Sunday, October 14, 2007


It seems as if it was just yesterday that my sister and I started Horse of the Week back in 2005. We are not religious people, but we do believe in destiny when it involves horses. One day a few weeks ago, I wondered if we'd ever run out of horses for our Horse of the Week site. After a count of all these past equines, I realized, to my surprise, that we were fast approaching our 100th horse! Janet and I agreed that this was indeed an important occasion and the horse we chose for that week would have to be very special. As destiny would prevail, my sister and her husband happened to be on a short holiday on Manitoulin Island, in Lake Huron, Ontario.

While visiting an art gallery in Gore Bay, Janet learned of the unique horses owned by artist, calligrapher and author Lynne Gerard and her husband Kevin. After hearing of my sister's wonderful visit to the island, and the intriguing horses of Ravenseyrie Farm, I was soon corresponding with Lynne by email.
It didn't take much convincing to get my husband on board as he had always wanted to visit Manitoulin Island. It is well known for it's beautiful landscapes, waterfronts, dark skies and abundant nature. We made plans to visit on Thanksgiving weekend. We arrived in Gore Bay on a Thursday night just as the sun was setting. We had booked into a waterfront lodge and were welcomed by a beautiful deer standing beside the entrance drive.

The night sky was breathtaking! The milky way was as clear as I've ever seen it, due to a welcome lack of light pollution on the island. We made it an early night as we were to be at Ravenseyrie by 7 am, to meet the horses at the first light of dawn.

Lynne and Kevin welcomed my husband and I as if we had always been good friends. The greetings continued as the "pack" of dogs was released (only 4 I soon realized), various cats, and 2 geese which weren't quite as welcoming as we had obviously disrupted their feeding time. At last, there at the fence ready to have their morning feed and social time with their people, were the 4 distinct Grulla coloured horses, including Altamiro, the Sorraia stallion I had journeyed from Orillia to see. To add to this magical morning in the fields surrounding us a surreal table of fog was rising, moving fluidly in waves like a huge silk scarf blowing in the wind.

I spent the better part of the morning following and photographing the herd, which also included 3 impressive draft mules, an Arabian and a thoroughbred, through their daily roamings across 260 plus acres of field and forest. It was a very special day and I thank Lynne and Kevin for allowing me to visit with and photograph these special horses.