Winter Horse Races

Winter Horse Races

Hail Brave hearts

Enjoy the best, the wilds of winter put us to the test.  It’s dog sledding and snow shoes, skis and skates.  It’s winter camping and bonfires, with marshmallows and  hot chocolate.  It’s fireside in the cabin, cozy and warm, it’s darkness and quiet and wild winter storms.  The winter, at it’s best is the season of chill, with ice, frost, snow and wild winter storms to combat.  The fireside beckons, it calls us to be warm, come into this fine cabin to avoid the winter’s storm.  The cold winter’s icy blast, it makes our hearts sing, to have another snowfall, we’re blessed with these fun things.

Another invention, of horses and riders, take us back to our history of early colonial times.  A Quebec invention, horses, they say, becomes a competition of horse races in the winter.  Ride, you awesome champions, skilled and daring, mount your fine steeds for a flight along the icy river.  A unique experience in horsemanship and breeding, the new stock of racehorse was a special adaptation that kept it’s footing on the ice of the river.  A gaming day, to enjoy the sport, pull up your chair in minus temperatures and spend the day outside enjoying the show.

It’s early colonial times in Quebec, but this is Canada, after all.  Making the most of what life gives us, chilly cold, snow, ice and fun and the adventure of it all.

To be in a colony, so far away, from a homeland so remote, it lives in yesterday.  The future is dependent on the survival skills of all, fight off the loneliness, the questions, the gloom of despair.  Come out of your lodging, bring your chair.  Have fun in the winter, dress warmly and with layers.  Come out and enjoy this, we love it this way, with horses and snow and ice and sleigh.  Come sing, with high spirits, chase off the dark.  Enjoy this day of racing, gaming, and fun in the winter.

http://www.walkerswest.com/History/CanadianPacer.htm

The cold, the isolation, the small numbers of people, but tireless energy and determination to survive, to win at the odds of feeling cast aside.  Gather together, all you peoples, in community and spirit, chase away the dangers of illness and fear.  The numbers are still small, but we’re getting used to our lives, of hardship, deprivation, thrift and careful counting.  Make sure your larder will last until the next harvest.

Inventions are a must,  stretch your minds.  Think of something new, to make us better people.  We’re changing out here in a colony so rustic.  We’re becoming a people of our own.

Don’t look back, look forward, prepare and plan.  Become the genius we all know you can.  Invent the horse, play games anyway, invent your recipes, plan your stay.  The colony is forever, we can’t give it up, so make the most of it, live well, drink from this cup.  It’s a warm winter’s day, time for some fun, head off to the river to enjoy the race.

Written by Dr. Louise Hayes

February 21, 2018

Heavenly New Year

Heavenly New Year

Hail Brave hearts

Joy to you, in this awesome new year.  A year of hopes and dreams to fill.  Good luck to you with all of your plans, resolutions and pursuits.  The new year is upon us and it is with smiles that we carry on.  A warm winters day, a fun filled way to adventure.  Skating and skiing and joy in participation.  The easy relaxation of family and friends, social gatherings,  companionship and fellowship.  A new day, a new year, everything hopeful, bright with cheer.  In like a lamb, the new year is pleasing, warm and sunny, not bone chilling and freezing.  It’s wintertime, snowy and dark, but for us, this is outstanding.  Just cold enough to  keep the bears in hibernation, they sleep in their dens, and pass this season away.

The deep chill of Christmastime designed to keep you cooking, is now followed by the joy of the new year.  Smugly we skate, the ice is superb, tobogganing later is just what we need.  We fill our thermos with tea or soup and spend glorious hours in sun soaked snow pits.  A winter tan, sun screen is a must, the slopes call us to linger at the top of a mountain, enjoying a view that’s quite a climb in the summer.  We glide effortlessly out to the middle of a lake, to take the photos that we rarely see in the summer.  It’s a joy, this winter of blowing, biting snow.  We love it this way, winter wonderland don’t go.  Not yet.

https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/canada/articles/the-most-romantic-honeymoon-destinations-in-canada/

Not yet, in this dead time of winters darkest nights, with dazzling bright stars to guide us at night.  Don’t pass yet, as we wander with snowshoes in hand, to take on a river, impossible at other times.  The snow, the ice, the cold all help us, to explore the great wild at a time when the animals are less dangerous.  They lay and watch us, but no one is mating, the call of a championship duel is no longer heard.  Silenced are the males, their courtship has ended and now quiet in winter with snow softly falling, we strap on our snowshoes to tackle the trail.  The endless white beauty, of the soft winter snow, the clear, chilly air, that makes it all possible.  At the best of times it’s nothing but play and we know that when the storms come, they send snow our way.

It’s joy to us, we sing the praises of this season.  Smiles, hot chocolate, winter gear and cold.  It’s just what we wanted.  Go up to the skihill for a day of fresh air.  The northern lights are streaming, they fill up the sky, with a wonder so stunning, it captures our eyes.  Brilliant displays of colors in heaven, so fascinating and captivating.   The stars shine brightly, the moon is full, put on your headlamps and go out for an evening skate.  The temperatures are mild, only -10 and the hour of exercise is relaxing and pleasant.  Surprisingly, we had company that night, families with children in sleighs and on skates.  The fire was burning, a warm place to rest.  It’s wintertime and it’s warm out, this is the best.

written by Dr. Louse Hayes

January 3, 2018

The Horse Drawn Sleigh

Hail brave hearts

From long ago, in our glorious past, a sled was born, to slide the winter blues away.  No more trudging through the snow, the sleigh gave birth to a new kind of day.  Winter wonderland once more, the land was conquered by man and animal.  Teams of horses, teams of dogs, led the way across the snow.  The brilliant, glittery, fluffy stuff is part of our fun filled days.  Oh for a ride on a horse, but instead an open sleigh.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sled

A team of powerful animals, groomed and trained in draft, quickly become our glorious present, from an inspiring past.  The sleigh will take you places that you always want to go.  Mostly over hill and dale and always through the snow.  This romantic lifestyle beacons to us, come to join the ride.  A wagon in the summer, in winter  a sleigh to rush and glide.  The winter is upon us, a favorite of seasons no doubt.  Along the windy, snowy path, the horses and the sled pull out.  The jingle of the bells, their harness is gleaming with polish.  We hear their music in the air and smile and run to the road.  A wave at the passing sleigh, filled with tourists delighting their day.  A pleasant reminder of days gone by, when horse and sleigh were the mode of transportation.   Now in the eve of wintertime, when the solstice quietly passes.  The winter is here already, get out and join the masses.

 

 

 written by Dr. Louise Hayes
December 22, 2017
A Man’s Best Friend

A Man’s Best Friend

Hail brave hearts.

Your company is here!  Fast and furry, friendly and happy, this is your very best friend.  Your dog is your companion for life.  Easy to care for, easy to please, all they want is a warm home, to be fed, and to be included in all of your life.  We have nurtured the companionship of dogs for a long, long time.

A trainable friend, a fiercely loyal companion, a lovable pet, your dog is a strongly supportive part of your life and your family.  Train him to do whatever he can, fetch a ball, play with sticks, swim in the lake, take a walk, guard the premises, guard you, pull your sleigh, be your business, own the  company, take him wherever you can.  This is not just a pet, this is a big part of the family.  This is the pet that can be your eyes, alert you to danger, pull you to safety.  This is the pet that can be trained to be a working dog, taking care of the disabled, protecting the property, protecting the people.  This is the pet that lives for you, you are all of his life and it can be a wonderfully fulfilling time of mutual companionship.  Take the dog for a walk, to play in the park, to stroll down the street, to meet your friends.  This is an important part of his day.  A little fresh air, some exercise, the walk will do  both of you some good.

Dogs are with us in history, helping us to build a nation.  Sled dogs carrying people and supplies, opening trade and transportation routes, bringing people together in a sparsely populated country, where no roads had gone before.  Great explorers like David Thompson, used the sled dog to carry him across the country,  adventuring and exploring along the way.

 

 

Train the dog to be a part of a team, pulling the sled, running for joy.  Most dogs welcome the activity of a good run and the dog team is a companion sport, dogs and humans in the cold winter time, speeding across the countryside together in a sleigh.  It’s an age old sport of Canadian history.  Run the dog team to an adventure, to exploration, to connect to one another.  It’s an unusual and clever idea, to hitch a dog to the sleigh, run him over to the neighbors farm, over hill and over dale, running through the snow.  The fast, light dogs enjoy this too.  They can run for hours through the snow.  Winter coats and hats, boots and pants, pull on your warm attire.  The season of winter fun is here.

This is a sport that you might want to try, just to experience the historical culture of the nation.  Imagine being the master of a dog team, sliding along in the wintry chill, sled piled high with trading goods, to sell at your next stop.  How far will it be today?  20 kilometers only, or maybe an all day stint, rushing through the forest, sliding across the lake, the trade routes are open, come out all of you, to experience the skills  that a life like this  would take.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

December 17, 2017

It’s Hockey Time

It’s Hockey Time

Hail Bravehearts

Now is the time, when you’re young and free, a time to learn a skill and a time to play.  This is the time of your life.  An adventure is here, it’s waiting for you, an all Canadian sport that is precious to us.  Play!  For the time of your life, play!  The great Canadian wild beacons to us, the ice is here, it’s strong enough, grab your skates, your hockey sticks, a proud sports hero might come of this.  Play!  The air is chilly the ice is thick, the ducks have flown and the quiet of winter is calling to us.  The world has changed in this frigid climate, the bears are denned, the dear retreat, the goose have flown and soon the snow will pile high.  Now is the time for ice skating on the lakes, hockey and fun, chilly with hot chocolate on a chilly fall day, refreshing and cool, we can play for hours in this quiet pre-Christmas time.

Each season has it specialties, but the month of November is so underrated.  The doldrums of grey, which is not yet winter, but cold and dreary.  The trees have dropped their leaves, the harvest is in, the pantry is full and the feast is over.   Snow is in the mountains now, with rain in the valley, but freezing overnight, to keep the ice solid.  It’s the early season start to a great Canadian winter.  Still warm enough for lighter coats, but chilly enough for snow.  It’s a time for baking and winter shopping, Christmas is coming and find a tree.  November is grey, but the ice is here,bringing it’s winter sports to us in an exciting and refreshing and spirited way.

On these chilly autumn days, when the ice is clear, you can see to the bottom of the lake, to view the lake foliage, sometime swimming fish, sand, rocks and weeds.  A new perspective  or a simple pleasure, ice skating is a superb pastime for sport and fun.  It’s early in life that we learn these skills, how to skate, pass a puck, hold a hockey stick,be a part of a team.  That’s it!  Be a part of a team!

Come out all of you, come out to play, the frost and the ice are calling you.  Bring your helmets and your skates, we need you for the team.  From the time that you were a little tot the ice has called your name.  The outdoor skating rink is one of winter’s finest feats of sporting pleasure.  To glide on the ice, to try tricks and spins, to enjoy the company of friends and family.  This cool dreary November has become a dazzling delight, of fresh fallen snow, ice and sport, hockey and friends.

We move with ease from one season to another, each with it’s great outdoor specialties and indoor charm.  We’re thrilled with the enthusiasm for the November chill, it only gets better from here.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

November 26, 2017

The Great White Mountains

The Great White Mountains

Hail Bravehearts

It is with great pleasure that this winter is warm and snowy, and that it brings us sport.  Fabulous pleasure, a great day for a ski.  Downhill skiing is the easiest sport in the world.

The balmy mountain weather hovers above -10.  A warm, sunny February, brings us out of our snug homes, to smile and greet yet another sunny day.  Stay home this winter, no need to travel south.  As the snow birds fly away each year, to sunny summer climates, in the warm tropics, those hearty winter lovers, stay home, for the delightful winters time.  Peace to us all.  This is a great one.

The drive to find snow, this year, has made this an easy, more carefree year.  The pussy willows are out, a sapling in a warm spot has started to bud,  the snow melts on the sidewalks, energy bills plummet.  Global warming is a nuisance. It brings too much cold in the East and fabulous, warm, sunny skies in the West.

A day on the slopes, warm enough to stay out all day!  Our weekly snowshoe day has taken us on excursions to find that soft fluffy snow. We lather on sunscreen and snowshoe in our shirts.  Too warm for winter coats.  The birds sing to us as we pass and flocks gather in the trees.

It’s beautiful and warm and a day on the ski hill is just so easy.  No frostbite, no frozen cheeks, no frost beards, or icicle eyelashes.  No chalet skiing, from days too cold to stay outside.  No complaints of frozen toes and frozen fingers, too long in food lines and too long drinking hot chocolate.  The warm winter weather gives us a boost of excitement. We can play outside in the snow!

I push off from my spot at the top of the mountain and fly down my usual terrain.  Easy, easy, it’s just so exhilarating. After thirty years of this, skiing is easier than walking.  The mountain is so familiar, I know these runs well. Perfectly groomed, all the holes have been patched and we compliment the groomers on yet another year of snow moving, that makes the mountain more enjoyable and less dangerous.  No slipping over rocks and crashing down the hill.  No entanglements with saplings as they catch your skis.  No snow monsters or snow snakes, tripping you on your way.  No, this is just perfect.  It’s a perfect day for a ski.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilRI4zKoBPo  extreme skiing

Global warming has it’s drawbacks, we gloat to one another, as the snow is starting to fall.  Our winter wonderland of fluffy white stuff is now a drive away.  Smiles and nods as the weather is co-operative.  The roads are open. Tourists flock to us and fill our town.  Trapped.

I know that the joy of today, is the doom of tomorrow, as our glaciers are slipping away.  As yet another natural wonder crashes off the mountain, and our water supply is threatened. That harsh reality will rear it’s head again this summer.  But for now, push off that mountain and glide your way along those dreamy snow covered slopes.  Fill your mind with winter.  Winter fun and winter play and how much we still adore it.

Written by Dr. Louise Hayes

March 2, 2016

Own The Game

Own The Game

Hail, all you brave ones.

The time is near.  Your path is chosen.  Your team is ready.  Skills and knowledge, trust and harmony, experience and expertise.  The team is everything.  Team building is a skill and a goal in itself.  A strong, directed team, with knowledgeable leadership can achieve insurmountable tasks.  Focus and dedication, building those skills, training and development, nurture and care.  The inexperienced can learn, their energy and enthusiasm helps to drive the team forward.  Push yourselves, the goal is in sight.

That small step of a minor achievement, when the course was finished and a new skill achieved.  Now this!  On to that path.  The goal of your dreams, the impossible dream.  That single, small step, to earth moving potential and striving for success.  Concentrate on the goal.  Step by step, follow that path. Don’t give it up.  This is the adventure of your life.

Choose well, oh brave ones, there are many paths.  The straight, the narrow, the high, the low, each with challenges, obstacles and pitfalls.  Clues to success glitter in the corner of your eye.  Whisperings of sweetness echos in your ears. The chalk on the board draws your attention.  Learn your lessons well. The time spent on nurturing a fine aptitude gives you the knowledge you need for your life.  Don’t let this pass.  You must achieve it.  The road becomes narrow, there are dead ends, circles and confusion.  Time passes, it doesn’t stand still and your aptitude must be nourished for it to flourish.

Your fortitude is with your comrades.  Strength to you.  A trusted system of mutual support and life skills, building knowledge, courage and your team. A trusted team of mutual respect, connectivity and sharing.  Educate and learn, trial and error, practice, practice, practice, you will get it right.  Devotion to your cause and focus.

The game has already started, it’s been playing out forever.  Mentors line the walls to help.  Each with skills  and wisdom to impart.  Nothing changes, this is the game.

Climb on board, you winning team, handpicked for your expertise.  It is your time, your armour shines, the spotlight sees you, the crowds cheer.  Achieve it, oh almighty ones!  To victory, to eternity.  This is your day, your hour, your second.  All of your life’s work comes down to this moment.  The moment that you dream for, that you risked it all for, that you dared for.

Now, in that imperceptible moment, when your mind is sharp and the world stands still, quietly waiting for you.  Now we know who you are, your name and your game.  All that you’ve trained for, all that you’ve worked for, all that you have ever been.  Now you, and the merit of your team, will be counted.

written by Dr, Louise Hayes

February 2, 2016

Those Snow Bridges

Those Snow Bridges

Good Day Bravehearts

The world is welcoming you to this brave new day. A blanket of snow lies covering the earth and the sounds of silence are echoing in our ears. Silence, quiet, peace. The calm of the snow in the dead of winter, where all of the world lies in peaceful dreaming.
Hello! It’s playtime now!
The sidewalks are shoveled. The snow is piled high in deep drifts. The snow plows have worked steadily to clear the roads and traffic is still at a minimum. This awesome day is upon us. Grab your skis before it’s gone, this winter won’t last forever!
The gently falling snow, swirls in large flakes and keeps us shoveling. Up on the ski hill the flat light, keeps us cautious. Picking our way down the familiar runs, twisting and turning and flying like birds. The fabulous rush of the ease of this sport, downhill skiing is just plain fun. Such a nice day and there’s no one around but us.
The joy of a remote place, like a wilderness setting in Canada, is that we have all of the fun.
The rushing, open waters greeted us as we went snowshoeing last week. Snow bridges over open rivers, opening up caverns of cold, icy holes for us to fall into. Down we went, one by one, into the drink. Struggling now to pull ourselves out as our patient companions watch helplessly by. Encouraging words, laughter and abuse, battered and bruised, but onward and onward we brave stalwarts persisted. Up the creek, up the creek, to nowhere. It’s just another afternoon outing into the great outdoors! A chance that we can’t miss, for a warm spell is coming and we’ll loose all of this precious snow.
So although the creek is not at it’s frozen best, we go anyway. The warm winter has left us no, choice. It is wintertime and winter fun is here and we’re going out to play.
The groundhog saw his shadow, of course, he always does. Another bout of stormy weather, more snow, more skiing, more snowballs, snowmen and angels. More shoveling and icy drives, treacherous really, but we’re happy today, in our warm cozy homes. Happy for the winter, the snow and the sports.
Global warming is a curse to us. The warming trends are comfortable. Warm winter full of snow, The icy chill is abating and we can easily go out to play for hours without the threat of frostbite, to curb our healthy habits. The windchill that plunges us into the deep freeze is passing and with it the dangers of freezing skin. This is a good thing, but there are other results. Open water that should be frozen, freeze and thaw, freeze and thaw, pushing the frost further into the ground. This creates conditions of uncertainty with some of our favorite past times. Avalanche hazards, melting snow, thin ice, caution, beware.
This is the dead of winter, when the cold is at it’s chilliest, but those rivers aren’t frozen yet. Beware!
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
February 8, 2015

Dream of Peace

Dream of Peace

Good Day, you Awesome Human!

Splendid day. Warm and snowy. The birds are singing gaily from their roosts. The elk lie in the meadows, relatively calm, after a long autumn of elk battles and rutting. The peaceful does with wombs full of the promise of another successful spring of calving. The big horn sheep, also resting, caring for the silent burden of their soon to be offspring.
The great wild! The drama of the wild as it plays out its role, in the never ending cycle of creation. Born to this place, the wild entices us, with its riches of spectacular views, muscle strengthening climbs, varieties of lifeforms and the gift of providing us with natural wonder to explore.
A peek into this place, of grand beauty and grand design, which fills out hearts and souls with wonder. Oh mighty planet, to give us this gift, from a highway, cut through the mountains. Those of us who have time, will exert ourselves more and climb to a pinnacle on a well traveled trail, for a look at what lies on the other side. A steep bit of climbing, a scramble, an effort, but where it takes us is to the grand view of the wild. A view of what lies on the other side of that mountain range. More forests and rivers, cascading waterfalls, animal tracks, mountains and valleys to explore. We are the hungry. We thirst for more and more. Show us your splendor, oh great planet earth, as we strive to reach your mountain tops and intrude into the land of your wildlife, to photograph those elusive species, and brag.
The world turns for us, on these snow covered days, as we strap on snowshoes and venture out to play. A daunting world of snow and ice, but for us to trudge through, a winter’s delight. Animal tracks. There’s plenty of life in this snow covered domain, but no one shows their faces today. Instead, it’s us, joining the tracks in the snow, plodding and chatting and breaking trail. These small few hours of exertion, to remind us of by gone days and years of exploration, as the well traveled adventurer set off to discover this new land. Tracks of snowshoes in the forests, tracks along the winding creek. An easy day of healthful activity, to fill our lungs with pure, clean air, to strengthen our bodies and refresh our minds.
The luck of an easy day of refreshing activity. The joy of adventure into the quiet winters solitude. A brush with nature as she plays out her part. The wild calls us and the wild whispers. Save us, oh mighty ones. Don’t plunder here. Spare us from the weapons of mass destruction and a world of madness and we will give you the peace of a quiet winter’s day, with snow on the mountains and the crisp, crunchy snow beneath your feet.
Let this stand of the earth be your playground, oh great ones, and may you forever venture into the wild and breathe.
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
January 19, 2015

Those Grey Days

Those Grey Days

Good Day Bravehearts.

Welcome to this bleak, wintry, grey day.
Get out your snow shovels and start working. It’s the crack of dawn at 8 am and the weather is socked in for the long haul. Pull on your boots, your warm mittens, coat and hat and with shovel in hand,start your day off right,with a little vigorous exercise.
The cool wind blows damp flakes into your face. Your hair and eyelashes freeze. Your damp breath creates a fog around you and the shovel slides a few inches in the ever accumulating snow.
Paradise! This is what winter is all about.
While we lay dreaming in our snug, warm beds, the soft, wintry white stuff was falling gently outside. Swirling flakes of powder to hide the frozen ground. A winter wonderland of snow covered land to entice us outside to play. The shoveling continues and the path to the road is nearly complete. We’ll be doing this a few times today, as our spirits start to soar, with the possibilities that this climate presents. It will have to stop snowing soon and then we go out to play.
For us, the fabulous cold, is not a harsh, dreadful climate, but rather a change of life. A new joy of living. A chance for a new adventure. The snow presents a new challenge in sport and fun. For us, this is awesome. It’s not all that cold, and snow is fun. Joy! for what this season brings. Strap on your skates, your skis or snow shoes, pull on you boots and build a snowman, drag your sleigh or toboggan to the hill, pile up your defenses for a snow ball fight and smile. The cold, frosty, white north, is a superb play land. When this snowfall lets up, we’ll be raring to go, for we pride ourselves in the skills of these sports. What was once survival, is now a calling. Come on out of your houses and enjoy this day!
The raw elements burn our cheeks and the fresh, crisp, cold enhances our complexions. Rosy cheeks and rosy glow. Beneath layers of insulating fabric, our bodies remain warm against the chill and the adventure of the day starts to begin.
Now, as the flakes are piling up again and the seemingly endless task of digging ourselves out of the house resumes, the exercise bike and barbells lay in wait, as our strengthening task becomes the monotonous shovel, shovel. Will it end? Not until spring. And thankfully, spring is a way off, months of endless winter play away.
The barbells and weight rooms lay in wait for us as we gladly clear our path to the road. The temperature is a balmy -12. Warm enough to be outside for hours.
Now is the season for those much desired national past times. We put on our hats and coats with pleasure and slip into the peacetime of winter escapes, winter sport and winter fun.
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
January 7, 2015