Aside World Magazine

Spring 2020 Issue 

ISSO Welcomes Two New Members to the

2020 Board of Directors

Laureen Bartfield has stepped up to interim President for Shelly Liggett (term ends 2021)
Carla Peetros was re-elected Vice President this year (term until 2023)
Tammie Conway is continuing in her role as Secretary until 2022
Shelly Liggett has assumed the role of outgoing President in the Executive Director role replacing Janet Brown
Jennifer Stevenson is continuing her role as Director 1 until 2021
Pie Truono was elected into Laureen's vacant Director 2 role (term until 2023)
Heidi Opdyke was elected to the outgoing role of Director 3 by Mary-Anne Ost (term until 2023)
John Samtak is continuing in his role of Treasurer (appointed position with no end term)

We would like to thank Janet Brown and Mary-Anne Ost on their many years of service for ISSO. Mary-Anne has been presenting roses at several prestigious USEF Shows over several years and we would love to see her continue in this role if she would like. Hopefully she will be part of our upcoming Events Committee that we would like to start this year!

New Board Member Spotlight: Pie Turono



Photo Credits: Paws and Rewind, Tammie Conway, Nice Stranger


How long have you been riding astride and aside?

I have been riding for 41 years and the last 2 sideways!


What first interested you in riding aside?

I remember being a teenager watching the Ladies Side Saddle Division at Devon and just falling in love with the whole idea of it. I thought it was the most beautiful way of riding I have ever seen!

What disciplines do you ride?

I do I have enjoyed English riding most of my life but focusing the last 10 years on the Hunters

What do you enjoy most riding aside?

My favorite past time side saddle is competing in the local shows that offer the Ladies Side Saddle Division. I have A LOT to learn as my fellow lady competitors are extremely talented and brave.

Do you have just one horse that you ride aside or multiple? Are they new to side saddle?

I am lucky enough to have a great partner in my Oldenburg Reno. He is such a beautiful soul and took to side saddle instantly. He is such a kind horse that he actually changes his way of going to accommodate when I ride side ways. He tries to help me!

What do you find most challenging?

I find it takes a lot of core strength to keep that right shoulder back and sitting up perfectly straight while trying to be still not stiff.

What advice would you give to someone interested in trying to ride aside?

I would tell them to definitely give it a try, its more comfortable then it looks.

Why did you join ISSO?

I enjoy all the ladies and its nice to find a group with the same interest that I can actually converse with about side saddle!

What would you like to see ISSO accomplish in the future?

I would love to see more new to side saddle members!

What do you do when you are not riding?

I am a wife and mother, to my wonderful husband Dan, and my two adult children Sophia and Danny. I am the Business Manager at my husbands dental practice in Wilmington. I love animals and we have several other pets besides my horse Reno. We have three cats GotMilk?, Mike and Molly. A pug named Lenny who we nicknamed Pookie. We also have three salt water fish tanks, one of which is in my husbands dental office. I majored in engineering in college, so you can often find me doing maintenance around our house. I am a very close to my parents and we visit with each other often.

New Board Member Spotlight: Heidi Opdyke



Photo Credits: Paws and Rewind


How long have you been riding astride and aside?

I have been riding astride since the age of two and a half years old, I began riding Sidesaddle when I was 14 years old, with a borrowed saddle and a book the Art of Sidesaddle Riding.


What first interested you in riding aside?

I remember watching a lady on a beautiful dapple, grey horse, in full formal attire at a show in England. It looked so Elegant and everyone was admiring her, including me. I wanted to do it, so I had a friend who had a saddle I borrowed, I bought a book about side saddle riding and taught myself to start with. I look back in horror sometimes as I had no idea about saddle fitting, I just got on and did it, including jumping, so hopefully the fit was not bad. At 16 my mum helped me buy my first side saddle. I probably rode side saddle more than astride for the next several years. I t was in this time that I worked for Billette Mackie who was heavily involved in Sidesaddle at that time. I met Roger Philpot and Betty Skeleton at that time and had some lessons with them too. It was at this time I also took my teaching Exam, With Roger as one of my examiners. I rode the dressage test wrong and thought I had failed at the end when they told me I passed, I told them of my error, they had not noticed and commented on how well I had ridden.   


What disciplines do you ride aside?

I rode show ponies throughout my childhood competing at Pony Club, local shows and through the British Show Pony Association and Northern Counties Pony Association, this took me to larger shows. I rode in Flat classes and Working Hunter Ponies over Fences. I moved on to showing horses Hacks and Riding horses, Arabs and did a lot of this sidesaddle too. I also went hunting with the Vale of Lune Harriers. After moving to the USA. I competed in some USEF ladies classes, competed locally had a go at a little Western. Then I started to ride Peruvian Horses which are Gaited and now show them Nationally.

What do you enjoy most riding aside? 

I Love to trail ride side saddle, although where I am in Virginia makes it hard with all the hills. I do enjoy riding my Peruvians sidesaddle it is a totally different experience, a very, smooth ride.

The best thing though, has to be cantering right lead on a long striding, daisy cutting horse. There is no feeling in the world that matches it.

Do you have just one horse that you ride aside or multiple? Are they new to riding side saddle?

I am currently riding two side saddle my Peruvian mare Princesa is just learning, so short rides only. My 20, year old Hanovarian x Egyptian Arab, Tamdhu still gets ridden side saddle not as much now, but we do some trails around the farm and still pop some fences.

What do you find most challenging aside?

These days the biggest challenge it being fit enough, I do not ride sidesaddle as much and find it harder to hold a good position. Also challenging as the 2 horses I am riding sidesaddle are both round so saddle fitting is more challenging. If I were fitter the whole thing would be easier.


What advice would you give to someone interested in trying to ride aside?

Have a go, sidesaddle is a wonderful way to ride and you get to meet the most helpful bunch of ladies. Join ISSO, attend Camp Leaping Horn and find yourself a good instructor to help you out and most importantly a good saddle.

Why did you join ISSO?

I joined ISSO as at the time Shelly Liggett was involved and we had been working on some sidesaddle testing as I am an Advanced Side Saddle Association Instructor and Judge for Equitation.


What would you like to see ISSO accomplish in the future?

I hope that we can increase our membership and continue to educate people about all disciplines aside, keeping both horse and rider safe. ISSO is a great fun group to join with a wealth of knowledge. Most members become friends, we are from all walks of life and scattered all around the country but we share a wonderful bond.

What do you do when you are not riding?

My husband Paul and I and my daughter Grace live on a 110 acre farm in Moneta Virginia. We have 4 horses, 12 Aberdeen Angus cows, a bull and their calves which we raise and then send to market. I have 5 dogs, a coon hound, 2 terriers and 2 Basset Hounds and we also have 5 noisy guinea hens.

Paul is now retired from Human Resourses. I have been the homemaker since moving to the USA. I was a Police Officer before I got married in Liverpool, England. Grace is now in High School.

 I enjoy gardening, Counted X stitch, reading and jigsaw puzzles

If you would like to be considered for an upcoming issue please email

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