The first time I ever hunted side saddle was with the Kilkenny Hunt at the opening meet in Gowran on 31st October 2008. I had used my friend Caroline’s saddle all that summer and had managed to buy my own saddle a couple of months before the opening meet! I can’t remember much of the day apart from that I LOVED HUNTING SIDE SADDLE! but I have a lovely article saved in my scrap book by Charlie Ripman that was published in ‘The Irish Field’, with the quote “Among the field was a young lady experiencing a first: Ciara Ryan, a primary school teacher, who, like all the young out, was thrilled that the opening meet fell during mid term break, was hunting side saddle for the first time and rode most elegantly all day. Her mare behaved as one would expect of one so well bred. By the thoroughbred Dyab, she is out of a King of Diamonds mare and will make a great breeding prospect”
This article made my week when it was published !
I had a saddle bag full of goodies and was followed around by the O’Donnell children from Gowran all day in the hope that I would open it up and share out the sweets!
I have some nice photos from the meet that I’ll upload when I have a chance 🙂