So seeing as I am so far behind on my blog and have a memory like a sieve, I think I'll write about the most interesting parts of this last week.
Friday 23rd September
A standard day out training with all the horses. That evening there was to be a braai/party for one of Lucy's friends to celebrate their wedding anniversary. With Bob and Laura out of town at Bloemfontain, Lucy, Ashley and I all went along. Needless to say the South Africans do like a party so there was a fair bit of alcohol on the flow. This proved to be another chance to sokkie for me and no I still can not do it. Ashley spent most of the night trying to teach me, why he put up with me I have no idea. We dance in large groups in Britain so I am not at all used to dancing with a partner. I always make the fatal mistake of trying to lead too. Eventually with the help of Arno and pointers from everyone I seem to have at least grasped the basics, just no one twirl me around I completely loose my rhythm! So I have another 2 months to learn and then its back to Britain again.....where I'll completely forget how to sokkie and will have to be taught all over again if/when I return!
Tuesday 27th September
The day is spent doing the usual training. I decided to take Liberty for a laps in canter around the track. Liberty was full of life and we whizzed round happyily enjoying the speed. It was on the way home though when we had the stretch to gallop home. Flying as we went and feeling quite safe on my sure-footed little horse, until we turned a corner and almost rode straight into Laura and Matrix and Lucy and Kandahar. None of us had heard each other, possibly due to me having the wind in my ears and Lucy and Laura chatting. As quiet as a mouse and as fast as a rocket!
Wednesday 28th September - Training up Nardouberg
So after previously mentioning we should take some horses and train up Nardou, today was to be the day. The four horses (Jedi, Mauser, Karoo and Liberty) we would be riding had been kept back at the house, so that we would be able to leave early. Ashley and I were both up just after 6am to feed, although the first task was to find our 4 horses who had somehow managed to escape out of their camp and were roaming in the one next door. How they did this with the gates all shut is a slight mystery....
Once staff had been picked up, we were all mounted and on our way. It was to be around a 25km ride to the base of Nardou, where we would be able to have our breakfast. We headed along the dirt road from the farm and then I crossed the point that I had ridden up to. At quarter to eleven we were at the base of Nardou, with Lucy driving in the car to meet us with our elevensies.
Food consumed and it was time to mount up and take on Nardou! From the base it was a 20km hike up the mountain following the road used by the farmer. We did the marjority of this at a trot and even with Liberty having shorter legs than the other three she was not going to be left behind. It eventually got to a very steep part, where the path was covered with loose rock, therefore this had to be taken at a walk. Finally we made it to the top of Nardouberg, which took us almost 6 hours (including breakfast/elevensies stop). Photo time just to prove we'd conquered Nardou and then back down again.
Before starting out on the trek up Nardou I had tightened my girth as far as it would go, during the upward hike my saddle had slipped into the position it should be in but downhill it was a different story. We jogged our way back down Nardou to the dirt rode and then cantered our way towards home. Despite having climbed up Nardou, Liberty was full of running and was all too keen to take Mauser on (must of been from training together for Fauresmith).
In total we rode about 80km from half past 8 to 5pm, a long day but well worth it!
Friday 30th October
Perseverance is running another Barefoot Course here at the stud. As we have 5 guests staying with us, I would be spending my weekend camped out in Laura's front room so that there would be space for everyone.
Saturday 1st October - Oktoberfest
Annually there is a beer festival held in Germany, named Oktoberfest. One of the local farmers happens to host his own Oktoberfest to raise funds for a charity. We all had tickets to go to this event. A braai was held and there was plenty of beer flowing. This was a great social occasion for all and I spent practucally all of my time on the dance floor. This gave me more time to practise to 'sokkie'. I had many dance teachers that night, so by the end I had improved. Nothing better than partying and dancing the night away into the early hours of Sunday morning!