Endurance Riders

Endurance and Long Distance Equine Disciplines

Download Loose Stallion Mar 5.kmz

We started out just to have a training ride for one of my young mares, an hour in the desert and another in the countryside, to see how she's coming along in her work. She's about four and a half, a rose-grey baladi arab, the unconcerned mother of the devil of the farm Shams who runs riot with the dogs. Farag has been training her under saddle and as yet hasn't had me try her out, but I like to see how the youngsters are doing so we take them out with a fogey or two on checkout rides. My friend Cris was along with Nayzak who at 9 isn't exactly a fogey and I was riding Bunduq who would probably object strenuously to the term.

The weather now is wonderful. A light vest over a tshirt in the morning and that can come off halfway down the trail. Now that we don't have these frigid winds whistling off the desert, there is a lot more action there horsewise. We spotted the trainer from Sakkara Country Club on a gorgeous bay mare trying to keep her from losing it when a couple of riders burst out from behind a sand hill at a gallop. After an exchange of encouragement and news we moved on out to the south with the intention of giving the horses a fast run up the Japanese Hill and then an easier return to the farm where Cris had a friend waiting with a novel in the sun.

From the top of the hill, however, I could see people working over behind the pyramids of Abu Sir and I decided that we would make a brief stop to chat with the archaeologists about the usefulness of a stop on their part at Sakkara Country Club to complain about the bloody ATV's that the club is renting. We made our way down the hill and then back up by the area that the men were assessing with portable underground radar machines, picking our way carefully past ribbons and tapes tacked into the ground with stakes to reach the scientists. I explained what had happened on Monday and how there are ATV tracks all over the site. To be honest, they seemed less than enthusiastic about saying anything even though we pointed out that the farms are all banding together to complain.

As we were about to leave a lovely fleabitten grey stallion galloped up the hill to us, challenged Nayzak and Bunduq to a fight and decided that poor Shaboura looked ripe for the picking. He had a saddle on him, reins flying, but no rider. Just great. After dancing around avoiding the lustful young equine, finally Farag was able to get one of the Egyptian helpers of the archaeologists (who were just standing there with their mouths open) to grab Shabboura's bridle while he went for the stallion. Cris and I were maneuvering to a) grab Shabboura and to b) avoid a fight with our visitor...two relatively mutually exclusive objectives. Once the boy took Shabboura I was able to take her reins and Farag was able to grab the stallion whose heart wasn't really into conflict. He was soaking wet and had obviously been running some distance, so I went to the tallest nearby hill to se if we could spot a rider either walking or lying on the ground. Nothing in sight anywhere, so between that and the condition of the horse, we estimated that the rider fell somewhere after the Japanese Hill. Farag was fairly certain that he knew the horse's owner and called the Club to be sure. Indeed he's owned by a twenty-something Egyptian boy who had been out riding for the past two hours and who had left his phone with his father at the club, hadn't told anyone where he was going, and who never wore a helmet. We were a little uneasy. We gave the information to the people at the Club as to where the horse was found and told them that we would take it back to my place to see that it didn't cramp.

So the ride ended earlier than planned with Farag riding the stallion back to the farm while I ponied Shabboura back. Not long after we arrived, we got word that following our directions, they'd found the boy, dignity in shreds but everything else intact. His father drove their groom over to collect the horse who we delivered in one good piece. Being a nosy, bossy mom-type, I recommended gelding the horse and grounding the kid for riding alone and without a helmet or phone. Poor old father just hemmed and hawed and looked embarrassed. Egyptian boys tend to be rather willful. I also told him that if his son ever wants to get rid of the horse, I'd take him in a heartbeat and geld him in the second one. REALLY nice horse.

I was really glad that we train all the horses to pony and be ponied from an early age. Sure made things easier all around, and poor Shibs came home, got a nice bath and was turned out with an extra ration of berseem after her near sexual assault in the desert.

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