This past Saturday, the Ontario Equestrian Federation hosted their annual festivities of Toronto Horse Day. Held in the heart of our country’s largest city, in the Horse Palace (the very same place that hosts the Royal Winter Fair every year), we met hundreds of visitors ranging from those who have never seen a horse, right up to those who have been riding and competing at top levels for years.
I was there representing OCTRA – Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association with Solstice to do a demonstration about Ride N Tie, and also tell people about the Mongol Derby.
Here we are navigating the crowd and Horse Palace to get to the ring.
As with most things in life, our first demo didn’t go exactly according to plan (particularly too as we had an audience). I mounted up and despite feeling a bit like a jockey in Solstice’s stirrups, I was feeling good. We started the RNT demo and as I rounded the turn, woosh! Saddle is no longer beneath me, rather it was beneath the horse. Fortunately in my involuntary dismount, I was able to keep myself from being propelled into the audience, but ended up with a bit of a ding on my arm. We have no idea how it happened – the girth was tightened before mounting, best we can come up with is maybe her back has changed since the saddle was fitted, or the pad compressed after mounting. How embarrassing! But Angel lived up to her name and we fixed the saddle and kept going. I guess it was also a demo about how to not lose your cool when the unexpected happens. But the embarrassment does continue, as I had the whole thing recorded on my helmet cam.
Thankfully our second try at it went much smoother… go slow, pay close attention to balance, just focus. We got through it and actually had extra time at the end… who would have thought falling and having to reset the saddle would waste so much of our precious 10 minutes!
Looking on the bright side, I did get to practice my elegant falls. I also had my Derby saddle and kit with me, so the perfect chance to practice first aid on myself with the kit.
Of course the best we could do was laugh all day. Solstice remarked that her horses are giving me good Derby training, so we joked that perhaps Angel sucked in her gut to purposely dump me. Despite that, we had a great time sharing our sport with Toronto and had fun meeting riders and horse enthusiasts alike! Here are some more fun photos from the day.