Title: Life in the Saddle | Something about the Way People Ride

Periodical: Duluth Daily News

Date: July 20, 1887

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Horseback Exercise Almost a Thing of the Past in the East and North, While It is Still Very Common in the South and West.

If you are an eastern man you will be surprised, should you make a trip west or south, by the number of men and women you will see on horseback. If you reside south or west, and you travel north or east, you will be struck by the fact that few people are to be seen in the saddle.

And when you have taken note of the facts you will ask "Why?"

The answer to your short question is a complex one.



In the east the country roads are everywhere fitted for the light buggy. One can drive to town or to church and run less chance of spoiling his Sunday clothes than if he rode. The young lover can sit close beside his sweetheart in a buggy, and he can't if they go horseback. There is much more enthusiasm over trotting matches than running races in the east, and horses are, therefore, bred for their driving and not their running qualities. Those who want the exercise of riding say that the bicycle is a better steed than the horse--that he is safer, doesn't cost so much and doesn't eat anything.

In the west and south there are many bridle paths where one could not drive in a buggy. Running is the favorite method of speeding horses. The bicycle is still something of a novelty.



But there is some horseback riding east, and there are plenty of buggies south and west. And while riding is perhaps slowly but none the less certainly decreasing west and south, it is as surely coming into favor again in the east.

But it is only the well to do--in the cities, the wealthy--who can afford horseback exercise east. A poor man in an eastern city who would keep a horse solely for saddle use would be bothered to find the wherewith to pay his butcher and his baker and his gas man. And if he keep a horse for business purposes he will drive him, of course, and a horse that is steadily driven is unfit to be ridden.

"It's English to ride," however, and so all swelldom in the cities rides. Hunt clubs are organized, and tame foxes are chased with hounds and horses. An eastern fox hunt isn't at all like a similar diversion in less commercial and less materially wealthy regions, though. There's never more than one fox, and it's a foregone conclusion that he will be caught; that is, providing he can be got to run; for the foxes that are chased in the east are pampered animals that are kept and fed for months previous to the "meet."



The great fad among eastern swells who ride nowadays is the English method. It involves the rising in the saddle of the rider at every step of the horse. And if the rider can "show daylight" between himself and the horse he is considered "quite English." Whether the "English" rider is as graceful as his western brother is a question. And the anglomaniacs of New York and Boston have noted with alarm that just as they have learned to spring upon their toes at just the proper moment the Prince of Wales and his royal mother, and of course all the toadies of England, have fallen to admiring the western style of riding close to the horse practiced by Buffalo Bill and his Wild West troupe.

But we shouldn't cavil at horseback riding, no matter why the rider rides, for it's a glorious exercise, and there's no prettier picture in the world than a young gallant and his "faire ladye" out riding "in the park," that is, if they know how to ride.

Title: Life in the Saddle | Something about the Way People Ride

Periodical: Duluth Daily News

Date: July 20, 1887

Topic: Buffalo Bill's Wild West in Britain

Keywords: American Indians Bicycles Buffalo Bill's Wild West Company Fox hunting Horsemanship Horses Hunt riding Saddle seat equitation Western riding

People: Edward VII, King of Great Britain, 1841-1910 Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, 1819-1901

Place: London (England)

Sponsor: This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Geraldine W. & Robert J. Dellenback Foundation.

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