So after spending a day at home, I made contact with a trekking friend who lives at Ohope in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.
Thinking I might go over and spend some time with him, and get Chief going some more.
Brian of course said come tomorrow, (New Years Eve) and I thought about it for 5 minutes and after trying to persuade my beloved to go (he declined) I rang my good friend Jan and she needed some time to think about it.
She rang me back at 10 pm that night and said yes, lets go. So I spent the night rushing to pack up all my gear, which I had just unpacked and cleaned, so it was everywhere!
I had to ring Brian early in the morning to let him know our decision and hardly slept all night in case I missed him.
So Friday morning we headed for a new adventure not being too sure what to expect.
We spent New Years Eve enjoying the company of new friends and old ones and celebrating the new facilities that had just been finished (well almost finished) which Brian had built specially for his trekking friends.
The next day, the 7 of us headed out for a ride with packed lunch and a day full of promise.
Of course the beach was totally packed with people, tents, umbrella's, small children with dogs and surf board in tow.
Poor little Chiefy had his eyes on stalks and was beside himself at times. But the others were all good settled horses so he pretty much followed what they did and grew in confidence as the day progressed.
Lunch under some Pohutukawa's was welcomed and then 2 of our party headed home while the rest of us opted to continue on.
It was a VERY long ride and 8 hrs after we left home, we made it back again having experienced many new things along the way including riding along state highway 2!!
The next day we did some more beach, a bit of hill riding and then back down the beach to home. At one point I headed out on Chief on my home and he started to settle into his obviously natural ambling gait. I hardly stopped grinning. Talk about fun!!!!! Even the few massive shies (thanks Summer for teaching me stickability!) that occurred when something scary jumped out from a tent (think small child towing a surfboard) didn't put him off stride.
He just kept rocking and they were all starting to take notice of my wee hippy boy from the back of no where.
Last day we did a farm ride and I let Paul who had been admiring him have a ride. Chief however had other idea's and a repeat of Christmas day occurred and chief brok the bridle and took off down the road. Luckily a few of the others were ahead and could stop him so I ran down and caught him.
Paul did well getting on as Chief was not happy at all and I rode Brian's Pania who Paul had been riding.
We made it home finally and packed up ready to head for home this morning.
So thats been the most amazing week I can ever remember. Amazing friends, super horses, and just everything in between that was just...........brilliant.
I am still buzzing and to be honest, I could have just stayed on. However I am looking forward to having a HOT shower. The gas califont wasn't being installed till today so it was cold showers all round. And when the water comes from a bore 64 metres undeground......the water is bloody cold!
I will get some photos from Jan to post sometime.
The only downer I can think of (apart from having to come home) was talking to charlie one night on the phone and getting the news that he thought it would be at least another month before I could even consider putting a girth back on Summer.
So thats sealed it really. Me and Chief are going to stage 6 of The Great NZ Trek.
It's almost like this blog has come full circle. My first posting on this Blog
The other news is that while I was away, a woman came to see Frank and has left a sizeable deposit here for him. She is apparently returning in a week or so to pick him up.
The whole family fell for his charm including the husband who said he hated horse's.
She sounds nice and is obviously experienced.
Frank will be her own horse and eventually will be broken to harness as well as riding.