Rocking the vibe at Rocking Horse Ranch
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.wordpress.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.