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Catherine the Great riding sidesaddle by Georg Christoph Grooth (1716-49)

Riding sidesaddle is a form of horseback riding. Sidesaddle riding uses a special saddle. This saddle permits the rider to sit aside rather than astride a horse. Astride means the rider's legs are opened and on either side of the horse. In sidesaddle, the rider's legs are basically closed and fall on one side of the horse. Girls and women mostly ride sidesaddle. Riding sidesaddle allows them to use a modest posture while displaying their fine riding habits.