I’ve finally thrown everything aside and to shut my conscience up, I am, at last adding to this blog as I promised to.
I termed my riding school the “Worst riding school in the world,” and no one can prove otherwise. What qualifications did I have to presume to teach others how to ride? None whatsoever! I’d played around on my friend’s horse maybe a dozen times in the last years of primary school. This was followed by about a year’s worth of once a week lessons at an hour a time. Then I didn’t get on a horse until I arrived in Gabarone in Botswana. The boss’s wife also liked riding, she would and she could! So I was press-ganged into going with her and as she was in the intermediate class, I joined that.
However after the first outride, when they realized that I wasn’t with the group having fallen behind, due to lack of my feet in the stirrups and the pony enjoying a snack by the trail – they firmly demoted me to the beginners class. As you may well have read, fate landed me in Francistown with two horses to care for. I knew no other people who had horses, and remember no internet in those far flung days, so I was pretty much left to my own devices.
In England it all seemed so easy, turn them out into a green field and let them get on with it. Then a net of hay at night in the stable and that’s all it took. But there are no green fields in Botswana, and they had to eat something!
The first person I asked for help, directed me to the livestock food store just outside town and to the local brewery.
“The brewery?” I asked in amazement.
“Yes, best stuff for horses in the world.”
You want to know what you get for horses in a factory making beer?
I’ll tell you next time.