{Due to some sort of a glitch, the entirety of this original post was lost, this is a secondary post, sadly.}
The second half of our sixth day at Botlierskop consisted of a three hour horseback riding trek through Botlierskop Private Game Reserve.

image

We saddled up with Eben, our horse wrangler around 2:30 and took off at a trot. Immediately, Eben told us that the difference between an experienced ride and a beginner ride was that the experienced riders do not get pampered. I was stoked! I had not ridden horses this way since I was about 15 years old and it felt amazing to be off on a horse in the wide open. Chad was also an experienced horseback rider, when he was younger. Even more amazing was the fact that we were surrounded by acres filled with bontebok, rhinoceros, ostrich, zebra and kudu!

image
Spotting ostrich at the top!

The views were amazing! We even got to head off with Eben and help corral two young horses that had jumped a small fence near an enclosure. It was a wild time!

image

As we rode, we talked with Eben about South Africa, how it looks a lot like California and it feels familiar. He opened up to us about the country’s political and economical situations, being quite candid {we felt fortunate to experience his openness-I am sure that happens out on the open range, so to speak}. The horses we rode, Victor and Stein looked quite similar but Victor had something unique about him. He had a different gait that had been taught to him-a gait that was between a trot and a canter and was super smooth. I got the first hand experience with this gait and was thrilled! {Chad later got to try it as well.} Eben told us that there can be five different gaits in a horse, three gaits being the most common {trot, canter and run}. The other two gaits are taught to the horses as they grow up.

image

As we rode throughout Botlierskop with the animals, Eben showed us photos of raising Rambo and Gina, the two lions we had met earlier that day in our walkabout. He also showed us a photo of a leopard spotted in the park, caught on a motion camera. The leopard is one of the most elusive animals, rarely seen out. Eben mentioned they can come into the park, hunt, and then slip out without ever being spotted {save for the camera}. We actually rode back through an area that looked as if a leopard could be hiding out…a rocky, cave-like area. However, we spotted no leopard. When we returned to the main area of the reserve, Eben rode us out to the rhinoceros family, where we sat for awhile. Then, we headed back to the stables. Our horses had been so much fun, and when we got them unsaddled and unbridled, all three of them rolled in the dirt and kicked their feet into the air.

image
Victor, chilled out with his cool self

Being a horse is a wonderful thing, and these horses took great care of us that day!

image

We highly recommend the horseback ride through the reserve, as well as the game drive and the Walk with the Lion. We recommend highly and without a doubt the joy of staying at Botlierskop!!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s