A Victorian couple is seen riding horseback on two lovely horses on a grim, fall day. The woman is dressed in a long skirt riding side-saddle on a beautiful black horse, while her male companion sits atop an elegant white horse as he faces the camera with a stern expression. Lining the side of the road is a row of leafless trees that add to the quaint, timeless nature of the photograph.
Just like the woman in this photograph, most women during the Victorian period rode in the side-saddle position. Riding astride was considered to be improper and impure for women, and so they rode horses sideways with their right foot placed on the front of the saddle and the left foot in the stirrup. Side-saddle was also a practical way for women to ride horses due to the thick, heavy skirts that they wore at the time. It wasn't until the early 20th century when women were able to ride astride with split skirts and trousers.
From the collection of Fred Bodin of Gloucester, MA. Fred was a long time resident and well-known photographer of Gloucester and had one of the best private collections of New England nautical photographs in private hands. Fred was a photojournalist having graduated with this degree from Syracuse University and worked for Yankee Magazine. Fred passed away in 2016 and HIP purchased his collection from his estate.