A little background - I injured my hip and riding sidesaddle really helps and allows me basically pain free riding, that said, I absolutly adore it and the horse likes it. I want to show most classes next season aside due to this reason.
I found a super cool vintage sidesaddle, it is in fabulous condition and being fully restored the first of the year when my restoration artist can fit me in. The age is approx 1880-1910's era. It was partially restored 10 years ago by the same artist.
The history of this type of saddle is in 1864 Gathright patented a new style of tree. It is a western bar tree unlike the english padded ones used before. The saddle is rigged western and the first restoration is exact to the original appointments. The rigging and tree are western but this gathright saddle was made for the "southern ladies" therefore does not look traditional western. It has tapestry inlays and some fancy leather work. The stirrup is an old iron slipper stirrup that is neither western or english in appearance. Its totally adorable and such a classy piece of saddlery.
I know when I try to enter the western classes there will be a fuss over the saddle not looking western due to its age and history. What do you think I should do? I really want to show this saddle in the western classes with a historical western outfit.
Under "Appointments (Western)" in the rules it specifies a standard western saddle with a horn but does have the sentence "Side-saddles may be permitted but must be specified as allowed in the prize list". Accordingly, you need to work with the show committees for the shows you want to enter, NOW -- before they submit their premiums to NAPHA and to the printer. "Must" in that sentence doesn't allow any wiggle room. (The style of the saddle becomes a minor matter, if side-saddles aren't specifically allowed in that class).
But a Don West trail saddle is an *astride* saddle.
You were asking about riding your SIDE-SADDLE in a western class. The rules say a SIDE-SADDLE can't be ridden in a western class unless the premium says specifically that side-saddles are allowed in the western class.