Day 69 on the Road
Horse Riding at Makoura Lodge
Today’s activity on New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year is horse trekking at Makoura Lodge in Manawatu!
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Erm, do you want to go horse trekking today perhaps? Hell yeah! I love horse trekking.
So today again we are waking up at Makoura Lodge which is a beautiful lodge in the middle of the Ruahine Ranges. Because it’s winter, the horses have been rolling round in mud to give themselves an extra layer of warmth but when you put a saddle on top of this mud it’s not so comfortable for them so Kimberly gives us a metal brush and well it’s like a metal scraper, brush, scrape the dry mud off them brush it all off and then we have a nice clean horse. Robin’s horse is called possum, my horse is called Maddy. Apparently Maddy is meant to be a mellow horse, meant to be chilled out but has a bit of a fiery side to her so Kim has tried to you know match us up with the horses that would suit our personalities and Robin has Possum whose meant to be you know an independent individual that is controlling and a pain in the arse.
So that is what Robin’s got, I’ve got cool and collected Maddy. So we’re going up the hill it’s actually the same hill that we took when we did 4 by 4 driving so we are treated to the same magnificent views from the top of the hill and we actually have a very similar weather today. When we were about to leave it was actually raining quite a lot but right now it’s actually getting much better and you know the sun actually piercing through the sky and is clearing out the thick sky layer to make space for beautiful sunshine so I think it’s going to be a pretty awesome horse trek and I just can’t wait to actually get started because we are not on the track just yet.
We go downhill for a bit to our first river crossing and this downhill bit here is the slipperiest and this is where the horses are slipping off the grass and all this but it’s all good they know what they’re doing and we get to our first river crossing it’s only small but it’s a taste of things to come and we go through Kimberley is at the front going yeehah! makes it fun going over a river. And yeah, we survived our first river crossing. That’s the first time I’ve ever done a river crossing with a horse so that’s pretty awesome. Now we are going up the next hill and making our way to a really awesome view. We can see below the river that we actually going to be trekking through to go on the way up.
The views again are amazing we can see the whole river down there we can see the whole mountain and the whole native bush there is a lot of cliffs as well as lot of rocky cliffs with a lot of white and yellow limestone which kind of merge together and give you this shiny look and it just really looks epic. It just looks like it’s a wild space that you’re just riding through. And it’s only about to get more crazy cos we’re going downhill now and we are going down to the river. We can here the gushing noise of the river right now because it has been raining a lot lately so the river is kind of a high level so I think it’s going to be quite an entertainment to ride all the way up the river from there.
So we are now trekking through the river which is awesome like the river at first is sort of like up the knees of the horse then there’s some sections where we literally have to lift our own legs up or else we are going to get our feet wet. Yeah, it’s really fun to do this and it’s in such a beautiful environment as well. And we’re doing all sorts of different things with these horses, which I never thought I’d be able to do on a horse. Passing through the river was an experience that I’ve never done before I’ve done quite a lot of horse trek before but I’ve never ride a horse on the water. And Kimberley tells us that in summer they let the horse actually swim literally they have some water holes where the horse can swim and a lot of them really love it. My feet are dragging in the water for the whole time because I’m lanky and tall. My horse is actually having a blast.
Possum is as I say a character he does like to do what he wants he doesn’t like to follow my orders and this is another way he’s doing it, he really loves the water so while Tussock and Kimberley went on a very short path through the water and went back on the banks of the river, Possum decides to take me all the way in the main stream of the river with a lot of current and yeah he just decides that this is going to be my way there is now way I’m following those people over there. I am having my fun. Kimberly’s giving Robin some instructions to learn how to control his horse. Robin listens and the rest of the way is literally a battle between Robin and Possum it’s quite hilarious. Cos robin’s always wanting to do one thing, possum wants to do the next, It’s like these two they’re so similar that it’s just clashing like crazy and from now on every time we stop to take photos Robin is just going round in circles because he can’t keep his horse still and it’s just a constant battle and it’s hilarious to watch and then Possum just basically gives Robin the middle hoof and make him drag through every single tree possible and every single bush so robin’s finishing the horse trek with literally bush sticking out of his helmet it’s hilarious.
So we keep on going and we keep on going upstream very slowly making our way back up the whole river we passing quite a few areas that are looking really really gorgeous but we arrive at one point where there is no way we are moving forward right now it’s not happening there’s just too much water it’s as simple as that so after we’ve gone through the river for a while we get to our final gate and our final field before we return to the stables cos we’ve been doing like a loop today and then she kind of says something like hey guys do you want to go fast now and Laura understands hey go go go start running.
In that second Maddy mellow Maddy Maddy whose been slow this entire trip Maddy who has been at the back of the bloody line the whole time somehow gets some energy and she goes nuts she just goes flying down the field so fast and Kimberley is helping her to jump back on the horse not even a question Laura doesn’t care Laura is not fussed it’s a small mistake it does happen there was no harm made at all. It’s actually Ok, I landed on a spot where I don’t use my bum too much I sort of aimed like right I’ll fall off in the least important place and I decided it was right there. Good job. It was an awesome trek, awesome scenery varied in terrain we’re going from river to mountain to field to ponds and like saw so much and we go to do some cantering that’s what I actually really enjoyed when we do horse riding so yeah it has everything everything we wanted to do.
Kimberley has been in a TV show in New Zealand called My Kitchen Rules so she is obviously like a chef which has some stuff to show us. She’s going to make some good food and when we get there indeed she makes some awesome food. Yeah, I’m ready for a canter bring it on and maybe this motion I am doing right now oh yeah oh yeah is probably not what you want to do on top of a horse. There were no arms you know harms made at all Laura has no arms anymore they are left attached to the rail.