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Vapnartak. Sunday 4th February 2018 Knavesmere Stand York Racecourse

Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:54 am by Cyrus The Adequate

Hi Gents

York is the usual first event in the UK Impetus calendar. This year …

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BI2 tournament - 12 May 2018

Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:26 am by RogerC

Following the success of the Battle of Evesham, I thought I’d do another …

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Basic Impetus 2 Comp, January 2018?

Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:03 am by Aurelius

I've brought the confirmed details for the Basic Impetus competition to the …

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Vapnartak York Feb 2018- format options?

Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:26 am by Cyrus The Adequate

Hi everyone

I was pondering the options for the York competition and wondered …

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Impetus Competition Derby Worlds 2017

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There will be a 28mm Impetus Competition at Derby World Wargames on 7th …

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Impetus at Derby?

Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:29 am by Cyrus The Adequate

Anyone interested ? 7th & 8th October at a new venue - Bruntingthorpe …

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March 2018

Calendar Calendar

Ancient sidesaddles

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Ancient sidesaddles

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:23 am

I have some civilians wandering around the battle field, usually in the camp.
One of which I want to do a conversion is a female civilian riding side saddle. There is ample evidence that this was a form of riding by both woman and men in ancient Greece and Roman [and by Gods such as Epona ]. However since they didn't have stirrups I wonder about stability. One contemporary image shows a board under the riders feet which I assume is attached to a saddle by straps. Some medieval side saddles use the same technique which I am assuming followed the ancient pattern.
On the off chance has anyone any information on ancient side saddles?


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Re: Ancient sidesaddles

Post by starkadder on Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:36 am

I've known a few modern side-saddlers. It's a skill that I've never tried (and it's not only for women, by the way).

There were two main types before the pommel brace of a modern side saddle.

The classical style was basically a chair harness that the woman sat in and was led around. There was a board as part of the equipment that allowed the passenger to rest her feet. The horse could not be controlled by the rider. This chair seems to have been cut down in size over the centuries. It was called a "sambue".

The second was the pillion. This was mostly medieval and was a two person job. The woman sat behind the "rider" on a shaped cushion. The only one I've seen looked like a thin bolster wrapped around a leather pillow. Once again, the woman could not ride on her own.

Possibly the more significant aspect is the horse. Led horses were much smaller. The most popular was the palfrey, a small and very biddable horse. Good luck with finding one as most horse modellers only seem to do thoroughbreds (which didn't exist) or destrier-styles (which also didn't exist). A big horse would have been twelve hands high. That's pony size. A palfrey would have been even smaller and lighter in frame.  

Here's a picture

Side saddle picture

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Re: Ancient sidesaddles

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:06 pm

Thanks for that. It was the 'sambue' I obviously had in mind but hadn't come across that name previously.
You reply was very helpful.


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Re: Ancient sidesaddles

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