Volume 2, Number 8, Summer 1966
During this Springs annual Spokane Lilac Parade in which besides floats, bands and marching units, there were many fine horses and the riders, both men and women, dressed in true Western style and riding straddle as is the custom today. All except one lady who was riding a side saddle together with the proper costume of more than sixty years ago.
This was a sight I am sure many of the younger people who lined the streets had never laid eyes on before. To me it was as though a ghost out of the past was riding by.
There seemed to be something more dignified in the old way of riding even if it may not have been as comfortable as riding "astride" but this is a changing world and the changes in the last sixty years have been great in the way of dressing, thinking and in the way a woman rides a horse. And what is correct today may not have seemed so at that time.
I remember an incident that happened shortly after the turn of the century about a young lady from the North who was visiting some relatives that lived some miles from Cedar Creek.
Raised On Farm
This young lady was raised on a farm and knew horses and it may just be possible that women were already riding "straddle" in some parts of the country at that time, but that this style had not yet penetrated into the hills.
Wishing to go to town one day, she saddled up one of her relatives horses with a mans saddle and rode in town straddle as women ride today.
I will not say that this was equal to the sight of Lady Godiva riding through the streets of Coventry, but nevertheless it was something out of the ordinary in those parts at the time, as no doubt the sight of a woman on a side saddle would be today.
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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