Day 50 Friday
Lucy and I spent the entire day in Port Elizabeth, due to me needing to get a visa as I shall be staying longer then the 90 days exemption for British passport holders. It was an early start of 6am with a three hour drive ahead of us.
My visa was sorted and sent for acceptance within an hour of being in Home Affairs, so that gave us the rest of the day to spend in P.E. Unfortunatly, the cinema would not allow George, Lucy's dog, so we had to miss out on seeing the last Harry Potter film. Thats a must do on my to do list when I return!
Day 51 Saturday
Saturday morning, I spent being an assistant to Donalyn as she did dentistry work upon some of the horses. She is a qualified equine dentist so it was interesting to see her use dentistry power tools rather than just the hand labour ones, which I've seen used in Britain.
That afternoon our kudo pulling services were called upon once again by Beyars as he had shot a kudo up one of the skloof's and needed help to pull it down. Pulling a kudo down a skloof is far easier than pulling one across a camp, gravity does most of the work for you! This kudo was also smaller than the previous so was down and on the bakkie far quicker than our previous kudo pulling exploits.
Day 52 Sunday
Sunday was a quieter day than the previous. The weaned foals needed to be fed and one of the youngsters, Sigma, needed her legs tending to after they became inflamed.
As I will be riding Kandahar the following weekend at Albertinia, it was about time I took him out for a ride. Up to this point I had not had a chance to ride him but he's easy enough and I enjoyed a trip around the circuit testing all 4 gears; walk, trot, canter and gallop.
Ashley will also be returning after his 2 week break. So we shall be fighting for horses to ride once again!
Day 53 Monday
Well I woke up to this morning wondering whether I had somehow been transported back to Britain, due to the sound of rain from outside my window. The previous week I had been out riding in polo shirts and now I'm back to 3 layers and waterproofs! This time I'm sure I'm not to blame for the wet weather.
Despite the weather I still decided to ride. Sonia is keeping her horse here to train, so I decided to ride her out. Samraa is a pretty 5 year old Arabian but is still quite green. We weren't sure whether she is ridden bitless but decided to see whether she could be managed that way. So a quick check that I had steering and could stop before setting off down the road. Sam needed some persuasion to leave the comfort of the others but eventually we were on our way. Although once in the camp, heading towards the track, I was given a rodeo lesson by Samraa. Rather than go forward and do as asked instead bucked and reared trying to avoid the task of work. However, once she realised I could not be gotten rid of we eventually rode forward although at a jog rather than a walk but forward none the less. As the track was quite slippy I did not get the chance to try her at trot or canter so will have to leave that for another day when it is somewhat dryer.
The afternoon was spent drying off, after coming home quite wet from my ride. Definitely feels like Britain after training in the rain!
Day 54 Tuesday
Yes its dry!!!!!!!! The hunters had mentioned previously that they had seen a dead cow in Red Valley but on closer inspection it was the remains of a horse. As it was the youngsters and foals which had been turned out into this camp, Ashley, Donalyn, Laura and I set off mounted on Neptune, Mabruk, Karoo and Matrix, to round up the herd and check everyone. Once in the camp we saw one of the jekylls running away from the horse carcass. although only the skeleton remained. The horses were all counted off and Laura realised it was one of the recently weaned foals, Tahiti who was missing. Previously we had seen big cat paw prints in the sand when we rode last in Red Valley, as it falls partly into a leopards territory. This death is a real shame, but is a part of life here. So glad I don't have to worry about predators in Britain.
After breakfast we had chance to work the rest of the horses. Ashley and I set off with Mercury and Obelix. This was to be his third outing now and we chose to hack along the road as the track was so slippy. Walk, trot and canter all working perfectly as well as the important breaks!
Once back at the farm I hopped off Obelix, tacked up Kandahar and went off up the road with him. He's such a willing, comfy horse that 12km was covered in no time and we were back at the farm.
Next to be ridden was "Pocket Rocket" Liberty. Another 12km trip up the road. Rather reluctant to canter though, it seems she's forgotten how to run. Although by the time we were going home we were back cruising along in canter! She still reins No.1 Favourite!
So onto horse number 5 of the day, Samraa. I did wonder whether her rodeo antics would appear again. It took some persuasion once again to leave the comfort of the yard but eventually we made our way to the track. This time there was no jogging and even managed to open the gate mounted. Heading out onto the track to test the trot and canter gears. Off into trot without any problems, the next step to try canter. A quick flick of the tail and Samraa launched into canter. We still had breaks and steering. We did the short loop of the track. No rodeo antics today, trot and canter found, and gates opened/closed whilst mounted. A far more chilled out ride today compared with previous.
Busy fun filled day hopping from one horse to the next but then I could never just sit still all day anyway!