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Location: Freienfels, Middle Germany
Seen on the Picture: Burgfestspiele Mittelaltermarkt Freienfels 2014/Medieval Festival at the Castle of Freienfels (Germany)
Tags: Stock Photo LuDa Reference Medieval Freienfels Palomino Quarter Horse Knight Medieval Clothes Garment Robe Landsknecht Court Lady Middle Class Maid Maiden Riding Tournament Joust Historic Dark Age Jousting Lists 14th 15th Century Walk
[Stock & Resources] This image is crisp and clear. It will make a wonderful fantasy photomanipulation element or reference image. The even lighting will make it easy for artists to adjust and change to their own lighting preferences. Medieval Lady Maid Riding Stock by LuDa-Stock (
Suggested by dierat and Featured by
I know of no evidence, that it was not proper. Though you are right not "lady like" in a sense of not so common This picture shows the warm up before a joust though, so it is of course not historically 100%
I have found some pictures of women (one seems to be a duchess or queen, she is wearing a crown) riding like this (about 15th century). They rode astride like men, but the dress is arranged like it has been wrapped around the legs, so no leg is actually visible and it is all fabric. Later equestrian portraits show wealth by having lots and lots of fabric dress draped on the horses back, showing off that you have enough money to ruin fabrics by putting them over a "dirty" horse.
I know what you mean by the term "side saddle" though and found other pictures of women riding in a side saddle, that was more of a chair or a cushion. Their they apparently have both legs hanging to one side of the horse. As far as my knowledge goes you start in roman times, where women used to be carried around in litters. In medieval times women still mostly drove using carriages, if they rode, they sat on a cushion. Around 1400s you have the first "side saddles" coming into fashion. Either a cushion or a chair with a plattform to put your feet on (otherwise you will be falling down) like this one www.gutenberg.org/files/16681/… (From the Gutenberg Project, Illustration of the Baby Chatter Box www.gutenberg.org/files/16681/…. Which seem to have been invented long before already.
I am always careful to jump to conclusions concerning something being thought of "improper for a lady". I think that the side saddle was seen as more elegant and was more usable with the usual long dresses. But the actual usage could probably have been depending on the situation.