Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dancing Hooves At RCMP Musical Ride Show

LEGS MOVED NIMBLY and gracefully to the beat at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Musical Ride event I attended at Semiahmoo Park last weekend.

Everyone seemed to have a camera in hand on what was a challenging day for picture takers like me who were at ground level.

There was barely a cloud in the sky that evening and the sun blazed like a high wattage bulb with no lampshade to take the glare off.

Several hundreds of onlookers encircled the performers, creating a busy background for photographs.

The horses made a strikingly beautiful contrast to their scarlet counterparts but their ebony shade melded into one indistinguishable black blot at times.

I wondered how their flexible hooves so tightly knit together avoided getting tangled. I imagined the dust and heat (it had been record-breaking hot and rainless in BC) was tough on the 32 riders and horses.

The troop sometimes performed cavalry drills in groups of four reminding me a little of square dancing. Their choreographed maneuvers created fantastic patterns, including the "Dome" once pictured in a Canadian fifty-dollar bill and best seen from a higher perspective.

I learned that a musical rider stays with the troop for only three years. The horses, on the other hand, are bred to dance and I suspect some could perform their routines in their sleep.

This 11-year-old beauty performed flawlessly despite being blind in one eye.

Straight-backed riders were affixed to their horses like gloves to a hand.

Horses seemed to prance and trot with pride exhibiting their slim silhouettes.

I noticed more women in the troop than ever before.

To have this historic display of riding capabilities, that began officially in 1887, near my neighborhood was, indeed, a thrill.

But the horses were not the only ones strutting their stuff. The amazing Crescent Beach Pipe Band also showed some leg.

The Wild Moccasin Dancers were another one of the opening acts.

Shyama-Priya danced like a butterfly as we watched enthralled.

Even when a freight train chugged down the nearby track ...

she twirled and leapt into the air in her multi-colored costume.

At the end of the event the four-legged performers dispersed and galloped to the appreciative audience waiting to pet them.

The gentle nature and patience of the horses was evident. Their riders representing all 10 provinces cheerfully answered every question.

Take a bow black beauties and red-suited riders! You certainly put on a spectacular show that is uniquely Canadian.

The troop not only entertained but also raised funds for policing in the community.

It is good to know that even though (as the saying goes) you can bring a horse to water but you can't make him drink ... you can make him dance.

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms


  1. They are coming here to the Comox Valley. Looks like something good to go and see. Nice photography!

  2. Wow! Right there in Semiahmoo Park. How wonderful. We saw them in Medicine Hat, at the Stampede grounds, but who would have thought there'd be room in Semiahmoo Park.
    And who knew Crescent Beach had a pipe band? I've been gone too long. I love pipe bands almost more than anything — or at least more than any other kind of band.
    The dancers looked wonderful, too. I do wish I could have been there, but your photos are an excellent substitute, and I can sit here in my airconditioned house. LOL
    Hugs from Lindy, and from us,

  3. This was such an excellent post. I loved all the shots but the ones that just show the horses legs struck me especially.

  4. What a great post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  5. EXCELLENT photos! From Cochrane, Alberta

  6. What a show. Loved the photo of the horses legs and hooves. Would loved to have been there but pleased to see it through your post.

  7. This is terrific!! I love your colorful, fascinating captures for the day! I'm a horse lover and I do love your pics of them! Wonderful and so colorful!!

  8. I always have enjoyed the Musical Ride. Great pics, I really love the legs shot!

  9. Wow, what a wonderful time-honored tradition! Thanks for sharing the information about it, too. Your photos turned out great!

  10. Wow! That must have been fun to see. Love the shot of the horses' lets and feet in synch.

  11. Wow, what a post. I had never heard of this troop. I have a new addition to my bucket list!!

  12. Wonderful captures form the event. I love the way horses carry themselves.

  13. I can see that taking photos there would be a challenge and the light was indeed bright, but your photos are wonderful! I especially love the photo of the horses' legs. Creative view!

  14. How cool! I’ve never seen like this in person. This is so impressive for its beauty, power, colors, and orderly manner. A moving art created by the riders and horses and national pride.

  15. That must have been something wonderful to see. They were in our little town last week, but it was so hot I decided not to go.

    I've seen the trailers on the Coquahalla a few times...and they are huge. Great shots.



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