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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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Dreaming of Horses in the Faraway Faroe Islands

Sometimes it helps to dream a little. And in this moment of pause and uncertainty it feels good to dream of a time when the world will be back closer to the one that we knew, one of simple pleasures and joys, one even with all of its old challenges and shortcomings. In dreaming, we find a road back to a place where we have been displaced from. In dreaming, we understand the importance of our finally being able to move on from the paralysis that we have come to endure, and from the weight of the uncertainty and caution that still lie before us. Still, the world will open again, like a tulip after the rain. We simply need...

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