Day 103 Tuesday
As every day the two grooms, Dion and Mandela, bring the endurance horses up the road from their camp to the stalls to be fed their breakfast. So the herd come up and as they're being shooed along into the yard, Samrah leaves the herd and walks straight over to me. Nice to know she recognises me!
Breakfast over with for both horses and riders, its straight out to work Samrah and Medina. So out for a trip around the track, doing a full circuit today with Samrah. Samrah is keen as ever and just wanted to canter the entire distance. We did have one large buck due to our disagreement on speed, but I won that arguement. Sedate canter was then maintained, before heading home.
Hop off one horse, straight onto the next. Neptune and I headed off to the track for a few circuits ( I was definitely right when mentioning in June that I would probably see a lot of this track). There was nothing slow about this ride! Half a circuit done in trot and straight off into a flying canter for another 3 circuits. Neptune is feeling so good at the moment and seems to have lost his grumpyness from two weeks ago.
After a good two rides, I figured I'd finish by riding out Nile. The previous day I had finally managed to get him to drop his head and stop having it in the high up in the air like a giraffe. So out schooling around the track we went and......................I could see his nose the entire hour spent. Any slight pressure and he would just throw his head to evade, so much our understanding the previous day. I think I must of tried every trick in the book and every trick not written in the text book too. I was just getting more and more angry, which was leading to no where so decided on a full circuit of canter and then to go home to let of some steam. Nile also clearly thought a canter was a good idea as there was no hesitation between my aids and his understanding on what I was asking him there. Next time we'll work on the head carriage and get it, that at least is going to be the aim!
Day 104 Wednesday
This morning I was introduced to Barry Armitage, a SA rider who has just ridden in the Mongol Derby. So I had the chance to hear about some of the tales from the trip, and I don't think I want to be on the back of one of those ponies thats for sure! Barry joined us on our Tarkastad team for a quick 2 laps around the track. Laura, Bob, Ashley and I riding our Tarkastad Green Team :Mabruk, Karoo, Mercury and Kandahar with Barry riding Ibis. The first lap was done mostly at trot with a short canter and the second lap we let them go faster. Mabruk wasn't in the mood to go so with a wave from Laura, Kanadhar and I shot past at speed just to get some competitivness flowing. That was it no stopping those two (or Laura and I) as we flew round the track at quite a speed, with Bob and Karoo in hot pursuit, followed by Ashley and Barry. Our green team are definitely up for the Tarkastad ride this weekend!!!!!
We 5 also wondered round the broodmares and youngstock with Bob and Laura pointing out who was who and answering Barry's questions. I still will never remember all the names of who is who in the herd!
That afternoon Ashley and I disappeared off into Savannah with Medina and Obelix to get away from the dizzyness of going round the track. Obelix was as keen as ever and more so when in new surroundings, he just wanted to jog the entire time. Savannah is a rocky camp so it was a good chance for Obelix to actually walk for once and have to think where he was putting his feet, as well as also kudo spotting up in the halls. Think I soaked up a fair amount of vitamin D this afternoon, maybe I won't be so white soon....... one can only wish!
Tomorrow we shall be leaving for Tarkastad with our team of horses and Saturday will be the 120km race. Keep your fingers crossed for Green Team PSV!!!!!