It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Macatoo Camp - Moko

Here's Moko's official blurb from the camp brochure:-

  • 15.2hh, 1993, chestnut Arab cross.
  • A very reliable horse who is a favourite with many guests due to his lovely paces and nice temperament.

I’ve since found out that they guessed his age for the description, and it turns out he’s 24.  And he's got one eye.  Really.  He had problems with one of his eyes for about 18 months and they tried everything, and about 6 months ago they removed it and sewed over the socket.  It doesn’t make him the prettiest horse from the right hand side, but he’s an absolutely brilliant boy.

I was nervous at first that he’d be unstable on his feet as he had only one eye, but he was fine and seemed very happy to be out doing some work and snatching at mouthfuls of grass as we ambled past. 

Our first trot ended up being a lovely collected canter as we rode through the high grass.  I held him on a very loose rein, hoping that it would encourage him to find his own feet and path over the uneven ground, and he stumbled no more than any of the other horses I’d ridden over such broken ground – such a good boy for 24 and one eye!

At morning tea break, I was surprised to see that Moko was the only horse not tied.  Apparently he’s been around for so long that he just stays with you.  I chose an apple from the snack box and Moko walked towards me as I was munching away, sitting on the grass.  I offered him the core and he took it very happily.  Many of the horses here aren’t used to such things, and I was surprised and thrilled that he took it.  I thought he was great and he really seemed to like a bit of a cuddle.

Oh, and whilst we're on the subject of morning tea, the first morning after I dismounted, I ran the stirrups up and loosened the girth before I sat down.  Then I noticed that the guides hadn't run up their stirrups, but had loosened their girths.  When I asked about the stirrups not being run up, Sekongo replied "What happens if you need to get on in a hurry and get out of here?".  Valid point, Sekongo.  I didn't run the stirrups up after that, though did loosen the girth one hole each time.  I figured that if it was an emergency, I can clamber on with a looser girth, but I definitely can't clamber on if my stirrups are run up ...

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