Sara Whetung, BA Native Historian & Equestrian Specialist
Sara is a unique asset to Hillside Stables. Sara’s father's family is Anishinaabe (Ojibway) from Curve Lake, Ontario. Her mother's family is Algonquin (Ojibway) from Golden Lake, Ontario. Both of these Ojibway groups are part of the Algonkian language family known as the Ojibwe. In the 1950’s, Sara’s father’s family enfranchised off reserve (gave up their rights to status) and moved to Stoney Lake, becoming one of the most successful Native families in the area. In fact, the Whetungs are famous for helping the settlers learn to navigate Canadian winters. Sara's upbringing was stoked in native culture, and she is one of the few young people in the area who speak the Ojibwe language. Sara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Indignenous Studies from Trent University. Sara currently studies at Fleming College to become a Personal Support Worker with eventual hopes of working with individuals in northern Aboriginal communities.
Sara began riding horses at the age of 7. She is trained in all disciplines of riding and has competed in hunter/jumper classes and dressage up to the Grand Prix level. Sara has a very spiritual approach to horsemanship which allows her to develop a unique bond with the animals. She has successfully gentled, trained and re-homed many horses that were thought to be hopeless.
As Hillside Stables riding coach and trainer, she works with the rider and the horse to develop a bond of trust and respect.
Rebecca Armstrong, BA Owner & Artistic Director
Rebecca is the visionary behind Hillside Stables. She grew up on a small dairy farm in Southern Ontario so agriculture is in her blood. Rebecca holds a degree in English Literature and Dance from the University of Waterloo. Her career ended when her boss raped her and her company chose to take his side. After that she got a Degree in Criminology and Justice/Forensic psychology from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Most of her career was spent in marketing and advertising but she has also working in Victim Services, Social Housing and is a certified yoga instructor. She was victimized through her past job and their lawyers. So as a survivor of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Rebecca is abundantly aware of the challenges faced by those who have suffered trauma and/or been victimized. She carefully chose the location of Hillside Stables to ensure serenity, quiet and solitude for her guests. Aside from the occasional airplane or farm tractor, the only noise at Hillside is birds, bees, horses, cows and hounds.
All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players;
A true horseman does not look at the horse with his eyes, he looks at his horse with his heart. ~ Author Unknown
Clay Craig Property Maintenance & Events
Clay is a Fenelon Falls local, who has been with Hillside Stables since the beginning. He mends fences, builds gates, chases horses, cuts grass, controls crowds, picks-up supplies, shovels manure, fixes toilets, clears trails, cuts wood, weeds gardens, shovels snow......
As seen in the photo, he also endures torment. Clay is an asset and a mainstay to the operation. Without him we would literally and structurally fall apart.
In Hobbit Land we refrain from doing things that are contrary to nature. Everything is allowed to do what it naturally does, so that it’s true nature will be satisfied. Life becomes spontaneous and is spiced with serendipity and synchronicity – chop firewood, draw water, eat when hungry and sleep when tired. We become what we were from the beginning and transcend concepts and categories.
- Hugh Morshead
Hugh Morshead Eco-Tourism and Sustainability Advisor
We are incredibly fortunate to have the guidance of Hugh Morshead. Hugh is a graduate of Sir Sanford Flemming’s School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, with a specialty in Outdoor Adventure. He is a published author, a world traveller and an expert in sustainable living. With Hugh’s knowledge and expertise, we are building our trail system and our completely self-sustaining Hobbit House. In fact, Hugh is the closest thing to an actual Hobbit you will find on this world. Please look at Hugh’s blog to find out a million interesting things.