Tuesday 4th October - My Birthday
So seeing as I'm still in Africa, for the first time in my 22 years my birthday falls in Spring!!! Now thats a good reason to be the other side of the world for one's birthday. My Perseverance family have bought me some new riding boots so I shall be able to break them in today!
Although my birthday, it is still all go here at Perseverance. We currently have a Tania Delport here on a Working Riding Holiday for the week, so she is currently putting up with me bouncing all over the place today due to it being my birthday.
Horses still need to be worked so it was a case of bouncing onto a horse and enjoying my birthday in the African sun. What better way to spend my day then riding my favourite little horse, Pocket Rocket Liberty. Then of course riding second favourite Obelix.
That evening, Lucy walked in with a big chocolate cake!!! Tania had kindly bought me possibly the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted!! Needless to say despite its size it won't last long on this farm, when it tastes that good! I think I need the recipe for that cake.
Wednesday 5th October
That morning a quick trip into town with Lucy and Tania for some shopping. I received another birthday gift whilst in Mr. Price. A call from the publisher of Graaff-Reinet to tell me I had won the grand prize of a weekend away at Mount Camdeboo Manor, yes Lucy and I both screamed in the middle of a shop. With some very odd looks I walked out of Mr. Price with a massive grin on my face.
In the afternoon Tania, Laura, Bob and I headed up Tokkie's Mountain with Ibis, Mabruk, Mauser and Nile. This was to be Tania's first long training ride on the farm. We all sedately cantered up the mountain to the top where a herd of bokkie's had previously been happily grazing till we thundered to the top and they all scattered. Time for a quick breather before heading back down again and back to the farm.
Friday 6th October
A day spent running round with the horses as usual. That evening Chantelle and Lucy had planned a braai and pool party for my birthday.
Never before have I been able to braai (also known as a bbq to the British) for my birthday. It was such a good party with all my Graaff-Reinet friends and my Perseverance family. We all partied till about 4am!
Wednesday 12th October
So a morning out with Laura and Tania riding Jedi, Ibis and myself on Samrah checking the herd of broodmares and youngsters. What should of been a quiet ride out turned into quite an eventful one, with Samrah and I providing the entertainment.
First issue to combat was getting Samrah to walk through water. No there was no raging river, there was a puddle to cross. Samrah did not want to get her feet wet at all and solidly refused to go anywhere near the water. This resulted in me getting off and with a lot of persuasion leading her through it and then making her walk through a larger puddle after. Eventually she realised that there was nothing within the water which would eat her and we were able to ride through the water.
Second issue came about when we were wondering through the camp looking at the mare and youngstock, some old wire which had been left managed to get hooked onto my stirrup. Samrah spooked at having this rattling alongside her and would not let me get it off. I hastily jumped off but once on the floor she span round causing the wire to knock me straight over and she galloped off into the distance followed by the herd of youngstock. The wire had only got hooked on my stirrup so she was perfectly fine and had managed to get unhooked as she galloped away. Laura and Tania went after Samrah at a more sedate speed. I jogged along through the camp till we met back up.
Third incident came about when we had finished the ride and were letting the horses have a drink from the water trough. There was a leguan cooling off in a damp patch next to the water trough. Sam managed to walk right around past it and then noticed it when she was the other side of the trough about to take a drink. The leguan made a move which caused Sam to spook, jump sideways, spin around, buck and kick out which resulting in me making good friends with some African soil, ouch! I landed on the lower base of my back and was apparently noted to say "South African soil is a lot harder than British!". Laura caught Sam, and I mounted up to ride her up to the yard. Blurred vision, headache, nausea all then sunk in and it became apparent that I was suffering with shock causing my blood sugar levels to drop and possibly minor concussion. I was therefore useless for the rest of the day as I spent my time in bed trying to get over my symptoms! By the evening I was feeling much better and had recovered, despite still feeling a little sore.