Thursday, 17 March 2011

Let go of those that want to hurt you!

Over the past few days the following little clips have come to me. Possibly to prepare me for the spiteful and immature vendetta that someone is trying to create about old stuff that happened years ago, forgotten, done and dusted and put into the files of life's learning experience.  


So, I have a choice; to react with anger and retaliate or just to shrug and let it go.  I am choosing to let it go, but in doing so would just like to share it with others. 


‎... that generosity will make you rich. The best thing to do if you're feeling poor is to give something away. Give a few dollars to a homeless person, some clothes to a thrift store or pay for the person behind you at the drive through. Instead of focusing on what you don't have, focus on what you do have and how you can bless others with it. Being able to give is a Divine gift in itself.
Letting go makes you wealthier. Wealth is never measured by what you have, but by what you can give away. You are rich with money when you can afford to donate. You are rich with love when you can give love freely. You are rich with God when you can behold your enemy with compassion.
So dear lady,
To you who has such hatred, how sad that you are so angry. I would have thought that you had moved on, grown, matured and let go of past unpleasantness. I am stronger because of you, as your actions no longer cause me concern, upset me a little, yes, but then I take a big breath and let you go.........................
Just remember that you reap what you sew...........

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Torstone Moonlight

Moonlight, my sweet darling horse.  We have been together for 20 years, he has been around longer than my kids and hubbie - so yes, he is very much part of who I am and who I have become.

I first met Moonlight as a young colt next to his mom.  A cute foal out of a beautiful Arabian mare Chesyb Dunari, and the father, well he was a "Transkei Special" named Duke.   The breeder Rene (Al Adiyat Arabians), was not very happy about this union, and when Moonlight was 9 months old she gave him to me.
So he grew up with my string of trail ponies that I had in the mountains in Stutterheim.  At 2 he was gelded, but unbeknown to me he had sewn his wild oats and covered my Boerperd mare Danica Dee.  The result = Torstone Starlight  on the 12 August 1992. (that's another tail)

And so Moonlight grew up.  When taking riders out on out rides, I could never keep him in, he would jump the gate and follow us, so that is how he was started!  I just put a saddle on one day and let him come with us.  I was really into showing and dressage at that stage, and did a lot of work with him - even to this day, I dont really ride him, just think what I want and he does it! But he was not big enough to show, and he hated dressage - he was good at it, but would buck in protest down the long side and one judge commented that he did a lovely test, lots of rhythm-um and forward going, but just a little over impulsed!!
I tried to sell him - but no one wanted him :-(

Thats when I was introduced to Endurance Riding.  The East London Endurance club had the Stutterheim ride and I got involved with the organizers and did my first pleasure ride on my mare Danica Dee.  I thought it was a huge achievement to have ridden 20 km ha ha - I knew nothing!!  So one of the guys came and had a look at the little chestnut I had.  He said he is perfect, put some shoes on (we all shod in those days) and do the 80km next year.  And thats what I did.  A year later, 2 March 1996 Moonlight and I finished our first 80km in 5 and a half hours. We were hooked.  It took me another year to get fed up with showing and dressage and then we hit the endurance circuit at a gallop.

For the next two years, Moonlight and I were unbeaten in any race we entered and won several Best Condition awards.  We did Fauresmith two years in a row, finishing 44th the first year in 10 hours 29 min. and then finishing 28th in 9 hours 50 min.  We represented the Eastern Cape on both occasions and got our provincial colors.
Moonlight was award the Eastern Cape Horse of the Year for 1997 and 1998
On the 8 August 1998 we completed our first 100 miler.  It was also the year that South Africa was first invited to ride internationally, things were moving and shaking and Moonlight and I were in the running to represent SA at Fauresmith 1999.  But it was not meant to be.
The following morning Moonlight came out of his stable on 3 legs.  The vets said he would never be ridden again, must they put him down now?  I was horrified and said no, give him enough pain killer to get him home.  During the night he had ripped his deep flexor tendon and his tendon sheath.  I was heart broken.  All my dreams and hard work came crashing down around me :-(

He could put no weight on the damaged leg.  We could not get his shoes off, and immobilizing him in the stable was impossible - he was smashing the door with the injured leg to try and get out.  So for 6 weeks he hobbled around with bandaged legs, finally managing to get his shoes off and feet trimmed.  I then turned him out, lame and hobbling into the veld for the next year.

By the end of that year we had moved to Sunray Farm and I was giving up hope of Moonlight ever been sound again - then I met Kim Dyson.  She started me on homeotoxology treatment - injecting stuff straight into the injured area! (this led to a very grumpy and unhappy horse!) Shortly there after Clive Heersen came into our life - a homeopath and great horse lover, he said give him these little white pills and get on a ride!  What, was he mad?  Use it of loose it he said. 3 months later, many hours and km's of walking road work and buckets of tears, Moonlight was walking and trotting sound!
Moonlight was looking fantastic, and we were having such fun together so I entered him in the local Agricultural Show at Komga. He came home with a dozen rosettes and meddles and the title of Champion three gaited riding horse on show.  My boy was back on track.  (Moonlight went on for the following two years to be Reserve Champion Three Gaited Horse on Show with Branden riding)

It took another year of work and riding. Moonlight took Branden to shows and Tilden riding camp, took Ashley to shows and jumped and generally became our family horse. We even did a few 30 and 60 km endurance rides and Ashley did his first ever 80km on Moonlight.  In May 2002 I rode him in the Eastern Cape Endurance Championships over the Stutterheim course.  2x80km endurance rides ridden back to back (one on Friday and one on Saturday) we finished both in 4hrs 33 and 4 hrs 57 and were rewarded with the title of Reserve Champion.  We did one more 80km after that in 4hrs 25 at Hoffmeyer and I called it a day.  He had not only come back to complete an endurance ride, but came back in good times and qualify for Fauresmith 2000.

He was my hero and beloved friend.

When I started Wild Coast Horse Trails, he was given a new career as my lead trail horse. Moonlight was my compass exploring and finding the different routes and paths along the Wild Coast. For 6 years Moonlight was my right hand man.  He new the route, where to stop, how long it took for riders to take photos, and where we were suppose to stop and get off - he would park himself at the same bush every time!! :-)

He also practiced  escapology - opening gates and taking the trail horses back to the Kei River on several occasions! (NOT good for moms humor!)  He is terrified of oxen pulling slays ladened with wood.  Has never stood still when I want to get on, has no patience and will dig holes in the ground if he thinks he is getting left behind! Pulls like a steam engine and I dare not ride with out gloves - my hands will be torn to shreds!  It was only in the last few months before I retired him as lead horse that any one else could get past him on a gallop down the beach - he was the fastest - and new it!

I retired him a few years ago as lead horse.  His old joints cant take the soft sand and gallops anymore, and he would come home from trail sore and stiff. So now he is still the man, still commands respect in the herd, still wont let anyone else talk to me  - I am his human.  We do the occasional hack on the farm, and did a full day ride on the beach in December.  Him and Suave have been teaching the younger horses about riding with game, but he is back home now.  Grey in the face, and a little sway backed maybe, but much loved and never forgotten.

Through all the years, he has been my constant friend and safe place to be.  He has given me the wings that I needed to fly, the strength to sore when so much else was going wrong, and then the freedom to gallop and make my dreams come true. I salute you my dear, dear friend Torstone Moonlight.

Wednesday, 09 March 2011

Third time lucky!

Ok, so here goes again!!
Will I be able to keep this up - this a the third time that I have sat down with full intentions of keeping and writing a blog, but it gets a bit hectic out here in the bush.  Although I must say I seem to be totally hooked on Facebook, but I dont always say what I want to say cause its a bit short.

We have taken more riders on trails in the past two months than we did the whole of last year.  Thank God!
I never want to go through a tough time like that again.  But thanks to sheer determination, and the good will of people we work with, we have managed to pull through, and this year is looking to be the best ever!

The 7 night safari is a definite success.  A fabulous ride, combining game view and beach riding!
But I digress, this blog is not about flogging the trails, but rather about what we are up to, the horses, and general life in Africa.

I hope to keep it up beat and amusing, occasionally sad, and hopefully I wont need to rant....
Chat to me everyone, I love to hear from you...