Sunday, 24 May 2015

Newmarket Break

After a couple of hours travelling on the morning of Tuesday May 19th we left the Trans Canada Trail to cut across country towards Sharon near Newmarket (just outside Toronto), initially on gravel roads..
Besides the modern rail fence shown in the above photo, it is quite common to see traditional split rail fences in this part of Canada.  The type below with rails between double posts is popular but can only be used where the soil cover is deep enough to drive in posts ....

  but one also sees the types shown below with rails supported by braced posts ...
..or built up in a zig-zag pattern.
These styles can be used where a rocky surface with thin or non existent soil cover means posts cannot be driven into the ground. 
A cool breezy day meant we covered over 40 kms to Zephyr quite easily.  Following advice from a young man I talked to (thank you Dale!) I found myself staying at with former educationalists Jay and Jean Hooper at their beautiful house with stunning interior design and an insect free stall in a spacious barn for Lady. 
Wednesday May 20th The last 30 kilometres to Sharon were mainly on metalled roads, but with Jean's help we planned out a relatively traffic free route..
Sign outside a garden centre near Sharon..
I had arranged to stay in Sharon for a few days at the lovely Quaker home of Russell and Darlene Morton, which unfortunately is due to be demolished when the area is redeveloped due to Toronto urban sprawl. .
The irrepressible Darlene is a fellow Welsh pony breeder (see Morton Stables) and had been expecting me since I contacted her about two years ago!  I had a very busy three days off, hiring a car to move my surplus baggage from Ottawa, dealing with media commitments, having my unruly mop of hair cut, trying to catch up with my blog, and planning the next stage as on Darlene's advice I had decided to cross into the USA at Sarnia-Port Huron  rather than Windsor-Detroit.  But Russell kept me fortified with his wonderful breakfast pancakes with maple syrup, and son Ray rather rashly let me have a go with his driving ponies....
The farrier also came to fit Lady with new shoes
..and at my request he welded borium onto the undersurface. 
Hard wearing borium not only provides better grip on slippery surfaces, but can considerably prolong shoe life. Lady had been through two sets of shoes since I started from Trois Rivieres as the farriers I used did not have a borium supply readily available, but hopefully this would mean the set of shoes would take me a lot further. (P.S They got me to Chicago!)
My one regret was that I never really had time to look properly round Darlene's lovely ponies, with which she has had considerable success.  She has imported many Welsh and British riding ponies over the years, and I was able to see their impressive Section B stallion Stockham Commander, who was imported from the UK stud of mutual friends the Fillinghams. Unfortunately their beloved imported stallion Rhoson Pasiant has only recently passed away.
From left to right - Darlene, grandson Hunter, Russell, daughter Angie.
Many thanks for providing a base and lots of help and support not to mention laughs!

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