Day 4 Cont’d
Lucy, Rosemary and I headed off to catch our mounts for our hack out. However, upon arrival it was soon realised that we were missing 5 horses of the herd. Whilst Rosemary and Lucy went to look for the missing 5, I was left to herd the remaining horses out of the camp and up to the yard. After much persuasion and shaking of my jumper I finally managed to convince the herd to go up the road to the yard.
After much searching Lucy and Rosemary returned but with no horses in tow. So two conclusions were drawn up: either they had been stolen or had found a low point in the fence and jumped over into the neighbouring camp. So, it was decided that we would head out in the bakkie (the name that is given to a pickup truck in this country and pronounced "bucky") along the road and see if we could spot them. Rosemary was to be designated driver with Lucy and I standing in the back of the bucky to get a good view. I somehow managed to keep my balance as we zoomed off in search of our 5 elusive horses. On view from our high point in the bakkie this gave us the advantage and they were soon spotted in the neighbouring camp in the low bend of the river. With halters and oats Lucy and I jumped over the fence to catch Mubrook and Rafiki with the other three loose to follow and we headed off on the long walk towards the farm. Rosemary, however, met us in the camp near the gateway and I had my first experience of their training method called “kikkuli”, where horses are led from the back of the bakkie in trot. These horses are used to this method and we were back at the farm in no time.
Having lost a lot of time looking for the escapees we decided on a short hack and headed to the “dam” camp to see the broodmares and their foals. I rode Liberty, a 9 year old bay mare, who gave me a nice well paced ride.
That evening Laura and Bob Seegers returned with their horses so I finally got to meet my hosts for the duration of my stay here at Perseverance.
Today was to be my first full busy day on the stud with the rest of the Perseverance team. After getting the horses in and fed, Lucy and I headed off into town for what was supposed to be a brief short trip. However, we ended up spending much of our morning in the bank trying to sort out the exchange of travellers cheques which people appeared to have never come across.
By the time we got back to the farm I had missed the morning. But there was time to wean the older foals from their dams before lunch. In total 8 foals were separated from their dams and moved into different camps away out of hearing from each other.
In the afternoon I was able to ride Liberty again and take her for a gallop along one of the tracks with the company of Laura, Rosemary and Ashley. Laura told me before headed out to find her ‘go’ buttons and try to find her competitive spirit. Well for people who know me back home, you know I have a competitive spirit often accompanied by a spirited horse. So out on the track I was able to feel the sun on my back and the wind in my face as we cantered/galloped along the training track. It didn’t take long to persuade Liberty that she was allowed to break out of her natural canter pace and to keep up with the others. A mid stop for the horses to catch their breath and for us to measure their heart rate. I need more practise in this area as I am so used to relying on my girth heart monitor at home and not by touch but I think I will definitely get the experience at this here. On the way home she found her stride and I think she enjoyed a good stretch out.
Back at the yard it was a wash off and I was showed the salts given to replenish the electrolytes lost during sweating and feeding was given to those who had been worked.
Two young stallions and the elder stallion had been brought over from one of the camps earlier on that day as they will now be brought into work. So all the endurance horses were turned out and we led these 3 stallions to an opposite camp close to the farm.
Tomorrow I shall hopefully experience a full day of Perseverance training without interruptions. With horses to ride and train everyday my fitness is sure to improve quickly and I shall get used to the swing of things here.