Side Saddle 101 with Boyd Martin

Susan Oakes gives Boyd Martin a side saddle lesson. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Boyer Susan Oakes gives Boyd Martin a side saddle lesson. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Boyer

What better way to prep for Rolex than to learn how to ride side saddle? Ivan Dowling and Stephanie Boyer’s Grey Lake Stables hosted a clinic with record-setting side saddle champion Susan Oakes at Windurra yesterday, and naturally Boyd Martin couldn’t resist participating.

Mary Musheno kindly recorded Boyd’s side saddle lesson, so be sure to crank up your volume to hear Susan’s instruction and Boyd’s commentary.

The clinic received rave reviews — no surprise there considering Susan is something of a legend. The “Flying Irishwoman” holds the world record for jumping puissance aside at 6’8″ and recently brought her winning ways to the U.S., clinching victories at the Mrs. Miles B. Valentine Memorial Side Saddle Race and the Mrs. George C. Everhart Memorial Invitational Side Saddle Race at the Cheshire and Loudoun point-to-point races in the last month.

Susan won both races aboard Stephanie Boyer’s Fort Henry, who was previously owned by Tim and Nina Gardner, and Stephanie said this side saddle clinic is just one example of what she and her fiancé Ivan hope to bring to the Unionville eventing and foxhunting communities in their new business venture.

Ivan hunted the hounds for 12 seasons at Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds, and Stephanie whipped in for the last six seasons. Now they’ve teamed up to launch Grey Lake Stables, which offers training and sales of foxhunters, training of timber horses and retraining of off-track Thoroughbreds.

You can see more photos from the side saddle clinic on Grey Lake’s Facebook page. What do you think, EN? Would you follow Boyd’s lead and try riding aside?