Updated: Sep 25, 2022
I have been offered the opportunity of a lifetime.
Monique Boucher of Avant Garde Canadians has invited me along on a 3-week trip from her place in Melfort, SK to various locations in Ontario and Quebec. We will be transporting horses there and bringing some back, which is already enough to get me excited, but we have an ulterior
motive! On our journey, we will be stopping at the homes of various Canadian owners as well as some of the top Canadian Horse breeders in the world!
I know that most of you who read this will be horse lovers and will totally understand the deep meaning of this for me. However, I know that at least a few non-horse people will be reading this (because I have the best friends in the world) and will be sitting there perplexed, so this first entry is as much for them as for my fellow horse nuts (because really, there is nothing rational about this!).
Three weeks in a truck, stopping wherever and sleeping in a trailer in early October, shoveling horse crap, getting wet watering them in the cold, covered in horse hair for weeks straight, with copious amounts of hay in my bra... How is that a vacation to get excited about? They just don’t understand and its not because some of them don’t try (looking at all you supportive horse spouses out there), they just lack the ability.
That’s because being a horse person really is something in your blood. You’re born with the obsession. I didn’t grow up on a farm, I wasn’t around horses as a child. In fact, I had ridden numb trail horses maybe 3 times in my life before going off to college in PEI where I learned stable management and acquired my CEF Level I Coaching certification. But then life happened, as it always does, and it was almost 20 years before horses came back into my life. It didn’t matter. I was every bit as obsessed as I had been as a child.
But then something special happened. Life again opened a random door, and I was introduced to The Canadian Horse, Le Cheval Canadien, the horse that helped establish not only our country, but many of the modern breeds we know and love. The history was interesting enough to pique my curiosity and the fact that they were listed as at risk only brought them further to the front of my mind. Then I met one in person and none of that mattered in the least. I was recruited to this breed and its cause at first touch.
I have always found a sort of peace in spending time with animals, but most especially horses. When I met the Canadian, all of that was reduced to nothing in comparison. They have an air of power about them, just massive strength, and yet they epitomize “gentle giant”.
Some of these animals are huge and incredibly powerful. They could seriously injure or even kill us if they chose to. They are prey animals and having something on their back is akin to
something attacking it from above, yet they carry us willingly. In fact, we ask an infinite number of things from them that must seem bizarre and alien. Yet still they choose, despite all our flaws, to bond with us, to love us as much as we love them.
When you commune with a Canadian, and by this, I mean standing quietly with them, touching them, just being with them, not passing by the fence and looking at the pretty pony, there is (at least for me) a sense of meeting an old soul. You look deep into those eyes, and it feels like looking into a pool of wisdom, the depths of which we simply can’t fathom.
Just as incredible was the feeling that they hold within them a deep well of serenity. As if they’ve figured out all of life’s problems and then smile indulgently as we scurry about our lives with our phones and our social media. But by far the most amazing and remarkable thing about these animals? If you’re ever lucky enough to bond with one of these magnificent creatures… they will share that serenity with you.
Stay tuned for updates and loads more pictures as we begin our journey on September 27th!