Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sidesaddle Reigns at The Royal

Ontario Sidesaddle Association corrals interactive display
November 2011—Sidesaddle riding has experienced a resurgence in Ontario, judging by the interest generated at this year’s Royal Winter Fair.

The Ontario Sidesaddle Association (OSA), initiated in 2010 by Sharon Borda from Caledon and Joanne Milton from Hillsburgh, took full advantage of a kind offer to promote two, one hour sessions during a day at The Royal. All thanks to the Ontario Equestrian Federation (OEF), for sharing their Spirit of the Horse round pen.

Several types and ages of sidesaddles, uniquely showcased on stools—not conventional saddle stands, were predominantly supplied by collector extraordinaire, Lois Beecraft. The stools held saddles securely and were low enough to the ground to reassuringly feel a foot on the floor. Strewn over straw bales and punching up the display along the round pen hung habits, period costumes, hats, veils and vintage whips all beckoning touch and encouraging play.

Joanne Milton and Ilka Boecker
Wearing sidesaddle habits to attract attention, Pam Hope coaxed the curious into the corral beckoning spectators to “give sidesaddle a sit!” Ilka Boecker, a treasured sidesaddle volunteer was especially regal, posing in a formal English habit, complete with polished boots, lady’s top hat, veil and canary vest.

The best advocates were those that needed a special invitation to overcome their suspicions and inhibitions as they modeled habits, snapped photos and asked questions. Most were surprised at how secure they felt in a sidesaddle and no longer thought it was super specialized or beyond their talents. The OSA team reassured the participants—sidesaddle is for everyone.

Trying on an English habit
The new OSA brochure was given to all who experienced the sidesaddle.  Did you receive yours?  If not, please contact us and we will be happy to send one out to you.

Many thanks to the OSA volunteers for braving the traffic, slugging gear and tirelessly donating their time and to the Ontario Equestrian Federation for the use of their roundpen, and for supporting OSA during the Royal Winter Fair.

And finally, a sincere thank you to all who participated in our demo. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Next Meeting of the Ontario Sidesaddle Association

The next meeting of the Ontario Sidesaddle Association is scheduled for Sunday, November 27, 2011.  It will be held at Rustic Meadows, 5712 Traflagar Road, Hillsburgh, Ontario.

Here's a sidesaddle video--just for fun!  Enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Join Us at the Royal "Spirit of the Horse" Round Pen

The Ontario Sidesaddle Association will be giving two educational demonstrations in the "Spirit of the Horse" Round Pen at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on Tuesday, November 8, 2011.  The first is at 11:00 am and the second is at 2:45 pm.

Come on out and say HI! and Learn About Riding Sidesaddle.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Come and see us at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair!

The Ontario Sidesaddle Association will be part of the Spirit of the Horse exhibition sponsored by the Ontario Equestrian Federation at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, November 4-13, 2011, Exhibition Place, Toronto.   Now a Royal tradition, this feature captures the hearts and minds of visitors each year.  Demonstrations feature riding techniques and training, horse whisperer demonstrations, horse breed trivia, and much more! 

OSA will be presenting information on english and western sidesaddle riding, saddle fitting and riding habits.  The schedule is still to be finalized, so watch the site for information, or stop by the OEF booth during your Royal visit.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Auctioned Sidesaddle Goes for $650

For all of you who may be wondering about the sidesaddle that was being sold at the auction at Tralee on Saturday, October 1 along with Dr. Cormack's notable carriage collection, I did attend and was actually planning to bid.  The preview was held on Friday, September 30 and I went to have a look.  The saddle was in very good condition.  The seat measured about 19" but I could not find a maker's mark. 

Bidding started at $100 and before I got a chance to raise my hand, the price was past what I was willing to pay.  The saddle sold to an unknown buyer for $650.

If you hear of auctions or others sales which have sidesaddles listed, please let us know so we can share with our members.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sidesaddle for sale - with a caveat

Lot 141
An auction sale of Dr. Cormack's carriage collection is being held at Tralee in Caledon on October 1.  We have learned that there is a sidesaddle included in the items for sale.  What we can tell from the picture is that it is likely a catalogue saddle, e.g. Sears Roebuck or Montgomery Ward, from the late 1800s or early 1900s.  We have not be able to get additional photos. 

The caveat for this saddle, aside from the unknown condition of the saddle, is that it is probably very narrow with a short seat, probably about 18".  This limits the number of riders and horses that it will fit.  (To measure your seat length, sit on a straight-backed chair or against a wall and measure your thigh from the inside bend of your knee back to the chair back or wall.) You will also see that the leaping horn is positioned upside down in the photo, indicating that the seller is unfamiliar with sidesaddles.

For information on this auction, click here.

Welcome to our newest member

OSA President Joanne, assisting Alexa on April
Welcome to the newest member of the Ontario Sidesaddle Association.  Alexis of Milton enjoyed an inaugural sidesaddle lesson with OSA President Joanne Milton, with the assistance of Lois Beecraft and Sharon Borda this past weekend, and of course our four-legged friend April.  In this lesson, Joanne is focussing on getting Alexis to not collapse through her right rib-cage, which is pushing her hips (and the saddle) to the left.

Alexis has experience in a number of equine disciplines and took to the sidesaddle with aplomb and confidence.  We welcome Alexis to the fold.

This could be you!  Do you have an interest in learning how to ride sidesaddle?  Contact us to arrange a lesson.

Next Meeting of the Ontario Sidesaddle Association

Our next meeting of the Ontario Sidesaddle Association will take place on Sunday, October 23 at Rustic Meadows.  Originally scheduled for October 22, the date has been changed to accommodate those who will be attending the OEF Clinic Day on that Saturday.

We hope to have an "educational" session prior to our usual business meeting, so if you have a topic that you would like us to address, please let us know.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Workshop Unexpectedly Cancelled

Due to circumstances beyond our control, OSA has had to unexpectedly cancel the sidesaddle workshop that was scheduled for September 24th.

Please watch this blog for a new date, which will be posted as soon as possible.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Call for Volunteers - Sidesaddle Workshop

The Ontario Sidesaddle Association is planning its first 2011 event, a Sidesaddle Workshop.

The clinic will take place on Saturday, September 24th, 2011 from 10:00am to 4:00pm at Lois Beecraft's wonderful place near Breslau, Ontario. We are planning to provide a lot of information about sidesaddle riding and give participants and auditors a chance to try out sidesaddles to get a feel for aside riding. More information about the clinic will follow soon.

We are looking for volunteers to make this event a success for the OSA. (The event would be free for volunteers, but OSA will not provide free food). Please let us know if you would be interested in helping out.

We are also looking for prize donations for a raffle. If you have anything that connects with Sidesaddle that you would like to donate, please let us know.

Thank you.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

OSA Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Ontario Sidesaddle Association Board of Directors is set for July 9, at 1pm.  It is being hosted by Joanne Milton at Rustic Meadows, 5712 Trafalgar Road in Milton, Ontario.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sidesaddle Weekend - Change of Venue

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to hold our Sidesaddle Weekend as originally planned at REACH.  We were also unable to secure our keynote clinician.  We will still hold the event on the weekend of September 25, 2011, and it will be held at Lois Beecraft's farm in Guelph, Ontario.  Watch this blog for details, as we have a dedicated committee hard at work planning the event.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ontario Sidesaddle Association Annual General Meeting

The Ontario Sidesaddle Association will be holding its AGM on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm. at Rustic Meadows, 5712 Trafalgar Road, Hillsburgh, Ontario.

Our special guest speaker will be Karen Bray, who will educate us on the Importance of Back Health for Both Horse and Rider.

Contact us for more information.

Hope to see you there!

Martin & Martin Sidesaddle For Sale - SOLD

This saddle has been sold.  Congratulations to the new owner!

Lovely Martin & Martin sidesaddle for sale. All leather saddle with dual position leaping pommel and working garage door feature for adjusting girth while mounted. Comes complete with stirrup fitting, sidesaddle iron and balance girth. Used for fox hunting and showing, fits wide variety of horses. Seat measures 21x13 1/2. Medium wide tree. Newer leather panel and recent billets. Has patented M&M bullseye breakaway fitting.

Asking price has been reduced to $1,650.00 US. 

For more information please contact Jeanne at LongMeadow @

Friday, March 4, 2011

OSA Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Ontario Sidesaddle Association is scheduled for 1:00 pm on Sunday, March 27, 2011 at Rustic Meadows, 5712 Trafalgar Road, Hillsburgh, Ontario.  Come on out and join the fun!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ontario Sidesaddle Association - Call for Director Nominations

Call for Consideration
If you have an interest in side-saddle, please consider supporting our club by running for one (1) of five (5) possible Board of Directors positions.  Any current Ontario Side-saddle Association member over 18, is eligible & you may nominate yourself or another upon their agreement.

The Fun Stuff
Being involved in the beginning years of OSA will be very rewarding for the ground breakers.  This is your chance to have real input forming an association that fits your needs.  The informal meetings rotate around various members’ homes serving coffee & cookies.  The duration is usually around 3 hours with much animated, fun discussion promoting side-saddle.  You can be involved as little or as much as you want with no special skills required.  Come out & meet new friends with the fellowship of a common interest.

The Formal Stuff
This letter is the formal by-law notice & governance, to solicit Board of Directors nominations to be submitted by Tuesday March 15, 2011.  Once submissions are received, a general notification letter of nominees will be sent to the OSA membership by April 15, 2011.  Candidates will be voted upon at the OSA Annual General Meeting held in the Guelph area May 14, 2011.

  • Fulfill a 2 year term upon acceptance of position at AGM
  • Attend at least 3 meetings during each calendar year beginning January 1
  • Participate in all matters affecting the membership
(There are By-law resolutions if for some reason you no longer can maintain your post.)
Feel free to contact any of the nominating committee for more information or queries – see contact info below.
Check out our blog at to get a feel for the excitement of Ontario’s first side-saddle riding club.

Next Step
Please submit an email of your intent to consider running for Board of Director election.  There are five (5) positions required.  At that point someone from the nominating committee will contact you for further submission information.

Reply to any Nomination Committee member below
Lois Beecraft    
     email: loistssl @
Ilka Boecker  
      email: theboeckers @
Pam Hope            email: pamhope @ 

Thanks for your support.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

American Sidesaddle Assocation asks the AQHA to allow sidesaddles

The American Sidesaddle Association, a US-based non-profit organization, is asking the American Quarter Horse Association to change their rules and allow sidesaddle riders to compete aboard their American Quarter Horses.  Many women have been showing in sidesaddles for years and a number of breed associations and disciplines allow and even welcome riders showing their mounts under sidesaddle tack. The American Quarter Horse Association however, forbids riders from showing their horses aside and since many other organizations follow AQHA rules, this precludes a large part of the equestrian community from being able to show sidesaddle.  Below is a link to an article posted on the Hunter Jumper News website.

The Ontario Sidesaddle Association discussed this issue at its recent meeting, and supports the ASA in petitioning the AQHA for a rule change.  A letter from the OSA will be drafted and sent to the AQHA on behalf of all of its members who ride Quarter Horses or are otherwise affected by this rule. 

Riding Side-Saddle, by Janet W. MacDonald

Help the OSA raise funds by purchasing this book through our Amazon Associates program.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

English Sidesaddle FOR SALE


Make:  London Harness Company
Tree Size:  Medium/Wide
Seat length: 21"
Price:  $1,000.00 US (not including shipping)

This saddle has been well-maintained, and was used on an Arabian horse.  The seller is based in Indiana and is firm on her price.  Photos will be posted as soon as they are available.  In the meantime, if you are interested please contact us.