Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thoughts on 'new and different'...

I was reading an equestrian blog and somebody talked about side saddle riding as 'new and different'. Uh, right.

The first side saddles date back to the 9th century, and while Medieval women often rode astride for every day purposes, side saddles were used for formal occasions as they allowed a woman to ride in an elegant gown. Riding aside was seen as more ladylike. In the 19th and early 20th centuries the modern side saddle, with its leaping horn, allowed women to safely do anything aside they could do astride and women rode almost excusively aside...not new and different at all! Old fashioned might have been more to the point. Also invented was the 'habit'...the backless apron that preserved a woman's modesty but had less risk of being caught on the saddle in a fall than full skirts. Some Muslim women prefer to ride side saddle as it's easier to keep up Islamic standards of modesty.

So. What other things do people somehow think are 'new and different' but which actually have ancient roots are out there?