Day 90 Wednesday
Time for another ride out with the Tarkastad horses: Mabruk and Kandahar. Lucy and I headed out on these to for a 20km loop around Roode Bloem. Both behaving themselves and then we were on the home stretch heading past the shooting range. Stood up jockey style and time to let Mabruk fly! Nothing like a good gallop although we left Lucy and Kandahar behind. That horse can sure move.
Lunch time = nap time!! Nothing better than 40 winks before heading back out into the heat of the day.
Nap taken and perfect time to head out on one of the favourites - Nile. I love this horse's canter, it is just so comfy. First lap round the track in trot and then into canter for the next lap. Going happily in canter, Nile's head suddenly disappears between his knees and buck buck buckeroo!!! It's quite out of character for Nile but is probably due to him being so fit and not being ridden enough. Once the bucking was out the way with, the rest of the laps were done in his easy, comfy canter.
Day 91 Thursday
First horses to ride of the morning: Karoo and Matrix. Trip round Roode Bloem at canter with these two. Lucy and I had a pleasant trip round until we got back onto our own road and had to go past the Police Firing Range, which is also situated in the Game Reserve. We were in walk watching the zebra as two galloped ahead of us across the road and then we noticed the police bus pulling out of the range. The bus was travelling relatively slow, which is unusal, but as we came over the brow of the hill we realised why. In 3 lines the police were jogging up the road and chanting. With the zebra running and the chanting of the police our horses both became frisky, so we pulled off the road a little way to go by them. Karoo was keen to escape from the monster's coming up the road so Lucy jumped off in order to manage him and try to keep him calm. Matrix was relatively chilled about the entire scene, just as long as those policeman came no closer. As they came by us they all stopped chanting and were quite apart from the shusshing noise as they got each other to be quiet, not entirely sure whether that wasn't slightly worse. Once the monsters had passed us and the zebra were not galloping we progressed on and finished our ride round Roode Bloem.
That afternoon I chose to ride Neptune. A canter down to the tar road and back at a not so slow pace, but unlike most of the horses at least there was no bucking!
Day 92 Friday
Onto riding some of the Tarkastad team round Roode Bloem - Liberty and Mercury. Lucy rode "Pocket Rocket" Liberty whilst I was on Mercury. Roode Bloem being 20kms of cantering this is the perfect thing for our team to do, although there are now some spooky bags tied to the fence to stop animals running into them. Then there is also a large rock painted like a turtle, nicknamed "Alpha's Rock", which most of the horses shy at. Lucy and I stopped here to make Liberty and Mercury actually walk up to this little monster. Liberty is slightly braver than Mercury and managed to touch the rock with her nose whilst Mercury kept a safe stride distance from the rock at all times. All in all Mercury gave me a pleasant ride round Roode Bloem and didn't even see many bush monsters.
Onto horse number 2: Kandahar. Off to do some canter training on the track. A few laps round at canter and then back to the farm.
Onto horse number 3: Karoo. Same training work as Kandahar. Into a bouncy, comfy canter for a few laps round the track.
That evening one of Lucy's friend was hosting a leaving party as she's going to start a new job in Amasterdam. So it was a change out of the riding gear and into party wear. Needless to say Lucy and I enjoyed partying our Friday night away!
Day 93 Saturday
So the weekend and farm chores to be done. Then time to chill in front of the projector and watch some tv! Before doing the farm chores at the end of the day again.
Day 94 Sunday
Lucy and I were up to do the farm chores as usual but at least this Sunday we were not running down the road chasing foals in our pj's unlike the previous weekend. The Perserverance Team also arrived home that morning, after travelling for three days from Namibia. Laura and Jedi had unfortunately been vetted out 10kms before the end due to a slight stiffness and Bob and Mauser came in 11th place. Time to hear the stories from the 2 weeks which they spent in Namibia!
Day 95 Monday
Out of my time in Africa there is one town, other than Graaff-Reinet, which I have seen an awful lot of .....Port Elizabeth. Another trip to Home Affairs to get my visa sorted and find out if there were any problems. Lucy's sister was also flying in so it was at least a worth while trip. That's one day less of riding so I look forward to tomorrow where I can jump back on a horse.