Day 42 Thursday
The weather was bright and sunny so I decided to do a longer ride of about 30km on Neptune. So we headed up the road past the neighboring farm and through the end gate. Up to this point I had ridden several times but never beyond the gate. So off Neptune and I went into new surroundings, or new to me at least. It was such a pleasant ride in the sunshine with such a willing horse that 30km passed in no time at all.
In the afternoon I decided to ride Orient, Bob's stallion. Previously we had been heading left on leaving the farm but for a change we went right. I was under instruction to only ride in walk so we went 6kms up the road and then headed back to the farm, totalling up to 12kms of walk. Next week Orient will start the Kikkuli test, before starting his endurance training.
Day 43 Friday
So the morning started with Lucy and I heading out on Kandahar and Mercury. This was to be my first time riding Mercury, who has a reputation of being unpredictable. Lucy and I headed out to the circuit to take a few laps round. From stories told to me by Lucy, Laura and Ashley I had to keep my wits about me just incase "the ultimate spook" occurred. Apart from one bush movement which caused Mercury to spook sideways and almost head straight towards the fence, he was not too bad to ride and I enjoyed the outing.
The plan was to ride Obelix next, and seeing as so far nothing had yet phased him I decided taking him out hacking to give him a new challenge. Donalyn accompanied me on Karoo and we headed out to wander round the first camp. This was a good exercise to do with Obelix, who had grown very bored with the round pen. Being out in the felt meant that steering could be practised more and his response to hand and leg quickly grew. There was only one small incident, where we walked through a bush and the rustle against my leg caused him to do a small buck. But Obelix didn't run off or do anything else so I wasn't at all worried by this. Obelix definitely now needs to move onto the next challenge of learning to respond to the aids of trot and maybe he'll stop yawning whilst being exercised!
Day 44 Saturday
The first task of the morning; to accompany Ochre out on a hack. I chose to ride Neptune whilst Donalyn rode Ochre and we went off into the camp. But just as we were about to leave Beyars, a hunter, arrived to ask for help in moving a Kudo. As we were only planning on doing a short hack out, we chose to ride first. We wandered round the camp, weaving in and out of the bushes. Ochre even had her first canter and the breaks work!
Straight after riding Lucy, Donalyn and i went in search of the Beyars and his kudo. Although shot on our farm, the kudo had jumped the fence into a neigbors camp. With no road access to this kudo it was a case of putting the kudo on some corrugated iron and pulling it as a sleigh. The kudo would have to be pulled across the rocky camp, through the river (which was dry) and somehow over the fence to the bakkie, easier said then done!
It took 5 of us to pull this large buck; Lucy, Donalyn, Carol, Beyars and I across the camp and up the other side of the river. Due to pulling over rocks, going around bushes and trees and then pulling through the riverbed sand in total we were out for about 3 hours. Luckily we managed to stop the neighbors son along the road and were able to rope in his staff to help us pull the kudo the last length to the road and get the kudo, plus sleigh, over the fence and onto the bakkie. Pulling that kudo through the felt sure beats a workout at the gym!
Back at the farm we still had organs to remove and the task of stringing the kudo up in the cool room until it could be taken to the butcher on Monday. The winch, however, was too high up to reach and we didn't have a ladder. So it was a case of practice some balancing/ circus tricks as Carol stood on Beyars shoulders with Lucy and I supporting. Once ropes were attached to winch and Kudo it was a simple case of pulling to hoist the kudo out of the bakkie. This task probably should of been done with a little more seriousness, but most of the time we were all in heaps of laughter at our circus tricks! I'm sure someone has photos of our circus act....somewhere.....
Day 45 Sunday
Sunday = Chill Out Day!!! Lucy and I spent much of the day being bookworms and sat soaking up the African sunshine!!! Yes I may actually return to Britain not looking so white!