Wednesday, September 22, 2010

OSA Members at the Movies

OSA members Debbie Smith and Kirstin Nagy traveled to Rockland, Ontario near Ottawa to prepare an actress, who is to star in an international film directed by Ramona Macdonald of Doomsday Studios Limited in Ottawa, for her sidesaddle riding scenes.

Ella & Mac
Ella has had very little riding experience and the horse, graciously loaned for the weekend by Rocking Horse Stable in Rockland, Ontario, had never carried a sidesaddle before. Upon arriving, Debbie spent over an hour finding the perfect saddle fit for Mac out of the four sidesaddles she had brought with them. Fortunately one fit him and Ella well and they were on their way!

After a quick demonstration of leg and seat position, and basic seat and hand aids by Debbie, Ella was legged up on Mac and the fun began. Mac, an aged Trakehner/Connemara cross gelding took instantly to the sidesaddle despite a beginner rider on board. The first day was ridden at a walk developing Ella’s balance and control in the saddle. She proved to be a very quick learner and took to the sidesaddle with an amazing amount of grace and elegance.

Val, Debbie and Ella
Day two saw Ella come back with a renewed sense of confidence and enthusiasm, ready to move on to trot work on the lunge line. Val Everson, owner of Rocking Horse Stable, managed Mac on the lunge line while Debbie instructed. The second day went quickly with Ella effortlessly riding the trot by mid afternoon. Kirstin, who specializes in costuming, was able to give Ella a general idea of what her riding outfits will consists for the time period of the film. The title and cast of the film are as yet unannounced, but Debbie will let everyone know when it will be aired.

Huge thanks go out to Val and Mac for their time and patience and to Ray Laviolette of Circle R Saddlery for finding such a wonderful facility in the Ottawa area to work in.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Page Posted - Members & Friends

A new page has been created on our blog titled "Members & Friends", where you will find photos of, yes, members and friends of the Ontario Sidesaddle Association. There are examples of English, Western, and Saddleseat riders. Click the link on the right to see it. If anyone has a photo they would like to share, please email it to us at and we'll post it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

OSA Demonstrates Sidesaddle at REACH Open House

On Saturday, September 11, REACH (Regional Equine and Agricultural Centre of Huron) held is first anniversary open house at its facility in Clinton, Ontario. Ilka Boecker provided two sidesaddle riding demonstrations in the arena, with commentary provided by OSA President Joanne Milton.

In addition, OSA had a booth in the exhibitor area with information and photos on sidesaddles and OSA membership, as well as showing off a number of period costumes.

REACH director Melanie Prosser graciously offered OSA meeting space to hold its latest member meeting. Plans were discussed for a future OSA event at REACH, so stay tuned for further details. Visit the REACH website at

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

OSA is now an Amazon Associate

Search for your sidesaddle books and help support the Ontario Sidesaddle Association.  Each book purchased will generate a commission to OSA.

Do you have a book to recommend?  Let us know and we will post it.

W.H.O.A. Sidesaddle Day - August 21, 2010

This event will be hosted by Joanne Milton of Rustic Meadows will begin at 10:00 a.m.  Pack your lunch and plan on having a full day of riding and learning about sidesaddle.  Men are also welcome, because don't you know 'real men' ride sidesaddle.

Rustic Meadows is located at 5712 Trafalgar Road, just south of Hillsburgh.  Contact Joanne at 519-855-6865 or

For more information on the Women Horse Owners Association (W.H.O.A.) visit their website at

Friday, July 30, 2010

Inaugural clinic for the OSA a success!

On Sunday July 25, 2010 the newly formed Ontario Sidesaddle Association presented a clinic by Jeanne Cracknell and Debbie Smith of The Sidesaddle Connection. The primary focus of the clinic was the proper fitting of sidesaddles to horses and riders.
Jeanne fits a Mayhew on "Emma"

Many different saddles were brought in by members. All aspects of the sidesaddle were discussed including different makes, individual features relating to the different makes of saddles and of course, fitting sidesaddles to various horses’ backs and positioning the rider for a safe and secure ride. The interest was very keen among the ladies attending and many good questions were asked.

A well-attended clinic.
One of the more exciting aspects of the clinic was the welcoming of Roberta Whitley to the sidesaddle scene. Roberta owns and operates Leatherette in Ballinfad, Ontario ( She was trained in leather working in Britain and has expressed her excitement in learning to work in the repairing and fitting of sidesaddles. She will be a valuable asset to the OSA in the future.

A huge thank you goes out to Joanne Milton for organizing the event and hosting the day at her farm, Rustic Meadows, and to Jeanne and Deb of  The Sidesaddle Connection for a great clinic.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sidesaddle items for sale at this weekend's fitting clinic

Our clinician, Jeanne Cracknell, will have a number of items for sale during this weekend's sidesaddle fitting clinic at Rustic Meadows (5712 Trafalgar Road, Hillsburgh, ON) including several saddles (Owen and Martin & Martin), accessories (hunting cases, riding jackets, saddle covers, etc.), books, prints and more.  For more information on the items for sale, come on out to the clinic or contact us.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

July 25, 2010 - Sidesaddle Fitting Clinic with Jeanne Cracknell

The Ontario Sidesaddle Association will be holding its next event on July 25, 2010 starting at 09:30 am. One of its key goals is to educate riders and spectators in the safe training and exhibition of sidesaddle riding. “Safety is important, so you just can’t pull great-grandma’s saddle out of the closet and expect it to work,” notes OSA President Joanne Milton. The OSA has invited renowned sidesaddle clinician Jeanne Cracknell of Michigan to offer a saddle-fitting clinic to demonstrate the importance of a properly fitted sidesaddle.

Jeanne has participated in many disciplines, ranging from reining to hunter pleasure and she became passionately involved in the sidesaddle field in 1979 after she purchased her first sidesaddle. Although Jeanne began studying the Monte Foreman Horsemanship Science throughout the 1980’s, sidesaddle remained a part of her life and in 1994 she became a student of sidesaddle fitting. Jeanne now resides in Michigan and stresses how important fit and balance are to any discipline.

Both members of OSA and members of the public are invited to attend. Clinic participants will have the opportunity to have their saddles fitted to their horses. The fee for the day is $10 for OSA members and $20 for non-members (memberships will be available for purchase at the event). Jeanne will be available to re-stuff a small number of saddles for a nominal fee and the cost of fitting and stuffing will be dependent upon the saddle. There will also be a number of sale items available including books, saddles, and accessories.

For more information about this event or to register, please contact OSA President Joanne Milton, at 519-855-6865 or

OSA Receives Non-Profit Status

The Ontario Sidesaddle Association (OSA) is pleased to announce that it has received official non-profit status from the Province of Ontario, and has launched its brand new logo. The association welcomes all sidesaddle enthusiasts, from beginner to advanced, women and men, English and Western riders, historians, supporters and friends. Annual membership fees are $25.00 for riders, $15.00 for Youth (under 18) and Friends. Other membership categories include Founder (until Dec. 31, 2010), Lifetime and Corporate.