Perfection on the Prairies: Souris River Bend, October 3-5, 2023
Una chica y su caballo
by SHA
7M ago
When you drive from sea to shining sea on the Trans-Canada Highway leaving from one coast or the other, and hit either central Alberta from the west or Manitoba from the east, you hit flat. You hit relentless, unchanging flat for many hundreds of miles. So much flatty flatness of flat that you fall into a sort of flatness-shocked daze. It’s very, very flat. I mean, the Big Sky is nice, and all, but… My uncle used to tell about driving across the prairies, and he would say, “You just start to ask yourself, ‘Did no one think to plant a tree?’” The Trans-Canada flatness leads many travellers with ..read more
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Friendship and Horses: Richer, MB Oct 2-3, 2023
Una chica y su caballo
by SHA
7M ago
On these X-Canada trips, meeting like-minded horsewomen (and, sure, horsemen, but truth to tell, it’s almost always women) is one of the best parts of the journey. Despite the fact that, given the option, the company I choose to keep is generally my own, I nevertheless delight in talking to women who share a similar feeling for the horses they ride and train and care for – and, who, ultimately, share a similar feeling about how life ought to be lived. Anna Maria in Oliver, Pam in Cranbrook, Vanessa in Taber, Dawn in Pilot Butte – these are ladies I first met sans their menfolk, and whom, after ..read more
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Hanging Offences in Northern Ontario: St-Antonin-Dryden Sept 22-Oct 1, 2023
Una chica y su caballo
by SHA
7M ago
If you’re not yet convinced that humanity is a pestilence upon this planet, I challenge you to go take a walk or a ride on any trail that is accessible by motorized vehicle, and be dumbfounded by how far into beauty people are willing to drive in order to defile nature with their trash. My short morning ride at Neys, Ontario, was one such reminder of the depravity of the human race. On my various X-Canada travels, my main goal when it comes to Northern Ontario has simply been to plough through it. I love the drive itself, with its miniature lakes and pink and grey rocks and stalwart trees, but ..read more
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Bucket Lists and Bookends – July 1-3 and September 22-23, 2023
Una chica y su caballo
by SHA
8M ago
Bucket List: From “kick the bucket” (to die) + list, hence a “list of things to do before you die”. My summer 2023 stay on PEI was book-ended by two stays at Maritime horse camps, one in Nova Scotia and one in New Brunswick. I’ve never really had a Bucket List, and in actual fact, for reasons I can’t properly understand or enunciate, the expression, much like the terms “Free Spirit” or “Fur Baby”, gives me the ick. For a long time, I have very much wanted to be able to claim that I’ve ridden my horse Pai in every province in Canada, and given my finicky word preference, I’m not sure what to ..read more
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Toreador, en garde! Atikokan-St Antonin, June 24-July 1, 2023
Una chica y su caballo
by SHA
11M ago
Maybe most people are more worldly when I am when it comes to off-the-beaten-path sports, but when I heard that one of the events at the Festival Country de St-Antonin was going to be “bull jumping”, I had exactly zero idea what that might entail. The term initially brought to mind images of cowboys navigating a course of stadium jumps on bulls instead of on horses. But then I wondered, was it going to be some kind of Evel Knievel thing where some guy on a motorcycle soared over a lineup of twenty bulls? Or maybe it would be the same as vaulting, only on bulls? I could have Googled it, but I d ..read more
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Hidden Gem: Wabigoon – Atikokan, June 21-23, 2023
Una chica y su caballo
by SHA
11M ago
On my various drives back and forth across Canada, I pass a lot of signs. So many signs. The best ones are the ones that advertise incongruent merchandise (“Nightcrawlers – Apple Pie”), but the most intriguing ones are those that make me wonder, “I wonder what that place is like?” The mystery of the unknown is infinitely alluring. One of those signs was for The Historic Reesor Ranch, which appears along Hwy 1 near the Alberta-Saskatchewan border.  After first spying the sign in 2012, I finally paid the ranch a visit in 2018, satisfied my curiosity, and made some lovely new friends. Anothe ..read more
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Buggin: Stony Beach to Spruce Woods via Moose Mountain – June 18-20, 2023
Una chica y su caballo
by SHA
11M ago
Back in 2015, when I first met Doug and Rob and Marv and Warren, they mentioned that their private men’s club sometimes included a woman: from time to time, a Marjorie rode with them. A year later, I got to meet the famous Marjorie, and her other half Blair, and have run into them a few more times again over the years. They have always mentioned that if ever I needed a place to stay, they were right off the Trans Canada. When I was planning out some tentative itineraries for this year’s trip, I thought that on the day I left Cypress, I might just give myself a cruise-y day: I’d pack up in a le ..read more
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Here, Kitty Kitty (or, There’s Lions in Them Thar Hills) – Cypress Hills, June 8-18, 2023
Una chica y su caballo
by SHA
11M ago
A coupla weeks ago, I started to write a post entitled “The Beginning of the End?” because that’s how Road Trip 2023 was looking to me. Pai’s various medical issues were seeing me set off with a horse who wasn’t going to be up to tackling those South Saskatchewan hills, a horse who now came complete with a meds list that would rival the pharmaceutical stash of a live-fast, die-young rock star itching to get hopped up and trash some $1200/night hotel room. But that post was depressing to write, and was depressingly boring to read. So scrap that. Let’s talk about cougars instead. Back in 2015, o ..read more
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Winter is Coming: Pilot Butte-Maple Creek, October 22-25, 2022
Una chica y su caballo
by SHA
1y ago
Given that my home address is the temperate rainforest of Vancouver Island, more often than not, on my travels across Canada, I get taken for a chick who has lived her life blissfully unscathed by firsthand experience of Real Canadian Winter. And when you top off my lotus-land postal code with a shameless propensity for February Facebook posts that feature green grass and a whole lotta flowers, even people I’ve know for a couple of decades sometimes treat me like I was born and raised in the Canuckian version of the tropics. My Vancouver Island lawn in February, 2022 Dudes. I grew up wearing a ..read more
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My Road Leads into the Desert: Dryden-Spruce Woods, October 18-22, 2022
Una chica y su caballo
by SHA
1y ago
“It’s perfect: just when team penning ends for the summer, the fall trail riding season starts.” So said my new friend Kristen as we chatted about all things horse while camping at Spruce Woods Provincial Park in Manitoba. It was the first time I had ever considered trail riding to be a primarily autumnal activity, but in this neck of the woods, it made sense: once the weather turns its thoughts to winter, the bugs tend to get out of Dodge. And the Spruce Woods bugs are legend – when I’d originally been told about the equestrian camp there, I’d been forewarned: DO NOT GO IN SUMMER. In that buz ..read more
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