Riding and Driving Tips for Men

By George Routledge.

In riding, as in walking, give the lady the wall.

If you assist a lady to mount, hold your hand at a convenient distance from the ground, that she may place her foot in it. As she springs, you aid her by the impetus of your hand.

In doing this, it is always better to agree upon a signal, that her spring and your assistance may come at the same moment.

For this purpose there is no better form than the old dueling one of “one, two, three.”

When the lady is in the saddle, it is your place to find the stirrup for her, and guide her left foot to it. When this is done, she rises in her seat and you assist her to draw her habit straight.

Even when a groom is present, it is more polite for the gentleman himself to perform this office for his fair companion; as it would be more polite for him to hand her a chair than to have it handed by a servant.

If the lady be light, you must take care not to give her too much impetus in mounting. We have known a lady nearly thrown over her horse by a misplaced zeal of this kind.

In riding with a lady, never permit her to pay the tolls.

If a gate has to be opened, we need hardly observe that it is your place to hold it open till the lady has passed through.

In driving, a gentleman places himself with his back to the horses, and leaves the best seat for the ladies.

If you are alone in a carriage with a lady, never sit beside her, unless you are her husband, father, son, or brother. Even though you be her affianced lover, you should still observe this rule of etiquette. To do otherwise, would be to assume the unceremonious air of a husband.

When the carriage stops, the gentleman should alight first, in order to assist the lady.

To get in and out of a carriage gracefully is a simple but important accomplishment. If there is but one step, and you are going to take your seat facing the horses, put your left foot on the step and enter the carriage with your right in such a manner as to drop at once into your seat. If you are about to sit with your back to the horses, reverse the process. As you step into the carriage, be careful to keep your back towards the seat you are about to occupy, so as to avoid the awkwardness of turning when you are once in.

A gentleman cannot be too careful to avoid stepping on ladies’ dresses when he gets in or out of a carriage. He should also beware of shutting them in with the door.


This is taken from Routledge's Manual of Etiquette.



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