Day 98 Thursday
Slightly bored of roaming the same tracks Ashley and I headed of into the camp named Savannah and through the adjacent camps (of which I can not spell) and near to kudo schloof with Medina and Rafiki. Surprising how you just loose track of time, as when we got back to the farm we'd been out for just under 2 hours.
Onto riding Samrah, but only a short distance as she was still recovering from being slightly foot sore previously. We stuck to the track where it is softer for her till her feet become hardened.
In the afternoon I rode Obelix out onto the track, schooling as I went. Still needs to work on his leg leads but he is improving each time he is ridden. Gates at least are no longer an issue, will open and shut them without trying to run off and avoid the task.
Then to do something which is all part of riding a barefoot horse.... trimming! Having attended a barefoot workshop in the first month whilst I was here and under the guidance of Laura and Ashley I started my first official barefoot trim on Amir, one of the stallions. When I say started I mean tried, these feet are tough! I barely got anywhere so thankfully Ashley took over. Still its very interesting to see that how a horse which has been in a camp with little riding and no road work fares. The bars of the hoof needed to be trimmed back as they were starting to pinch and the toes needed trimming. The front feet were trimmed by Ashley, otherwise I would have been there for hours. So what do I need to work on..... my arm strength!!
Day 99 Friday
End of the week, so off Ashley and I went with Ibis and Nile to do a few circuits around the track. Nothing better than cantering around with one of my favourites!
So horses have four feet, which means Amir has two more feet to be trimmed. With Laura's guidance I started on one of Amir's hindfeet. I at least got a little further than the previous day and could actually trim the hoof wall in small amounts at a time. The bars needed to be cut back also but I had trouble with this so used the file instead. Using the file takes more time but seeing as these horse's hooves are so hard, using the file was my best option. Bob did the last foot in quick time, compared to my feeble attempts at trimming.
Trimming feet done I could at least then ride Amir, although we didn't go very far as he was slightly foot sore. I guess his feet need to get used to their new trim.
End of the day but I at least had time to jump onto Kandahar and take him for a few laps around the track. One week to go till Tarkastad and Kandahar is most definitely up for it!
It was Lucy's birthday on Thursday so her party had all been planned for that evening with the theme of green! Thank goodness I had packed a green top or two to wear. I had time at least to bake 2 cakes and coat them with green cream or green icing. Then its party time!!!
Day 100 Saturday
The party carried on till the early hours of the morning, with my many futile attempts to sokkie.
The amount of mess always looks 20 times worse in the morning but at least we had plenty of hands to help clear up. Horses were fed and I managed to make it back to the house in time to catch some of the England vs Argentina, although I couldn't physically watch it so was being tortured by hearing about it via friends on facebook.
Tv was installed in the late morning/ early afternoon, thank goodness I'll be able to catch the next England match.
Day 101 Sunday
Horses fed and time to watch the South Africa vs Wales rugby game. Had to disappoint many friends back home when they found out I was supporting SA and not the Welsh. Of course I shall continue to support England!!!
Seeing as the farm now has tv, practically the entire day was spent watching rugby with a quick change over to see the F1 finish.
Day 102 Monday
Straight after breakfast I took Samrah out for a short ride around the track. As she has been slightly foot sore at the beginning of last week I have not had the chance to ride her in a few days. Samrah still behaved herself though and was keen for a ride out. I opted to keep it light so only one loop round, which was clearly not enough for Sam as we bounded off home at a canter. Will have to up it tomorrow if she's still feeling good.
This weekend it will be the Tarkastad ride, where Teams of up to 5 are entered to each do a 120km ride with the 3 best times to count and it has a cash prize at the end! So our Team have been decided Mabruk and Laura, Karoo and Bob, Mercury and Ashley, and myself with Kandahar. We took our 4 mounts out for a short training ride but at speed. This weekend is going to be fast and I'm most definitely keen for it especially as I get to ride Kandahar in another 120km.
After lunch I rode Nile on a short ride of 12kms. A very quiet ride till on the way back when we met the staff bringing a bunch of cows down the road, heading to one of the camps. So we got up on the verge of the road to get out of the way whilst they went by, however, I then saw movement out of the corner of my eye in the camp off to my left, horses! The broodmares and youngsters were wandering round the wrong camp. Ashley was already riding Ibis and trying to herd them back. As I was on the wrong side of the fence I had to wait till I could get by the herd again and go to help, although once I finally got that side everything had been sorted. Oh well a nice canter back along the track through the camps to the farm.
Onto horse 4 of the day: Neptune. Only a short trip up the road, mostly of which we just cruised along in canter. Nothing like a nice ride out to end the day with!