Four beats to freedom - a horseback journey through New Zealand

Mary's New Zealand Diary   -  24 April


The achievement is almost as great as getting through the Rangitata. 
The boys had a week off followed by theoretically a little loosening up on the lunge - in which time I managed to get Foggy going short as a result of the unaccustomed work on circles but he has since recovered. How can one go all those places we have gone and then lame a horse on a dressage arena - must say something about what we are asking in our flat work....

My heart also missed more than a few beats when I found my blissfully comfortable Kimberly Poley stock saddle, supplied by Weatherbeeta, apparently with a broken tree - the gullet was definitely wobbly. All praise and thanks to Abby, from THE TACKROOM, EAST TARANAKI DRIVE, who picked it up at about 20 minutes notice, opened it up to establish that it was just a couple of loose screws in the adjustable gullet, resolved the problem and returned it to me within 24 hours.

The weather has been kind as we have made our way first to Totara Park where we had a lovely morning with RDA and an afternoon with pony club, and the on Sunday morning through Manakau and Mangere to Ambury Park. Industrial estates are good riding on a Sunday - verges wide enough for a string of racehorses and no trucks. 


The more salubrious areas of Mangere were self evident in the amount of glass in evidence on the pavement - some of it in socks??!! But I was impressed by the up beat and positive attitude of the children who gambolled out to greet us and were invariably polite and slightly in awe of the fact that we were there at all.

On the Monday we went into Rosehill School in Papakura where foggy had a lesson in geography. 

On the Tuesday I talked at length with students at Ambury Park Centre of Riding Therapy. On the Wednesday four of those students set off with me to ride to the old Mangere bridge which I set out across, beneath the hum of the motorway traffic up above. We ploughed on through the western suburbs, visiting Mount Roskill School en route, to stay the night at Henderson Pony Club . Next night in Kumeu and on through Riverhead forest (Thank you, Carter Holt Harvey) to KauKapakapa where the boys are up to their eyeballs in grass and I went sailing with friends at the weekend. Very civilised.

You might like this picture of Jayne Craike, New Zealand's paralympic gold medallist in dressage, taken during her display at the Auckland show. She has the same amputation as my mother had...






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