Monday, April 3, 2017

A Horse Is A Blessing

Soon after we moved to Lusaka last year we found a farm outside of town where the girls could ride horses. This farm is owned by white Zambians. The wife, who is the horseback riding instructor, was born and raised on this farm.
They have around 80 horses and 100s of acres of land. Many kids ride there every week. 
Horse farming and horseback riding are very different in this country. 
Because there is so much land the horses and riders have great freedom. 
On the first day, the girls mounted their horses and they rode down a driveway that leads to the family polo field. There are few fences, few walls, no enclosed arenas.

The other big difference is that the children who ride do not tack-up their horses. The farm employs 5 grooms(men) who do everything to take care of the horses day in and day out and 
get them ready for classes.

The girls started in a class that the owner of the farm was teaching. But, by accident, a couple of weeks after we started the lady forgot to tell me that she would be out of town and we would not have classes. So we show up at the normal schedule. The "head groom" informed me of the situation and felt bad that I had come so far. So, William said that he would do our lessons. From that day forward he has been teaching our little group of 7 American kids and they love him.

This is the road to get back to the DRY season.
This is the same spot on the same road in WET season.
On that road there are 2 zebra that we have seen a couple of times.
We don't know what the story is with them, but they are beautiful.
Here is the area (I guess you could call it a paddock)
 where the children come when they arrive and where they mount their horses
and wait to be released down to the field with their instructor. 
In that paddock are the stalls for all of the schooling horses.
They have another area of the farm for other horses.
They have chickens, ducks, and some dogs on the farm.
This is the expanse of their property. I took this picture in dry season.
(The paddock is just to my right.)
Here is basically the same picture during rainy season.
One of the nice grooms helping Lilly with her stirrups.
Emma totally loving life. She has adjusted well from her western-style riding in the states.
My girls ready to go.
This is William. He is very kind and patient with these kids.
This is some of our group hanging out in the paddock, waiting to get started with their lesson.
And they are off....just like that....
They will ride their horses all the way down to a polo field that is about 1/2 mile down the hill.

You can't really tell, but they are working on jumping.
And they are that far from where I can park the car and sit and watch.
This particular day they weren't quite as far away.
Then after their lesson they head back up the hill to the paddock.

Sweet Lilly and her Teka

These are our IMB friends that live near us. They ride with Lilly and Emma every week.

To these kids......a horse is a blessing.

Much Love,

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