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Secret Shame

Republished with the permission of The Plaid Horse When Stephanie Ray Peters arrived at the Desert International Horse Park in January to show her four horses, she took a seat outside of hunter ring 1. She watched beautiful rounds in the picturesque setting, but instead of enjoying the horse show, Peters found herself overcome with the urge to hide, shielding her face beneath a sun hat. “I felt so uncomfortable, but I couldn’t figure out why,” she tells The Plaid Horse. “I didn’t want to be seen. I’d been through a lot of surgeries in the last two years—including brain surgery and a double mastectomy—due to a hormonal disorder, so my body had changed and I was worried about what...

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Come Ride with Me

Your invitation, dear reader, to participate in a grand equestrian learning adventure with a charismatic young man from Montréal, Québec reads: “Come ride with me.” It is an adventure like no other for all concerned - the young man, the horse, the coach, the support team, and all those who accept the invitation to become their online supporters and participants. It is predicated on trust and vulnerability. Your invitation comes compliments of Jeffrey Beausoleil. Jeffrey is a man of courage. Fortitude has been a hallmark of his life. From the beginning, his path has been strewn with obstacles of every kind – physical, social, mental, and emotional. Jeffrey was born without a right hand or right foot which has dictated...

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The Country Market

There is something decidedly quaint, even coloured with a tinge of nostalgia, about the idea of a country market. You might think of a place in the countryside where local families frequent to purchase their groceries and other necessities. Perhaps it is situated at the crossing of two important rural roads, down each of which you see nothing but fields. It is where neighbours meet. It is where the storekeeper is known and valued in the community, where you have your own account, kept in a little frayed, pencil-marked, brown book. The canisters of milk line the porch. The laughter on the inside is momentarily interrupted by the squeak of the front door. You can almost hear the horses neighing...

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The Beaver Hall Group: Kathleen Moir Morris

Kathleen ‘Kay’ Moir Morris Among a group of men and women artists known as the Beaver Hall Group was Kathleen “Kay” Moir Morris. A gentle soul, she was born in Montreal in 1893 with cerebral palsy. Yet, in spite of this, Kathleen maintained a decided sense of humour and self-confidence. She chose joy. She chose self-actualization in the face of the significant odds against her. While she suffered, she nonetheless, with the great support of her mother, painted, thereby achieving her grand passion. She would, in the company of her mother, spend six weeks sketching in places such as the Laurentians and Berthierville, approximately 80 kms east of Montreal on the north shore of the St Lawrence River, home to...

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The Return to Riding: Pick the Pace

In Ontario, stables are once again open, with heightened precautions and restrictions, after the necessary province wide shut down mid-March to contain Covid-19. Riders are back to doing what we love, wearing homemade masks along with our helmets, carrying small bottles of sanitizer and eagerly catching up with the barn family from a six-foot distance. Instructors are happy to see their students again, practicing their instruction from a safe distance, perhaps in the outdoor sand ring, happy to be back to teaching, the part of the job they love, and happy to be helping their students get back to what they love, despite the shift in protocols. It won’t be easy, and it won’t change for a while. So, we...

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