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Siblings continuing horseback trip across Canada
Jewel and Katie Keca, 18 and 23 respectively, with their horses Ora (left) and Lux (right). The sisters and their brother Joseph are riding across Canada to fulfill their lifelong dream and also to raise money for guide dogs.
DIGBY, NS – It’s been nearly a month since siblings Katie, Jewel and Joseph Keca passed through Digby on their cross-Canada horseback riding trip.
The siblings took the Saint John ferry across to New Brunswick and are now in Quebec in a town called Rivière Ouelle.
They say much has changed since they were last in Nova Scotia.
“We’ve definitely been doing a lot more camping than when we were in Digby,” said Katie.
The sisters found people to stay with when they were in Digby and say while finding other connections further west has been tougher, they don’t mind the change.
“We actually don’t mind roughing it. I really enjoy the alone time – it’s good to reflect, read a book and take some time to ourselves,” said Katie.
The hard road ahead
The biggest challenge has been finding food for themselves and their horses.
“It’s been getting harder to arrange for food the further west we go. Everything feels bigger here, and towns are further apart,” said Katie.
Jewel agreed and mentioned another issue the girls have faced: motorists.
“People don’t always move over for us. Some people even think it’s funny to scare the horses, when it’s obviously not,” she said.
The horses also had formed saddle sores, but Katie said these have started to heal and that the horses’ coats are growing back nicely.
Vet checks for the horses continue to happen and are easily arranged, a nice surprise to the sisters who’ve always maintained their horses’ health is the biggest priority.
“The vet said Lux and Ora are in really good condition for 39 days on the road. That was a good feeling for us,” said Katie.
Kečing it on camera
Nothing has impacted the trio’s resolve to continue their trip.
Joseph has decided to stay with his sisters for the entire length of the trek and is photographing and filming content along the way to hopefully compile into a documentary.
“It’s going to be really cool to see what we can do with it. We’d love to create a really solid, artistic piece,” said Katie.
Missing Nova Scotia
The landscape isn’t the only thing that’s changed since Nova Scotia, according to the girls.
Katie said the language barrier has been tough getting used to, but that they’re managing, even remembering the French they learned in school.
They’ve also noticed a slight change in attitude toward their trip. While people were incredibly supportive and inspired in Nova Scotia, the support has waned slightly the further west they travel.
“We’re still making connections with some people, but things are farther apart here and people are just a little less interested,” said Katie.
“It definitely makes us miss Nova Scotia.”
Their next big stop is Quebec City, where they’ll ride over the bridge on horseback into the city.
“It’s going to be a big moment for us,” said Katie.