Four beats to freedom - a horseback journey through New Zealand

The Horses' Page - updated by Boris  (and by Foggy here)

From Foggy - 23 September

Hi! I'm pleased to say that Mary and I have now met and that we seem to enjoy each other's company. There have been times I thought I should have stuck to being a dressage horse - she seems to be piling in the work, and when the sun shines I get pretty hot and sweaty since I still have a winter coat. I had a good go at showing her what a splendid chap I am and tanked a bit to begin with - but she just laughed, so there didn't seem any point in setting up an argument!  We had a good morning playing in the Waimakariri river, which is quite low at present - I like to put my nose right under and blow bubbles - and we have had some fun tanking up and down some steep old sand dunes as well.

I have to admit that I do tend to pile on the kilogrammes a bit easily, so I am being kept on rather tight grass rations. I don't pretend to be entirely happy about this, but I get a little hay as well - the roughage is a good balance to the high sugar content of the grass at this time of year - and some excellent pony pellets and carrots morning and night. I have even had the novel experience of being WEIGHED. 
16th September 544 Kg
23 September 540KG 

(I am told that were I a steer I would be ready for despatching to the works , but I find this sort of talk a bit tasteless...)

The biggest problem seems to be finding me a saddle. I pride myself on my somewhat statuesque shoulder, and it seems that saddles are made for more wimpy individuals. They either pinch or rub, and I do not find either acceptable. Fortunately Mary realises this, and is going to a lot of trouble to find something comfortable for both of us. An awful lot of horses in this world have to work with saddles that don't fit, and then their riders wonder why they are awkward or grumpy or stiff. I'm glad I wont be one of them.

So all in all, life looks pretty good...  more soon!

Introducing Boris

Wotcha! Never had so much new stuff in me life – new saddle, new breastplate, new girth, new pack saddle, new bridle, new cover – feel like a bloomin’ mannequin! Though I have to say it all feels pretty comfy . And a new partner and a new boss into the bargain – I could feel quite disorientated but no point in wasting valuable eating time getting stressed about it. 

I made sure I showed them what I’m made of though, when I charged down that slope with the packs up – just skipped down, I did, and at speed – never missed a stride – gee it was fun. That’s the sort of thing I’m really good at…

Had me teeth rasped when we got to Christchurch - can’t say I was too impressed ‘cos the gag got in the way of eating, but it does feel a bit more comfortable now those sharp edges are gone. I can eat even more …

This is me in my new rug - bit posh, eh?  I hope none of my friends see this! But thanks anyway to the guys at Weatherbeeta.

Wotcha! I’m Boris  and I’m going to be the real man in this party.   I haven’t heard too much about it yet, but I met Mary on Wednesday and she brought me a carrot so she can’t be all bad.   I’m just about 15 hands, (just) and I’m nine years old and I know more about this game than all the rest of them put together.  I belong to Rob and Mandy Stanley, from Hurunui Horse Treks  and my favourite job is taking Rob pig hunting.   Its quite hard work – but I feel just so good when I see all the admiring looks from the girls when I get home with a 220Kg wild boar on my back.  

I go on the treks as well, and I once went right over to the west coast – one hell of  a journey that was.  Steep!  And Stony!  But I like playing games and jokes on those who ride me – I can shake my head in a pretty convincing way and I HATE people hanging on to my mouth  - so I don’t get to take so many clients.   This sounds a long trip … maybe I should have tried a bit harder….

 I’m told that This Foggarty is a brother of mine -  my Dad was Erriff.   But I’m pure Connemara –  none of this mongrel stuff.


This is a picture of my full brother, Stoney the stallion, also owned by Rob and Mandy.   I look a bit like him – just whiter and rounder (and you may say, better looking! - I couldn't!)


Happy eating –


15 October 

Foggarty here. 
I just feel SO well! The hills were a bit steep and my heart rate went up a bit but I didn’t expire and it was BRILLIANT! The tussock was tasty and I love looking at the view across the plains when I’m at the top. 
It's good to have the chance to get to know Boris. To tell the truth, I think he’s a bit self opinionated – he does like to brag about his exploits pig hunting with Rob – and I got pretty miffed when Mary put that pack saddle on me. Not that it worries me – but she expects ME to travel at the BACK and I find that a bit infra-dig. So I argue about it and do my best to get ahead… and in the paddock I am definitely the BOSS whatever he says!

I had a good bit of private enterprise one night, when I was the only one with the presence of mind to realise that the sacks of feed were sitting on the verandah.  I didn’t share the knowledge, just crept up and helped myself – very tasty it was too. Well, a chap has to keep his strength up…. More soon - love Foggy!


Foggarty here. Another week of this fittening lark. We went up to a friends farm on Tuesday and had a lovely canter up the hills – I puffed and blew a bit I admit… There was an electric fence clicking by one gateway and I found that very frightening – I hate things that crack. Always worry I might get bitten.

 We had another play in the Waimakariri as well – I did a lot of splashing just to please the photographer. Here’s a picture of Mary and me by the river.

Still looking for the saddle…. I seemed to have had so many changes this week. The one we have now is very comfy for me – even if the girth isn’t done up tight it stays in the right place, whereas most of them move back, but Mary says it’s not so good for her. Well she can get off and walk. I can’t take my saddle off now can I?!

Weighed again this morning - 544kg again. They say that this means that my workload is balanced by what I’m eating. Calories in = calories out and all that stuff. I think it’s a bit tough really – could eat all day…. Yesterday we stopped to talk with a friend whilst exercising and I chomped my way through an apple and a banana from her fruit bowl….

Onwards and upwards


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