Rock­ing the vibe at Rock­ing Horse Ranch

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton - Cindy MacRae Baddeck Buzz

Colum­nist Cindy MacRae says vis­i­tors to Rock­ing Horse Ranch can soon med­i­tate with horses.

Vis­i­tors to Rock­ing Horse Ranch and An­i­mal Res­cue in Big Baddeck will find some­thing new on the farm this fall. It’s called ”Med­i­ta­tion With Horses.”

Owner Dale Stone says it’s an at­tempt to take the ranch in a new direction and re-con­nect with the things she loves about be­ing around horses.

“It will help me and the horses,” she says.

The first ses­sion on July 30 was pub­li­cized on Face­book and all 20 seats sold out within 24 hours. For a fee of $25 peo­ple from as far away as Syd­ney and In­ver­ness County got the chance to med­i­tate to­gether, sit­ting in a big cir­cle in the mid­dle of the barn.

In the mid­dle of it all stood Jenny, a 23 year old Ara­bian/ Bel­gian mix (who has ac­tu­ally been res­cued twice by Stone) qui­etly munch­ing on some hay. Jenny acted as a fo­cal point for ev­ery­one, as they were led through a 25 minute ses­sion by lo­cal yoga and med­i­ta­tion teacher Danielle Bryson.

Jenny lum­bered off to check out the re­fresh­ments in the mid­dle of the ses­sion and then me­an­dered back to the cir­cle for the clos­ing mantra, which seemed like an odd co­in­ci­dence.

The youngest per­son tak­ing part in the med­i­ta­tion was 16-year-old Leanne Mac­Don­ald of West Side Mid­dle River. A long­time horse lover, Leanne is al­ready very at home at the ranch but med­i­ta­tion was a first for her. She de­scribed the ex­pe­ri­ence as “very cool” and said she was even able to see “dif­fer­ent col­ors” dur­ing the process.

Stone plans to do the ses­sions on a reg­u­lar ba­sis as part of an ef­fort to raise money for the res­cue as well as feed the grow­ing mar­ket for spir­i­tual heal­ing among us hu­mans. As she puts it, “We close up. An­i­mals let go and move on.”

Sum­mer fun for kids equals much needed child care for par­ents

The shiny new Bras d’Or Lakes Day Camp got off to a fly­ing start af­ter some lo­cal par­ents got to­gether this spring to ad­dress the on­go­ing short­age of child­care op­tions, which can be par­tic­u­larly acute in the sum­mer. With some fund­ing from Vic­to­ria County, they formed a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, hired a co-or­di­na­tor along with sum­mer coun­selors and were up and run­ning by July.

Board mem­ber Carolyn Bar­ber says there are at least 15 chil­dren at­tend­ing ev­ery week of the eight week pi­lot pro­gram, with room for more. The fee per child is $75 a week and chil­dren are able to drop in and out weekly, de­pend­ing on the par­ents need for the sum­mer.

The camp op­er­ates out of Baddeck Academy and The Vic­to­ria High­land Civic Cen­tre. Bar­ber says the goal is “to ex­pose kids to as many ac­tiv­i­ties as pos­si­ble.”

They take part in sports, as well as arts and crafts and out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, have a work­shop ev­ery day, learn to cook their own meals us­ing fresh, lo­cal in­gre­di­ents and go on a field trip ev­ery Fri­day.

The coun­selors have CPR and first aid. Since they are all either nurs­ing or re­cre­ation stu­dents, board mem­ber Madison Green­ing says their sum­mer jobs also “build into their in­tended ca­reer paths.”

Board mem­bers un­der­take weekly de­brief­ing with the coun­selors to see what is work­ing and what might need to be changed or im­proved.

The ul­ti­mate goal is to even­tu­ally hire a full­time year round co-or­di­na­tor but for now at least, if you need care for a child be­tween the ages of five and 12 you have a great new op­tion. Check out the web­site at bras­dor­lakes­day­camps.word­ or find them on Face­book.

Cindy MacRae is a writer and men­tal health ad­vo­cate. She lives in Nyanza with one very cool mom and one mag­nif­i­cent mutt and can be reached at cindy­


Jenny, a 23 year old Bel­gian/Ara­bian mix and Dale Stone, owner of Rock­ing Horse Ranch and An­i­mal Res­cue, are shown at the re­cent “Med­i­ta­tion With Horses” event in Big Baddeck.

Mar­ga­ree’s Pey­ton Carmichael, right, of The Alexan­der Gra­ham Bell Foun­da­tion gives six year old Lyn­nea Pierro of Nyanza some point­ers dur­ing a re­cent nee­dle felt­ing work­shop at The Bras d’Or Lakes Day Camp in Baddeck.

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