Sunday, September 18, 2016

Blythe Shore is the Recipient of the 2015 Recognition Award from the Ontario Sidesaddle Association

Congratulations to Blythe Shore for receiving the Reserve Champion Novice Pleasure Award for 2015  at the Rockwood Trail Riders club banquet.  In recognition of Blythe's 2015 show season riding sidesaddle, OSA has awarded her the 2015 OSA Recogntion Award.

Board of Directors Meeting and 2016 Christmas Social

Everyone is invited!

Our next Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 2:30pm and will be held at Rustic Meadows, 5712 Trafalgar Road, Hillsburgh.  Come and join us as we begin planning for 2017 activities.

Following the meeting at around 5pm we will head over to David's Restaurant in Erin to celebrate the upcoming holiday season.

David's is located at 20 Shamrock Road in Erin.

All members are welcome to attend.  If you would like to join us, please let us know so we can advise the restaurant our numbers.

3rd Annual Open House and Events Update

This post is to share with you events that are coming up in the month of October.

First, the Headwaters Horse Country Stable Tour takes place the weekend of October 1st and 2nd.  The Ontario Sidesaddle Association has participated in this event in prior years, and this year is no exception.  We will  have sidesaddle riding demonstrations and information available on how to get involved, or even just book a lesson to try it.  We would love to see you at Rustic Meadows, 5712 Trafalgar Road in Hillsburgh. Headwaters Horse Country Stable Tour - Rustic Meadows.

On Thanksgiving weekend, we will be at the Erin Fair in the Horse Tent.  This year, in addition to having display saddles that you can sit on to see how comfortable sidesaddle can be, we will be having a horse and rider demo.  You will have the opportunity to ask questions about sidesaddle for which you've always wanted answers.  The Erin Fair is one of the largest fall fairs in Ontario and we are proud to have been invited to return again in 2016.

Our 3rd Annual Ontario Sidesaddle Association Open House take place on Sunday, October 16th from 10am to 4pm.  Last year, our goal was 60 saddles and 60 attendees and we surpassed both.  This year we are aiming even higher, so come on out and see the largest collection of sidesaddles all in one place that we know of.  We will have English, Western and antique saddles; old name saddles and catalogue saddles; all shapes and sizes.  We will also have riding demonstrations for English, Western and costume riders.  Visitors will have the opportunity to dress up in a sidesaddle habit, sit on a saddle and have their picture taken. 

The event takes place at Willowview Springs, 5288 Woolwich-Guelph Townline, Breslau, Ontario.  From 401, take Hwy 6 North. Turn west on Paisley and follow to the"T" junction. Turn north to #5288.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Come and see us at OEF Horse Day - June 4, 2016

Come and see us at OEF's Horse Day, this Saturday, June 4th, 2016 at Dreamwinds Equine Assisted Learning Centre, 2800 Line 10, RR #2, Bradford, Ontario L3Z 2Z5.  We'll be there from 11am to 5pm with a demo in the ring at 2pm.

Visit for information and a map.

"Have a sit" on a sidesaddle and feel how comfortable and secure riding aside can be.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Show Your Arab Sidesaddle--We'll Get You There

The Initiative: If you are already at the show, have a desire to be different, and want to have fun showing in new classes with a vintage flair, try sidesaddle. We will guide you and your horse in typically three lessons, to a safe comfortable ride that will put you into the ribbons. Don’t have the sidesaddle or riding outfit? No worries, this is how we get you there – rentals on horse show date. The Ontario Sidesaddle Association (OSA) has partnered with the Arabian Horse of Eastern Canada Association (AHAEC), to augment the open sidesaddle class with more opportunities to show aside by including, walk trot pleasure, walk trot equitation and a surprise class (more about that to come.)
Holly Ray of Brookfield, Ohio on EF Frisco Bay, 
photo by  Tracey Kelsey Photography, used with permission.

Logistics: First, let the show secretary know you plan to enter the new classes. Allow at least four weeks before the show to team up with an OSA qualified volunteer coach in your area. Meet to be fitted with a borrowed sidesaddle to suit both you and your horse, decide on discipline of English (hunt or saddle seat), western or costume and practice riding at least three times or until you agree aside is safe and fun. The OSA coach will bring your rented aside equipment to the horse show of your choice and coach you through the sidesaddle classes. This initiative is a fund raiser benefitting OSA and amenably priced to get you excited about trying and experiencing the thrill and noble pleasure of aside. As many others have, you too will get hooked and welcome a forum to ride aside at a show. This is how AHAEC will help, by offering non-sanctioned additional sidesaddle classes at choice 2016 Ontario Arabian shows. Book early, as there is limited rental inventory for saddles, habits and costumes.

Holly Ray on EF Frisco Bay,
photo by Tracey Kelsey Photography, used with permission.
Rulebook: According to the AHA 2014 rulebook entry, any Purebred, Half or Anglo may enter and ‘be judged 85% on manners, performance, suitability, quality and conformation, 15% on appropriate sidesaddle attire.’ You may show open in a sidesaddle class, riding either English, western or costume. Classes may be split into disciplines if numbers merit. Section AR 193 further describes ‘the sidesaddle horse should give the distinct impression that it is a comfortable mount to ride. A good ground-covering walk, a comfortable trot or jog-trot, and easy flowing canter or lope is desirable. Transitions from one gait to another should be smooth and effortless. Riders may sit or post to the trot.’
Holly Ray on EF Frisco Bay,
photo by K. Engelhaupt Photography, used with permission.

Tip: Learn from your OSA coach how to minimize any unwanted body movement and ensure a comfortable looking ride - this will capture a judge’s eye. One tip is to take advantage of having the choice to post or not post, regardless of the riding discipline. Sitting trot in aside classes, including hunt seat, is also permissible in general performance rulebooks outside of Arabians. Sitting the trot is much more attractive than rising, when riding aside.
Holly Ray on EF Frisco Bay,
photo by K. Engelhaupt Photography, used with permission.
Posting by definition leaves the rider vulnerable, as the seat leaves the secure surface area of the saddle, albeit for a few seconds. There is a type of posting used riding aside for the utility to help ease muscle fatigue over long distances; however your seat doesn’t leave the saddle surface. Think of sidesaddle posting as deliberately transferring your weight back and forth in trot rhythm, from your right hip up to the bend in your right leg that wraps around the upper pommel and back again. Your seat does not leave the saddle; it’s more akin to a rocking motion. This is not as smooth and comfortable as sitting, which is the preference of many sidesaddle riders.

Next Steps: For more info, we invite you to send us a message through this blog or the OSA Facebook page. Leave your contact info and your local OSA representative will call and discuss bringing you over to our side!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Report on the 2015 Sidesaddle Open House

English sidesaddles from a number of historical periods on display
We met our mark of over 60 side saddles in one location, Sunday, October 18.  In addition, through the new fundraiser table, we were able to top up the coffers to provide another year of aside stability for the Ontario Sidesaddle Association, (OSA).

The second annual open house, held just west of Guelph surpassed all expectations and reaffirms – if you build it they will come.  Spreading the word through social media proved to be the best method to entice and showcase the safety and fun with aside riding.

The popular ‘have a sit campaign’, invites the curious and skeptical to ‘pretend’ ride in a side saddle mounted on a saddle stand.  Once they feel secure, many enjoy trying on habits and admiring themselves in the many mirrors strategically placed to keep your sidesaddle equitation in correct form.  Sidesaddle as a type of riding, encompasses all riding seats, English, western and costume. These were all represented at the open house and the differences expertly discussed in a lively and informative conversation with Polly Winsor, avid historian and Martin York, expert saddler.

Ilka riding in formal English attire
Grace elegantly modelling an historic costumer
Blythe jogging in a Western sidesaddle

Several riding demos commentated by side saddle coaches captivated the more than 70 enthusiasts. Riding English in top hat and tails was Ilka Boecker, Blythe Shore rode in western pleasure attire and a historical costume was worn by Grace Lockwood. Grace surprised us with an impromptu powdering of the nose, while mounted! She surfed eBay and discovered a ladies crop with the top end cap cleverly cocooning a mini face powder compact.

Several hunt club members, fresh off their own sidesaddle fun rides exhibiting at the Elora and Creemore hunt parades, brought along their sidesaddle gems to temporary add to our ever increasing open house inventory. Thanks to Nancy Beacon for contributing her sidesaddles for the day and entertaining us with her colourful accounts of many decades riding aside.

Eager enthusiasts have asked for english/western aside lessons and we are pleased to announce two able school horses, and the proper pick for a fit, from Lois’s vast sidesaddle collection are now being offered at her Guelph farm equipped with an indoor arena. Inquire on our OSA Facebook page.

Save the date for next year’s open house, October 16, 2016 at the same location – first Sunday after Thanksgiving. Many thanks to Lois Beecraft our host, all the volunteers and those who dropped in to step ’aside’.