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.

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



Hail Bravehearts


Welcome to this glorious new day.  A step for you, in the right direction, can take you anywhere.

Your skills ,your education, your accumulated knowledge, your comrades, your team.  All locked together in this fight for success. Your ship awaits, climb aboard.  Take this first, irreversible step, and venture forth, to the great unknown.

It is not implausible, it’s been done before. Success was marginal, but imperative to try.  You must try, say the great masters, you must will yourselves to obey.  The command is difficult, but some must follow. Off to the colonies, oh brave pioneers.

The wind whispers in their hair.   Warm, gentle breezes, lift their spirits, the waves roll and rock the boat, the ocean smells of salt and sea water and ocean animals rise to the surface for a look at them.  Trespassers in the ocean of the great wild, passers by in this fragile ecosystem of sea.

Stand tall, almighty ones, your names are counted and your lives are engraved in the history of our frontier.  Stand tall on the deck, facing your future, do not look back, the past is gone and you will not return to it. Do not look back.  France, the most populated nation in Europe at the time, could only muster a few hundred brave souls to settle and populate a great land.  Build and settle, populate the land, negotiate and trade, farm and pioneer.  Not an easy task in a land so uncompromising.  Snow and cold, the bitter winter winds howl and scarce food sources decline.  But brave stalwarts are these who settle the land.  The peaceful and helpful natives give the support that they can, and forts and settlements emerge from the dark and forboding forest.

Light.  Light in the darkness of their days as the shadows recede and the sun can shine in. Light and hope.

As the summer fades and the long shadows of winter cling to the ground, hope will come to your rescue.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

February 11, 2016