Thursday, December 30, 2010


Monday morning, Jan and I headed for Mokau to stay with a friend, at her parents place. Susan grew up at Mokau and has been riding around the farms in the area for some time.

With a churning stomach, we headed off that afternoon on my first proper ride out on Chief. We had to go along the highway and over a bridge to get onto the track so I of course opted to lead him. Susan and Jan did also as there was a heap of traffic around.
There was a Jet ski hooning around in the river as we crossed the bridge. Chief broke out in a sweat at this point and was becoming highly stressed.
Once off the road though he settled slightly and I got on and we headed off on our ride. He was keen, and still sweating like a freak due to being stressed and the 28 degree heat!

After about 2 hrs though he settled right down and I started to enjoy myself. He is smart, nimble, good on his feet, can read the country in front of him well and while he can be inclined to try to take control, he is honest, and thats something I am fast becoming to appreciate.

At one quite steep Papa face, Susan's big mare was stopping and skidding a bit, I just let Chief have his head and was amazed at the path he chose for himself. It was perfect and he even followed the natural ridge line about 3/4's of the way up. At that point, I was deciding he was going to be one good little horse.

5 1/2 hrs later, we were back, sunburnt, tired and me feeling pretty damn good about my wee Chiefy pony.

Crawled happily into my tent that night but was woken in the small hrs by wind which was starting to kick up. Then I woke again to what I thought was a drip of water. Hmm, the tent was leaking! The wind was fair getting going and so was the rain. About 4.45 am I abandoned the tent, took my duvet and pillow and crawled into the back of the ute to sleep out the morning. The tent was secure and while it was dripping inside slightly, the mattress had its canvas cover over it and the suitcase of clothes was dry in the corner.

Sometime during the morning, the rain did ease and I thought I should check on the tent. Oh dear........................................... the fly sheet was gone and the rain was pouring in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Everything was soaking.

The boat Susan's parents use for river tours

Thank goodness for kind hosts with a clothes dryer but I wasn't looking forward to drying out the rest of my stuff!
No riding that day. The weather started to ease later in the afternoon and I managed to sort some of my gear out. We went for a drive around the sites of Mokau, had dinner and then went for a beach walk.
Stormy beach

Looking across Mokau to where we had been riding the previous day.

After spending the night on the nice dry couch, we headed off quite early for a good long ride again.
Chief settled much quicker and riding wise, was gaining in confidence quickly. Some issue over standing still to mount and I had to have 5 minutes at one time, to give him a lesson but thats the good thing about having good riding friends. They understand and were happy to wait till we got that sorted.

We saw some fantastic sites and crossed some big country. Didn't get many photos as Chief not good at standing still for long. Still wary about what my hands are doing etc.
Leading him down one VERY steep and long hill, he actually bit me on the arm. It is something he has done before but I was quite shocked. Not too sure what that's about. I 'think' it's a bit of a stress thing but not too sure. Something to watch for anyway!

So after a good 8 hrs out and about, it was back to pack up and head for home. A quick stop at the Awakino Hotel was in order we thought, so spent 1/2 hr there chatting to a couple of people. One of them it turned out, was the person who owned the empty section we had set ourselves up on.

Home late last night. Very tired but happy. Chief so tired he couldn't care much about anything at that point.

So pleased with him though. While tired, I think some of the is mentally tired as well as physically. He coped fantastically with everything asked of him. He quite often took the lead and marched along. I allowed him to amble a bit but really wanted to focus on just getting a nice steady walk established before we got into zooming along while out on a ride.

Thinking now I might take him to another friends place for a few days, just to get him established a bit more.

1 comment:

sally said...

Sounds like a fun adventure. Glad to hear chief was a good pony. Does your friend run the boat tours?