In between the adventures that Mr Nomad and I seek out, and in between some voluntary activities within the community, I spend my days riding horses as well as taking the Nomadic Family Unit fur babies for endless walks. Or both – horse riding with the fur babies accompanying us!
I had been leasing a horse known as Charlie but following on from our success at competitions, she was sold on to a more permanent home. This was just as well because shortly into the new year, Coronavirus halted life as we know it and of course, I was evacuated to the UK for a period of time. So there was a sad goodbye to Charlie.
Since my return to Kenya, I have continued in my endeavours to maintain the amazing riding in the African bush and I have leased another horse to occupy myself. She is known as Goldie or more formally, her racing name was Olympic Gold. She is an ex-racehorse so she is an exciting ride. She lives at the very same place where Charlie was stabled – at my friend’s ranch some 20 kilometres from Nanyuki, tucked away deep in the African bush and contained within the rolling savannah plains found at Ol Jogi Conservancy in Laikipia.
She is smaller in stature than Charlie was, standing at a mere 15hh and is a sprightly chestnut mare. I was concerned that my expanding rear end was a little much for her but she is an incredible weight bearer and takes everything in her stride without hesitation. She was a very successful race horse in her hey day and her transition to riding horse with a much more sedate life style has not fazed her one bit. She is attentive and keen, sometimes a little too keen but she has potential to burn.
I have had the opportunity to ride her out into the bush with my friends from Saddlebags Adventures and the wild life does not bother her one bit. We have been up close and personal with giant elephants and Goldie could not have cared less. We have ridden amongst towering giraffes and again, Goldie is not flustered whatsoever. The warthog, impala, waterbuck, eland and gazelle scurrying away from us caused her no concern. She was fascinated by the zebra, galloping along on a recent ride out.
She was not even alarmed by an errant Goaway bird flying up from the bushes. Whilst she does appear bomb proof and not easily startled or spooked, and she has the sweetest uncomplicated nature, she still has that ‘racehorse’ in her and she has an edge which will keep any rider on their toes.
We have started to jump both coloured show jumps and more natural rustic cross country fences and she loves it, although she is fizzy and prone to bursts of extreme speed and brakes can be an issue, but the desire and the ability is already apparent and she enthusiastically embraces every challenge thrown at her. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me and this little mare.
I am hopeful that equestrian competitions in Kenya may resume before the year is out. Covid saw to it that every event was cancelled for most of the year throughout the entire world and not merely confined to Kenya, but in the mean time, I intend to enjoy the amazing African country side from the back of my trusty steed, taking in the rugged wilderness and all the flora and fauna that it has to offer.