There’s nothing more beautiful than watching the ladies side-saddle classes at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show. If you close your eyes and imagine what a horse show would have been like in the 1800s, this would be it. While it’s certainly acceptable to purchase a newly made side-saddle and habit, these riders take pride in discovering vintage tack and attire. Many have made it a personal quest to scour estate sales and antique stores to find just the right equipment.
One rider told me she searched for years to find the perfect sandwich case (that attaches to her saddle) because most of them were quite bulky and looked unbalanced with her petite saddle and small horse. This year’s judge didn’t spend much time checking appointments during the classes, but if he had he would have found that her elegant leather sandwich case, clasped with a beautiful silver buckle, held the requisite sandwich, white bread (no crust) with white meat, wrapped in wax paper. She said she makes one sandwich each show season, tucking it into the freezer between competitions hoping that her husband doesn’t mistakenly eat it. She said by the end of the summer it’s pretty much freeze-dried but still quite proper.