Cover art by Robert Bonfils for Bar Broad by Allan Horne,1964 (via)
n Europe, the sidesaddle developed in part because of cultural norms which considered it unbecoming for a woman to straddle a horse while riding. Further, long skirts were the usual fashion and riding astride in such attire was often impractical, awkward, and could be viewed as immodest. However, women did ride horses and needed to be able to control their own animals, so there was a need for a saddle designed to allow both control of the horse and modesty for the rider.
The earliest functional “sidesaddle” was credited to Anne of Bohemia (1366–1394). It was a chair-like affair where the woman sat sideways on the horse with her feet on a small footrest. The design made it difficult for a woman to both stay on and use the reins to control the horse, so the animal was usually led by another rider, sitting astride. The insecure design of the early sidesaddle also contributed to the popularity of the Palfrey, a smaller horse with smooth ambling gaits, as a suitable mount for women.
A more practical design, developed in the 16th century, has been attributed to Catherine de’ Medici. In her design, the rider sat facing forward, hooking her right leg around the pommel of the saddle with a horn added to the near side of the saddle to secure the rider’s right knee. The footrest was replaced with a “slipper stirrup”, a leather-covered Stirrup iron into which the rider’s left foot was placed. This saddle allowed the rider both to stay on and to control her own horse, at least at slower speeds.
However, not all women adopted the sidesaddle at all times. Women such as Diane de Poitiers (mistress to Henry II of France) and Marie Antoinette were known to ride astride. Catherine the Great of Russia went so far as to commission a portrait showing her riding astride wearing a male officer’s uniform.
What is common between Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Napoleon?
Funny commercial, but most historians now believe Napoleon was about 5’ 6” and there is no way of knowing how tall Alexander or Genghis Khan actually were.
Ferguson: A Libertarian Look — Will Grigg on the Tom Woods Show
On 9th August 2014, unarmed 18 year old Michael Brown was shot by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, sparking social unrest that continues to this day. Here is a petition to prevent police misconduct.
How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way: Part 4
Pencils by John Buscema and inks by John Romita for the splash page to a story from MY LOVE #3
If you’ve ever read How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way or Conan comics from the 70s, you probably recognize the masterful work of John Buscema Here is a gorgeous collection of scraps and unfinished drawings. Revel in their power.
John Buscema (1927-2002) is very famous in comic book circles, and was renowned as something of a work horse. These are character studies by Buscema that he appears to have made while preparing for his comic book adaptation of Labyrinth.
I think these are great, and you can tell that Buscema was a very talented artist.
John Buscema 1969