Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I'm in Fiji, typing this looking out from my perch on the end of the bed, there a beach out front, and to one side horses tethered underneath palm and mango trees. Its not even Eight in the morning and its warm enough to be swiming. Just in case I thought I was on holiday though,I'm actually wearing big steel cap boots, pants and my pockets are stuffed with glamourous things like, wound spray, cotton wool, and bit of broken horse tooth. Which is not as odd as it sounds when you know what I've been up to.

The wound spray and cotton wool is easy, in the last four days I think the six of us working have treated close to a hundred horses. While three see to the horses hooves, i wash and treat wounds. While I was in Egypt we saw huge variety of injures, here we see the same things on every horse, saddle sores and rope burn, as well as the usual dehydration and lack of food. My job is to wash and spray wounds hence cotton for scrubbing away blood pus and scabby skin, and the spray for treating afterwords.

We also have a horse dentist and I love working with him as you always learn something. Horses here live on a very exotic diet, a lot eating sugarcane, mango and other topical fruit, and have cavities, just like the people. This is something we didn't see at all in Egypt (although the horses weren't fed at all in Egypt anyway). I find it fascinating to see how geographical differences, create a whole different set of problems. But the reason I have teeth in my pocket however is because he pulls them out and hands the offending tooth to me, and with no where better to put them I stick them in my pocket and forget about them, until later when I sit down and they stick me in the butt.

On a serious note though, I love the work, but we really do see some awful things. Sadly it not such a simple case of people not caring, but a mixture of ignorance, poverty, lack of equipment and the fact that people rely on these horses for survival. This is a hard thing for us in the western world to comprehend and an even harder problem to fix, but small steps can eventually lead to big changes.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Argh, where have the weeks gone? Olympics have been and gone, the wild horses have been here three months almost. It's nearly spring, and in a week I'm off to Fiji. Everything is happening to fast, order the last few weeks I havnt had a a spare second in my day, compared to two years ago when I started this blog I just haven't had a chance to put up regular posts and updates on the horses. This is the worst winter I can remeber, which means triple the work load on the farm, and I have twice as many horses to work and care for.At the end of the day, I barely have the energy to peel off my muddy wet layers of s, and climb into the shower, before collapsing in bed. Life is a wee bit exhausting, not taking into account the descision to add traveling to horse shows on wet weekends defintly takes its toll as well. I think it's time for soe catch up.

First of all Olympics. I think I didn't go to bed before midnight the entire two weeks of the London Games. There was the horse riding (i think all my equestrain freinds suffered form staying awake until 5am to watch the cross country live), and then the sailing to watch,as I knew a couple of the sailors competing, and when it came down to it I love watching sport and people trying their best, and the drama of the whole thing. I think that's more what the Olympics is, people who haven't given up, have overcome obstacles, have worked and strived to get to the top, and make it to the world stage, the tears, heartbreak, bloodshed,failure success and enthusiasm, as well as national pride on the line makes it by far the greatest show on earth.

So before I forget, I would like to say a huge congratulation to Blair Tuke, and Peter Burling who got a silver medal in the sailing. A huge achievement as they are both young, around my age, absolutely inspiring to see how quietly they have worked away over the years, and what an amazing result! There was a huge parade through town today for them, and it is the best thging about a small town, to see everyone turn out to support our boys!

I find it inspiring and it defintly helps me  stay on track, with my competitive riding to see how far I can push myself, when I see the achievements of these two. I'm defintly someone who occasionally gets distracted and tends to go off on tangents, like training  horses, or going to fiji and egypt, instead of focusing purely on my show horses.  so it's a good reminder what being single minded and determined can achieve.

Secondly I have been fundraiing like mad for the upcoming trip to Fiji next week, as a charity we rely on donations, raffles and other events we organise to raise the money to take things like medical supplies, tools and educational equipment we need when we go to places like Egypt and Fiji. We have to pay out of our own pocket for plane tickets and the likes, and we work hard to make it all happen. But it's amazing the support we get from individuals, local buisness and newspapers, that without there support, none of this would be possible.

So thankyou to the Bay Chronicle for runing an article As well as The Kaimanawa Heritage Horses, for putting an article in their magazine too. Really helps raise awareness for the cause. To all those who have donated so far, and helped with fundraising,a huge thank you!

Monday, August 13, 2012

I don't know what I was thinking when I went to a horse show on the weekend. I never compete from July- September, yet here I was driving four hours to compete in August. A friend convinced me to go along as it would be good preparation for the spring season. I regretted the decision as soon as I'd sent my entries in.

But nevertheless I loaded up my two wild ponies and headed off on Saturday morning, being more and more filled with regret as the rain poured down

All I can say is that I hope my dedication to the sport somehow pays off in the future. Because I was wet cold and miserable all weekend. However the horses went great.

Fern was her usual amazing self. Calm cool and collected, jumping like the little star that she is. For Matai it was his first ever show, and he's a much more in-experienced jumper. Overall he was pretty good, jumping everything. But his jockey (me) did have one little accident, me and Matai parted ways half way around the course .

He jumped a fence on course and got a fright on landing, leaping sideways, and suddenly there was no horse underneath me anymore. But luckily, I landed on my feet,managed to hold onto the reins,so just hoped back on and kept riding.

This was my first ever cross country fall, and naturally happened when everybody was watching,always a bonus. However at least I provided some entertainment for spectators.

So apart from the rain, and falling off it wasn't to bad a weekend, and I do love taking my wild ponies put and about.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Riding adventures

The mud on the farm is unbelievable. I have to keep finding news ways to exercise the horses, as well as keep them clean.

Miro however is coming along in leaps and bounds, being ridden out over the farm. He's also the model of perfect stallion behavior and happily gets led off other horses including mares.

So heres a few quick pics of the wild horses in one of the only spots of sunshine in weeks, going for a bath on the creek. Fern the grey mare, Matai the gelding from the 2010 muster, and Miro the stallion 9 weeks out of the wild.