Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2010 Kaimanawa trek at Waiouru

It's been a tough few weeks around here. I almost didn't go on this trek. Demons from the disaster that was last year haunting me but I am most definitely glad we did.

Friday evening was great fun, catching up with people from past treks and meeting new ones. Despite the bar closing at 9 pm, somehow we managed to keep going for quite some time afterwards and consequently I was feeling most unwell the next morning.

Once out in the fresh air though I picked up again. It was such a stunning day, how could anyone not enjoy it.

This year, we camped at the Sports grounds, Hot showers and flushing toilets!! I was a bit miffed to not be camping, what a fool I am. The shower was hugely appreciated at the end of a long and VERY dusty day
The trek was to be about 50 km's on Saturday. After lunch a large group headed back to the camp which was to take about 3 hrs ride and the rest of us headed further out and did an extra 2 hr loop. Getting back to camp about 5 pm ish.

It was a long day but nothing too difficult at all for the horses.
Looking down into Argo Valley is always a highlight. It is a beautiful place.

The wild horses are looking great. The smaller herd size of only 300 now means they have less competition obviously but they are now restricted to a much smaller area than they have been before.
Lots of white markings and quite a few grey horses were seen.

Our 2 horses were brilliant. Summer attracting many comments as she often does. Not just because she is a pretty horse but the ones I really appreciate are the people who comment on her nice manners and way of going. If only they knew!
Sooty went like a seasoned trekker. Marched along with all the others but can be a bit mareish and inclined to squeal at others sometimes. She also kicked out but was firmly reprimanded for it and never did it again.

Summer coughed a couple of times which I wasn't happy about. Nothing serious and she seemed to be happy enough in herself. She was marching along up towards the front and keeping up. I discovered later that day just how tough my pony really must be though.

Back at camp and unsaddling you can only imagine how I felt when I discovered the pressure bumps under Summer's saddle. :-(
And later on that night she developed a large soft swelling in her girth area covering the pectoral muscles.
No riding for her the next day :-(((

It was a quiet night and early to bed. Summer refusing to eat her feed that I had put anti inflammatory medication into.

I was offered the ride on a friends horse the next day as he was too sore so the next morning I went off to catch Major. However then Stan who comes out here to ride often said I could ride his mare.
She hadn't been ridden for more than 1/2 hr the previous day as he had turned back. She was apparently playing up and he got scared and got off.
None of us believed him of course as he is well known for that kind of thing. and having seen the mare being ridden many times I was confident that she was fine.

My saddle didn't fit so I opted to use his hybrid western saddle. I couldn't reach the stirrups properly and they wouldn't go any shorter but hey it was only going to be a 4 hr ride and this mare was quiet aye.
Gawd I am a glutton for punishment.

So when she put in the first couple of small bucks at the bottom of a hill, I was somewhat surprised. And not being able to reach the stirrups properly had me feeling a bit insecure at that point!
But we survived it. She put in quite a few more bucks in different places and a few other naughty moments but nothing that couldn't be easily ridden. She could have sent me flying any time she really wanted as I was just sitting perched on top of this bloody saddle.

By the time the ride was over, I was over the ride. Sore butt and aching muscles. I was happy to hand that horse back but grateful of course for being able to go out on the ride.

While packing up, Sooty kicked Summer a beauty in the front of the shoulder and now she has that swelling and nasty wound to add to the list of things wrong with her.
I could cry if it wasn't for knowing that my good friend is going through worse right now.

So yesterday I began the process of getting a saddle made to fit Summer. I am sick of saddles and everyone told me to wait till she was 7 yrs old. Now she is so it is time.
Treeless saddles are fine obviously for a few hours but not 8 in one day.

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