Aside World Magazine
Summer 2019 Issue
New Member Spotlight: Natasha Santana
How long have you ridden astride & aside?
I have been riding astride since the age of 5 on and off through the years. I just started riding aside this year shortly after meeting ISSO and Camp Leaping Horn at the PA Farm Show / Horse Expo.
What disciplines do you like to ride?
I have always ridden Western, just this year I have begun to ride Aside and English.
What first interested you in sidesaddle?
One day my 95-year-old grandma and I were talking, and she was telling me stories about her younger days back home in Puerto Rico and how she would have to ride her horse into town to buy groceries and she would ride aside in a basket style saddle. Her many stories inspired me to want to try different styles of riding. To my surprise, Side Saddle found me. We were walking through the booths at the above-mentioned show and Jennifer Stevenson stopped me dead in my tracks and said, “Have you ever tried side saddle?” I told her I would love to try it and she popped me up on side saddle display and surprisingly it felt comfortable. We conversed a bit then she gave me some flyers with information and mentioned the annual ISSO meeting that was coming up in March and that I should attend. I researched the group a bit, and became a member within two weeks. I attended the annual meeting and met an astonishing group of ladies that welcomed me with open arms. Since then I have purchased a new horse to ride aside with and a beautiful western side saddle thank you to Laureen Bartfield and Shelly Liggett.
What is your favorite thing to do aside?
As of right now, my favorite thing to do aside is pleasure ride. However, once I gain more confidence and I become a better aside rider, I would love to participate in further activities.
Do you ride one particular horse aside or multiple? Are they new to sidesaddle as well?
I am currently riding one horse aside, my newly purchased Quarter Horse named Chase. I purchased him in April as I wanted a calmer horse to ride aside in. I am currently boarding him at a facility called the Bronx Equestrian Center which is only 10 min away from my house. He is also new to aside riding. So far, he seems to be adapting rather well to our new aside journey. However, I would like to ride my other horse aside as well.
What do you find most challenging aside?
Making sure to sit up straight an keep my balance.
What advice would you give someone interested in trying sidesaddle?
Never be afraid to try new opportunities and never settle for now life is for you to explore.
Why did you join ISSO?
I joined ISSO to learn about side saddle history and to learn to ride aside.
What do you do when not riding?
When I am not riding I am a mom to 3 beautiful children. Brianne 12, Kaylynn 8, and Julian 5. A wife to a wonderful husband named Dennis (also my riding instructor/horse trainer). I work full time as the Senior Administrative Assistant to 12 Analyst and Traders at a Hedge Fund. We have a super sweet Pit Bull named Blu and a Senior Cat named Buddy along with 10 other horses down at my dad’s farm in Doswell, VA, which we visit quiet often to enjoy the country living outside of our daily city lifestyle. My children enjoy pleasure riding as well and my oldest daughter Brianne is showing much interest in riding aside as well and jumping. We are an equestrian family, and we enjoy attending expos and clinics and anything that pertains to equines.
Photo Credits: Lucia Bruno and Madison Yonkus
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