Day 46 Monday
Paul is back at Perseverance training for the Mongol Derby, which is to be held in August. He'll be doing 80km a day; 40km per horse. So this morning I tacked up Neptune and set him on his way.
It was a pretty relaxing Monday with most of my time spent in Graaff-Reinet town. I should by now know my way around town after going backwards and forwards between different places. We stopped off for lunch in the favourite restaurant called Sarmies and also stopped in to see Gurth and Rosemary. Almost felt exactly like another weekend day rather than the beginning of the week.
Day 47 Tuesday
First task of the morning; to set Paul off on his first 40km loop with Kandahar. Then it was back to the house to have a phone interview about Fauresmith with the Weekend Post newspaper, which cover most of the Eastern Cape. The journalist questioned my background of horse riding, my trip in Africa so far, why I was here, and the most important topic my Fauresmith experience. So hopefully that article will put me in a good light and will be the second time to be mentioned in an African newspaper after my Fauresmith result!
It was that time again, to get covered in Panacur and gain a few more bruises from some bolshy youngsters. This time it was the 2-4 year olds off the mountain which needed a 5 day worming program of Panacur. Monday, the grooms had already given them their day 1 dosage. With myself and the two grooms running round herding the horses into pens to Panacur and then turning them out it didn't take too long. Although its always the more troublesome wild bunch which get left to the end. There is about 5 of them which gave us the run around and possibly have given me a few more bruises after being pushed against railings. But eventually they were dosed for day 2, only another 3 more days to go.
Next task of the day: to wean some more foals. Four of the foals are now big enough to be separated from their mothers. Laura and I worked on separating the foals and the mothers could then be turned out back into the camp. There are only about 2 or 3 more to go and then the whole bunch of this year's foals will have been weaned!
That afternoon Laura and I took Obelix and Karoo out. This was to be Obelix's second hack out and with the company of Karoo we went off down the track towards the circuit. So I have breaks and steering next progressive step was to be trot. With encouragement from the leg Obelix soon learnt about the aids for trot and was very happy to trot either behind of alongside Karoo. We took the shorter loop around the track, a detour over the dryed up river and then headed back home. With short sections of trotting and Obelix being very receptive to the leg. On the way home we have had a moment of being in the lead. Obelix is most definitely going to be a bit of a competitive horse, considering whilst being alongside Karoo he tryed to bite him so he could have his nose in front. Hopefully my telling off will have stopped those thoughts of trying to bite others whilst riding. Almost back at the farm and Obelix had been so good that Laura asked me if I wanted to canter. Without any hesitation I said yes. With more encouragement from the leg aid and Obelix was in canter. Completely under control and still with steering we cantered along slowly behind Karoo. And we still had breaks! I think I can say I've successfully broken my first Arab in, with some help from Bob and Ashley of course.
Next important matter to make desert for that evenings meal. Apple and cinnamon pie, oh yes!
Day 48 Wednesday
So tacked up Neptune and sent Paul off on his first 40km of the day. Whilst the grooms brought the youngsters off the mountain to be wormed I spent much of the morning in the kitchen baking. With visitors coming for lunch I was asked to bake an apple pie. Running round with horses in the African sun and baking in the kitchen, now thats the way to spend a life!!!!
Then the task of worming the youngsters giving them their day 3 dosage. Its funny how you always remember the names of the naughty horses! I was surfficiently covered in panacur after having one of the horses spit out 30mls of panacur after having just dosed her. I also had a near miss of being kicked whilst we, Deon, Mandla and I, were trying to herd the remaining wild 4. Eventually all dosed and they could go back out into their camp until tomorrow.
That afternoon Lucy, Andrea (Lucy's friend), and I headed off into Red Valley with Karoo, Nile and Liberty. It was so good to be back riding my "Pocket Rocket". Liberty has been in the camp enjoying her holiday time off after Fauresmith, so this was to be her first outing since then. We took a gentle stroll around the camp mostly in walk or trot and of course gossiping!