didn't have a groom or gentleman to hand so I had to hold on to the saddle and jump or as I got older, I slithered down. 

Apart from the elegance of riding side saddle (and as a surprise to those who've never tried it) it's much safer than riding astride.It's virtually impossible to fall off unless your horse falls in which case the safety . An obliging horse is an essential - although my Grandfather used to train difficult horses on side saddle because he was less likely to be dumped on the floor if the horse got nasty.

In the days when ladies rode horses either for hunting or riding in the park they usually rode a mare. Nothing to do with sex - just that mares tend to have longer backs and suits a side saddle better than a gelding - the side saddle sits further back than an astride saddle.

Of course men used the mounting block as did unaccompanied women. You noticed I said "unaccompanied women". "Ladies" never rode alone without a gentleman or a groom but "women" (and girls), the wives and daughters of farmers, well-off shop keepers et al) would be allowed to ride alone on family or business errands locally.

Sadly, my horse died 3 years ago and at my age and decrepitude I don't feel able to take on another horse.

MLHS

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Marple's Mounting Blocks
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2020, 04:54:48 PM »

Brabyn's mounting blocks - Brabyn's Park

Have you ever thought about how our ancestors moved around Marple and Mellor in the days before motor cars and public transport? Of course the rich would be alright. The Isherwoods or the Hudsons had their own coaches and, slightly down the social scale, the wealthy businessmen returning by train from Manchester each day would take a horse-drawn cab.

The vast majority of people would use that reliable vehicle of shanks’ pony. No, it doesn’t have a capital letter as ‘shanks’ does not refer to a person as I first thought. It refers to that part of the leg between the knee and the ankle, the shinbone or tibia if we want to be posh. People would walk extraordinary distances by our standards for quite normal purposes. Three or four miles in the morning to go to work in the mill and a similar distance after work. Walking to St Mary’s in Stockport in order to get married.

In between these two extremes, a surprising number of people were able to use their own horses for moving from place to place. Horses cost money and they needed fields to graze in and some sort of stable. That ruled out people with no land but yeoman farmers, husbandmen and the like often kept a horse and used it for riding and for pulling a light trap. Which raised a problem - how do you mount and dismount gracefully?

Read the full story at:
https://www.marplelocalhistorysociety.org.uk/our-local-heritage/531-mounting-blocks.html