One of the lead stories on the CBC news last night tells the story of the RCMP presenting Queen Elizabeth with a horse, formerly named Terror, now named George, after the Queen's late father. He is a very handsome horse, and the Queen looks well pleased with the gift, although this article appears to have reignited the old monarchy argument, and it seems as though not all Canadians are pleased that we have a Queen, let alone that we are giving her horses. I for one like history and tradition and am all in favour of retaining some of the pomp and circumstance of days gone by. I've been to London many times, but only once did I catch a glimpse of the Queen, at which point I did feel a special "warm" connection to Britain and the old gal. I never tire of visiting her many homes and museums. Good for tourism, that's for sure, and as they say, it's not always what you know, it's who you know - and I'm glad that we are in the Commonwealth. Inspired by the Queen and the RCMP, my mother and I stopped by the humble barn where I board my horse, (Sophie) at Valleyview Stables, a stone's throw away from Ste. Anne's. Sophie is very pregnant, due to give birth towards the end of June. Despite her extra tonnage, Sophie seemed to be in uncharacteristically good humour - I even got the sense that she was happy to see me (for a change). We had a bit of a nuzzle or a snuggle and then she resumed her habit of stall pacing while chewing on bits of hay. Valleyview runs a first class operation, with a collection of very fine mares, stallions, geldings and 2 friendly cats. Horses are such beautiful animals - so strong and powerful, and yet there is often a sadness in their eyes. I have stopped riding for the time being; for one thing my allergies usually act up after about an hour in the barn, and Sophie, once broken, was not a good ride for me. I always felt she had plans to unceremoniously dump me into the dirt at the first opportunity. I'm hoping her offspring will be a little better natured and more to my liking, at which point I plan to take up riding again.