Horseback Riding Across Canada with Veteran Paul Nichols


Horseback Riding Across Canada with Veteran Paul Nichols


Sunrise over the trees

So my wife and I are conducting a 211 day

Canada flag flying with horse trailers in background

horseback journey across Canada and

Pick up truck with the writing and logo, The Ride Across Canada, horse in background

the idea and the purpose of my ride is to

Logo - Communities for Veterans Foundation

re-introduce the Canadian people to the Veterans and change the faces of Canadian Veterans.

Interview with Paul Nichols

So often we think of a Veteran as a 90 year old man and not as a 40 year old with multiple deployments on different continents or the, you know,

Horse trotting along the roadway, Paul Nichols on her back

the 25 year old with a couple of deployments in Afghanistan or, you know, like Africa or Haiti.

Paul Nichols looking back as he rides horseback through the trail; another rider and horse behind him

I’ve got almost 8,000 kilometres in the saddle since I’ve left home but that’s one person’s story.

Horses legs as they trot through the grassy trail

For me to travel across Canada and tell my own story of the Balkans and

Paul Nichols and another rider riding their horses through the trail of green grass and trees,

transitioning out of the military is only my story and it’s maybe interesting for a few people for a few minutes but

Interview with Paul Nichols

I don’t think its newsworthy or it’s going to carry the message across Canada. Where the power in this ride is that we are including as many contemporary Veterans as we can and putting them in the saddle on these fantastic horses.

Lady holding reins with horse as they walk in circles on the clay ground, another horse and rider in background

Are people affected by their service? Yes.

Visual of lady speaking wearing cowboy hat with horse standing beside her

But would they do it again? Yes. You know their hearts are in the right place and they are just trying to do the right thing so we need to support them.

Interview with Paul Nichols

I met a lady in a shop. She had… she was working behind a counter in just a little gift shop and she recognized right away the crest on my jacket for what it was, asked me if I was in the Canadian military and I said yes. And she went on to share her own story of living through the siege of Sarajevo and a couple of years she had lived in an underground parking lot. Every time that they went outside they faced machine gun fire and sniper fire. There was artillery fire most nights. They were starving. They had burnt all of their furniture to keep warm and this was her reality. They were completely cut off from the outside world and they were in a really bad way. And there had been thousands and thousands of her neighbours, of her family, you know, like the people in her community had been killed and it was Canadian troops that broke that siege, it was Canadian troops that brought them aid and it was Canadian troops that eventually got her out so here we are in this shop in Vancouver and she’s sharing her story with me and I was telling her about my experience in the Balkans and both of us are in tears. She’s crying and I am crying and I’m worried that we’re making a scene like as the moment is passing and I look back in the line-up and there was like six or eight other people there and they were all in tears - complete strangers and I realize that there is power in a shared story.

Face of a horse as he trots along the trail with Paul Nichols in the saddle


Mr. Paul Nichols shares a powerful and inspirational story of his desire to make a change for recognition of all Canadian Veterans and his reasons for organizing a 211 day ride across Canada in the saddle with his horses and team.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
October 13, 2015
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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