SMT RCMP Ride Seminar
By Cpl Jake Senff
On 24 May 2016, myself and MCpl Davidson attended the RCMP ride seminar in Ottawa, Ontario. There were 11 of us at the seminar and it was apparent from the beginning that we were clearly the best (and most humble) candidates. For sure. Everyone was part of a police mounted unit from Canada or the United States. During the course, we got to learn some of the RCMP’s riding techniques and experience riding a different style and breed of horse. While their horses were significantly larger, our LdSH(RC) horses compare to no other. I, upon returning to Edmonton, would not stop talking about how much I missed my best buddy Smokey.
Our days would consist of two basic ride classes and learning the RCMP stables routine. The Strathconas were the first to lead the course, with myself being the first one to hop up on the horse (with some difficulty… ok a lot of difficulty). After a few days of riding and getting used to the size of their horses, we were given the opportunity to visit their breeding farm. We learned about the various new horses and strict physical requirements that their new mounts must pass before they could even be considered suitable for their Troop.
During our second week riding, we got to ride outside a lot more. One day, we went for a ride outside of the RCMP grounds. They took a carriage for some to ride in, while the others got to take a horse and ride along. We ended up riding to the Governor General’s House and Rideau Hall. MCpl Davidson was like a kid in a candy store, as he was one of the people selected to ride horseback, an experience few people can say they have done. The next day, everyone got to ride as we went to the RCMP and military cemetery. At the end of our visit, everyone got together to unwind and relax. We exchanged stories and pictures of our horses with one another. After a few bells rung and some butchered karaoke, we made some great friends and memories to last a lifetime.