With Paul, the Mongolian challenge rider, arriving early we were up getting the endurance horses in from their camp earlier then usual. It was a cold morning and I did not want to leave my duvet but eventually managed to brave getting up.
Broodmares and foals all to be given their Panacur before breakfast and then we could ride.
After breakfast Ashley and I took our prospective Fauresmith mounts, Mauser and Liberty, out for some training around the circuit. Liberty had previously not been 100% sound but it was found that she was very stiff in the neck and shoulder due to lacking in magnesium in her diet, which caused problems from the shoulder in the way she moved.. So before heading off I massaged her shoulders and neck on both sides, as well as giving her a dose of Epson Salts to help top up the correct magnesium levels. So off we went to the circuit for a few laps in canter, although I was to not go as fast as Ashley. One lap round together and Ashley quickened his pace, whilst I stopped to hitch my girth and stirrups up. Going round the same way gets a bit montonous so I decided I'd go round in reverse. Although at the time of my decision Ashley had no idea so it was rather amusing to see his facial expression when I came round a corner in the opposite direction in canter. A few laps round in canter and we met back up to head back to the farm. Liberty can canter but slowly and has not realised she can go faster as of yet, so its almost like riding with the hand brake on. Heading home we cantered Mauser and Liberty side by side and eventually I managed to get Liberty to inch by inch get faster. According to the GPS we were galloping along at 39kph towards home, yes Liberty does have a gear up! So plan for next time to try and see if I can find the "go" button again!
Back home for lunch and then back out on the next set of horses. Laura, Ashley and I went out for a few laps around the circuit with Matrix, Neptune and Mabruk. I have the feeling I'm going to be seeing this circuit a lot over the next week. At this point it still was not definite whether I was to be riding Neptune or Matrix at the weekend. By the end of our circuit training it was decided that I shall ride Matrix in the 80km this weekend, whilst Neptune will be leased to another rider, as Matrix is a bit spooky sometimes.
The past few days Bob has been heading out to go Kudu hunting. Seeing as I have never been hunting, I decided to pluck up the courage and ask if I could go along. So that day Bob took me with him. We headed out in the bakkie into Red Valley camp to search for the kudu. I was not shooting (I have a terrible shot anyway), and was there for company and an extra pair of eyes. Bob shot a big buck and then we were off into the veld to track it. Following foot prints and blood splatterings to try and find the kudu. "Blood.......Blood..... Blood....Hoof Print.....Blood" That is pretty much how it went until I spotted eyes in the distance of the tree, thinking the Buck was that way we stopped following the trail and headed towards the eye. But no it was not the buck but more kudu. So back tracking across the veld to try and find the trail again. By this point I was totally disoriented but eventually Bob found the Buck which he'd shot. Then headed back to get the bakkie. And now to load the prize! With a rope tied round the legs, lead over the bakkie and wrapped round a tree to help take the strain of the load. I was then to reverse the bakkie slowly with Bob pulling the rope until the buck was safely on the back. And off home we went!
It was a long day and I was glad to see my bed when we got back, even though going out hunting was rather a thrilling experience.
Another morning of worming the broodmares and foals. I seem to be collecting a few bruises down my arms as well as my cap now having splatterings of Panacur across it.
This morning we (Laura, Lucy, Ashley and I) were to head out into Red Valley camp for a short hack with Mabruk, Kandahar, Mercury and Rafiki. This time I at least managed to go further than 1km with Rafiki and had a very pleasant ride out. Red Valley looked very different The river running through the camp had dried up so we rode along the river bed with the horses. A nice sunny day, with a chill out ride is definitely an ideal way to relax.
That afternoon and the four of us took a trip into Graaff-Reinet town to do some shopping. Surprising how much time can be lost just going to and fro between shops. The fashion lines here are not like home and are at least 3 years out of date. My mother will be glad to hear I'm not updating my wardrobe with anymore clothes at least. I don't think I'd fit anymore into my suitcase when I eventually head back to Britain anyway, so it is probably a good thing I did not buy any clothes.
The last day of Panacuring the mares and foals. I managed to miss most of worming, so I suppose there will be no extra bruising surfacing from that today.
Ashley and I headed out to the circuit for a short, gentle trip round with Neptune and Matrix before Jeffereys Bay this weekend. I am seeing a lot of this circuit from doing the Kikkuli test and training on it but it is soft on their feet so is very ideal for their training.
Back for lunch i.e. Rosemary's chocolate cake and then out on my next mount. A light work out on the circuit with Liberty going in the reverse direction doing a few laps in canter. Ashley had also been riding the circuit but with Mauser and we ended up finishing our training at the same point so could head back to the farm together.
Tomorrow we head to the Jeffereys Bay ride with the PSV TEAM!