Swaziland – Day 6

The sun was back out shining that day so we were definitely up for the horse riding today which some of the group were really excited about and some were really nervous not having done it before! We had to be at the reception for 8:45 so our hats could be fitted, I asked on of the ladies how she felt and she said she was really nervous and I got nudged and realised I shouldn’t have asked her because it can sometimes make their nerves worse. 2 of the team decided not to join us so they went with Jenny on a magical mystery tour. Once we were ready we made our way to the stables where we saw all the horses waiting outside for us so we could groom them before the horse riding safari begun. The 3 of the most experienced riders got their horses groomed and saddled up quickly or for them I wasn’t sure which had happened but they went out before us so they got more time on the horses so they could trot, canter and gallop. Whilst the rest of us groomed our horses and were shown how to pick the hooves which DSC05340I was worried about because I didn’t want to hurt the horse especially when he was being so good. I was paired with A young lady called Jo today which I was really looking forward to and we had a great time with Huckleberry our horse, most of the group were quite scared and I think I was the most experienced out of all of them ignoring the 3 who had gone ahead! We finished way before everyone else which gave us time to take pictures of us grooming, cuddling and hoof picking Huckleberry’s hooves. Once we had finished we all got different horses to ride so I had Baloo, we got the saddle on and went to a tree trunk so we could get on  which was the hard bit and then getting my feet right and then the guide told me Baloo likes to eat so I had to let him which was scary because I felt like I was going to fall off because they jerk their necks so far you kind of jolt, Jo’s horse’s saddle wasn’t put on properly bless her so that gave her a fright because she nearly fell Sideways due to the saddle slipping but once it was on she was ok and then we were all on and ready to go. We had to kick hard to get our horses going and once we were away from the grass it was a bit easier until we got into the national park where we rode through herds of antelope, passed some zebra and wildebeest and I tried to take a video of me riding which I managed and some pictures of different animals too but I just put the camera away at the right moment because first the horse behind mine didn’t seem to like mine Very much so it kicked mine according to the guide which made mine freak a bit but I got Baloo under control again until about 10mins later when we were nearing the dam and we went downhill slightly Baloo spooked again badly this time nearly throwing me over his head but somehow I managed to stay on and I really don’t know how but I was shaken and so were the others behind me, the guide said well done for managing to stay on. I then calmed down and we were ever closer to the lake when the guide said stop your horses which I did but Jo’s didn’t want to stop, there was a crocodile below as well which didn’t help but fortunately she managed to stop him just in time but then she found it difficult to get him going again as he was being stubborn and just wanted to eat. The guide kept saying just keep kicking but it wasn’t working so I just told her try pulling on the reins which Worked and off we went for a much more calming 2nd half of the ride. When we got Back I had some more pictures taken before being helped off the horse. Jack came over and said how amazing it was I managed to stay on because he was fearing the worst bless him, I didn’t even know he had seen what had happened so he said he owed me a drink that night lol! We then went back to our beehives briefly before heading down for lunch. The 3 experienced riders wanted to go out again in the afternoon so they had booked it for 2pm and we all went to visit the chief’s village first. We all had to dress in red shawl Type things forget what they are called with the King on the front. We went in and Jenny introduced us and they did a traditional welcome dance for us and then made us join in after we had said our hellos in Swazi I got accosted cause i said it right I think lol and we ladies danced for ages and then the men did a lot less! We then went back and we went for a walk again through the park which was lovely and the experienced guys got their 2nd ride which they loved even more! We then had dinner and had an early night because it had been another funfilled but busy day.

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