I'm proud to say my guest this week is the Cowgirl.
Cowgirl was asked to write a definition for sidesaddle.
SIDESADDLE, n. 1. A saddle that was originally designed so that ladies could ride in dresses without indecent exposure.
2. Original version of the pedestal men once placed women on.
adj. The now back in style art form that was once considered anachronistic by the horse world.
Once considered a dying style of riding, sidesaddle currently has immense popularity in the society horse world. Technically, any horse can be ridden aside, but the few breeds that have sidesaddle divisions in their shows are predominantly society horses; Arabians, Morgans, Andalusians, hunter/jumpers etc.
When sidesaddle is listed as a class at a show, it is almost always preceded by "ladies." Men typically do not openly advertise that they even train horses to ride sidesaddle, but every once in a while there will be a show that has a "Drag Queen Sidesaddle" class that packs the stands. These are usually the highlight of the show year, which are to be taped and used appropriately. Male trainers and exhibitors do their best Dolly Parton, Marilyn Monroe, or Pamela Anderson impersonation. I have even seen an excellent Dame Edna wannabe.
"If the world were a logical place, men would ride sidesaddle." Rita Mae Brown is correct in her form to function observation; however, my logics and desire for money like the fact that I get paid to show male trainer's and client's horses in ladies sidesaddle classes!
About Cowgirl*: Cowgirl was a delightful surprise for a lot of us, in good midwestern style making fast friends with a bunch of us at once. She writes The Patriotic Cowgirl, the diary of a young woman living the way a young woman should: with bravery, alcohol, curiousity, contemplation, craziness and caballos. OK, a caballo is a horse but sometimes aliteration just kind of gets me, you know? She's quick with a joke or a friendly word and ready to share her own hard truths.
Cowgirl lives in the midwest, the sea of corn and soy whose hospitality I still mourn. After the fashion of the area, Cowgirl seems to have had about all the kinds of work in the guidance counselor's handbook. Also after the fashion of the area, she's been beset with tornados, stormy weather and troubled neighbors. Cowgirl is a horse-trainer, a printer, a reliable friend and a medic in the Army Reserve National Guard. For all of that, a tip of the hat. Oh, and her birthday is next Tuesday, y'all.
*I'm straining to keep the cow-stereotypes to a minimum.
Oh, and from the "Wednesday Guest Makes Good" department, Pia, fresh from an article in the Long Island Press and an interview with New York Newsday comments in an article from the Christian Science Monitor. See it here.
How to be a future guest on this site: Just send an email to dpascover at mac dot com. On a future Wednesday, after posting that week's guest, I'll send you an email with a word to define. You'll be expected to return your definition along with a graphic representing either your definition or yourself by the following Saturday. The only rules are no profanity and no novels, please. And whatever I make up at the last minute.