The Campfire

A crackling camp fire, friends, the moonlight – and a weekend riding horses every day.

That was what we did at Inukshuk Farm on the weekend of July 23 and 24th, 2022.

Our 25th anniversary celebration (1997-2022) at Inukshuk Farm included inviting a clinician, Jason Irwin of “Jason & Bronwyn Irwin Horsemanship” to come to our farm.  This spectacular team also tour the U.S. and Canada offering clinics, as well as starring in “The Horse Trainers TV Show” on The Cowboy Channel Canada and RFD-TV Canada.   At our farm, improving horsemanship is an ongoing part of our lifelong commitment to horses.  We all appreciated Jason bringing his problem-solving techniques to help each individual with their horse.  He covered a variety of topics including trailer loading, moving up to the mounting block, separation anxiety between horses, and taught a host of relaxation techniques to try out on anxious horses in the training ring, or out on the trail.  At the end of Day 1 everyone was tired (over 3 hours in the saddle over two sessions), but looking forward to a relaxing evening and to the beginning of Day 2!  

The best way to relax at the end of the day included, naturally, “the campfire”.  This was our way of celebrating with new friends and bringing the day to a close.  Jason Irwin was no longer just a horseman celebrity, but also a friend!

The campfire is generally a place to share memories, talk about our past, our hopes for the future, share jokes, poems and stories.  The smoke swirled in our faces, but it was relaxing and mesmerising as campfires usually are; with the smells of wood burning and the crackling sound that stimulates conversation making us feel safer and happier.  And then there was the marshmallows on sticks, and talk of the television series, “Yellowstone”.  What would a cowboy/girl weekend be without a serious discussion about the Dutton family on “Yellowstone”?


Later in the evening, as we put out the fire, and each person settled down into their tents for the night, awaiting the beginning of Day 2, the sound of coyotes with their yip-howls rising and falling in pitch was not alarmin – but rather like the lyrics of a nature song – a lullaby to sleep well and to end a perfect day.



Flames are horses



quickly over ash.

Sparks in dark

new horses gallop

manes and tails


Riding night

so strong

so bright

they canter into coal.

Leaving smoky cinders 


hoof prints

on my soul.

A poem written by 

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater.

Submitted by Janice Ecclestone, 

Inukshuk Farm