Visual: Equestriennes

A visual tour of women’s equestrian fashion from the 18th through the 20th centuries.

Hover over the photos in the interactive collage below to learn more about each equestrienne. Click on images to open the full-sized version.

  • A fashion illustration from a French newspaper clipping.
    Amazone de la Mode, 1889
  • Designer, Ann Taylor, modeling equestrian wear at a photoshoot in Colorado. Photographed by Toni Frissell. Image courtesy of Loc.gov; Rep. #LC-DIG-ds-01003.
    Ann Bonfoey Taylor, 1967
  • Ladies' side-saddles made by L. Uhl & Sons Ltd., Brisbane, Australia. Image courtesy of State Lib Qld.
    Side-saddle models, 1900-1910
  • The countess poses in the Costume of the Charlton Hunt. Painted by famed equestrian and sporting artist, George Stubbs.
    The Countess of Coningsby, 1760
  • Famed designer, Ann Taylor, riding her horse Anadarko in Colorado for a photoshoot. Photographed by Toni Frissell. Image courtesy of Loc.gov; Rep. # LC-DIG-ds-01028.
    Ann Bonfoey Taylor, 1967
  • A side-saddle rider in the warm-up ring at the historic Devon Horse Show.
    Devon Side-Saddle Rider, 1986
  • Paris Circus Performer, 1910
  • Opinion cartoon from Puck satirizing the lack of femininity displayed by women dressed in modern riding clothes. Artist: J. Held. Image courtesy of Loc.gov; Rep. #LC-DIG-ppmsca-28090
    "A Hopeless Case", 1914
  • A Moss Bros. riding kit ad from 1939 showcasing the latest trends in fine riding apparel. Photo courtesy of booksandmud.blogspot.com
    Moss Bros. London, 1939
  • A girl on horseback. Painting by American artist, Victor Coleman Anderson.
    Early 20th Century
  • Portrait of Russian actress, Vera Samoilova, wearing a goregeously tailored riding habit. Samoilova was an actress at the Imerial Theatre. Painted by Henri-Eugene Pluchart.
    Vera Samoilova, 1840s
  • Woman saying goodbye to a beloved horse while the new owner stands outside the stall. Engraving of a painting by C.B. Barber
    The Farewell Caress, 1870
  • Fashion photography. Image courtesy of Loc.gov; Rep. #LC-US262-59309
    Riding Suit No. 2, 1901
  • A portrait of Miss Walsch posing with her horse and her miniature poodle at Villa de Monteforte in the Poggio Imperiale area of Florence, Italy.
    Miss Walsch, 1890
  • Jane Gordon posing in an emerald green riding habit. Jane lived in Edinburgh, Scotland growing up and later moved to London. Sadly, she lived most of her life without her "one true love"—a man named Fraser—due to the fact that he was not wealthy or a member of the nobility. Painting by Daniel Gardner.
    Jane, Duchess of Gordon, 1780
  • Physical Exercise being of extreme importance to Elizabeth, she rode every day. This regular practice led to her reputation as the world's best horsewoman at the time. Equestrian portrait set in front of Possenhofen Castle.
    Elisabeth, Empress of Austria, 1855
  • Oil painting by Frederick Sands Brunner
    Woman with her horse and dogs, mid-20th Century
  • Mrs. Esther Stace from Yarrowitch, riding sidesaddle and clearing a record height of 6'6" at the Sydney Royal Horse Show in 1915. Photo courtesy of the Walcha Historical Society.
    Mrs. Esther Stace, 1915
  • Preparing to lead the March 3, 1913 suffrage parade. Photo originally published in "The Suffragist".
    Inez Milholland Boissevain, 1913
  • A young Queen Victoria poses for a traditional equestrian portrait. Painted by Francis Grant.
    Queen Victoria, 1845
  • Posing with both horses and wearing the latest equestrian fashions. Photographed by Harris & Ewing. Image courtesy of Loc.gov; Rep. #LC-DIG-hec-34123
    A Woman and her Horses, 1926