Argentina, Lujan : 23rd June 2002

Hallo everybody out there! I am called Mise and at last I get a chance to introduce myself. Firstly I'd like to give you a little bit of background... My official name is Siete Consentido. My father is called Pora el Tope and my mother Salitre Consentida. I was born the 26th of December 1992 but unlike Tusa I don't know much about astrology and sun-signs and will refrain from giving any more information. Mind you, I don't think he is such an expert himself because when I asked him for more clarification on my sign, he pretended to be very occupied, burying his face in an empty water bucket. I am still waiting for his reply.

Well, where does one start? I think it is important that I tell you that I am not the Mise (the white Criollo) you might have seen on pictures that is currently on our website. In a nutshell what happened is that a few weeks ago, Miss M started to have doubts about white Mise. She also got the opinion of a few people she trusted and who know a lot about horses and after they took turns to try out white Mise, they all agreed that he is too edgy and nervous with far too much energy for the kind of trip Miss M has in mind. They also thought he is a bit on the thin side and they wondered whether he will be up to such a grueling journey. It was a very difficult decision for Miss M because at this stage she had grown fond of white Mise and she was also worried where she will find another good Criollo. She was very lucky though to have met some very friendly people at a dinner at the Irish Embassy and they helped her to sort out things. And this is how I came into the picture...

Until I met Miss M and her friends, I had been living on a lovely farm called La Republica, not too far from Lujan with beautiful stables. The owner said that Miss M can choose a suitable horse and he was willing to do a swop for white Mise. How very considerate of him! I was brought out with one of my Criollo friends and everybody thought I was just wonderful! There opinions were confirmed once I was taken for a ride and a decision was made very quickly that I am indeed The One! The next day white Mise was brought to my farm and I got to join Tusa where he was staying. I thought I was hallucinating when I saw him because he looked like my twin brother with the same shape, colour and thick tail! I think I am better looking though and whoever cut his mane, did a terrible job especially in the front where they left him with a number 1, very odd-looking fringe. I hope for his sake it will grow out quickly.

Tusa and I had been staying on this farm for about a week while Miss M was preparing for our trip (Tusa gave me all the details about what is lying ahead of us but as I was trying to get used to my new environment, I didn't pay much attention to all his stories). Miss M had to get a new set of saddlebags because the original ones that had to go on the riding horse proved to be far too big. The new saddlebags were purpose made and I thought they looked very strong and durable. Well, it seemed that Tusa was indeed telling the truth because one Saturday morning we were brought outside the tack-room where we could see a couple of saddle-bags, saddle blankets, reins and bridles. Miss M decided that I had to be the riding horse for the day and after I got saddled up, Mise got a big saddlebag on either side of him. He was standing very patiently but I could see he was not really in the mood for all the commotion around him. We were then brought to the front of the house where Miss M got on top of me. One of her friends suggested that he will accompany her for the first few kilometres and he mounted his own horse. A few cameras were produced and for the next ten minutes we were the centre of attention. (It might sound more impressive if I said that camera lights were flashing all around us but you would know I was lying as this was in the middle of the day!). I looked at Tusa and noticed that the pack on his back was a bit lop-sided and I heard Miss M mentioning this to someone as well. I think her intention was to finish the photo-shoot and then adjust the pack but alas.... I am not sure whether Tusa got a tickle on his side, got frightened about the imbalanced pack or whether it was one of the dogs that scared him but the next moment he broke away and with magnificent speed charged towards the end of the garden. His sudden movements gave me an awful fright and the moment he started running, I followed. I completely forgot about Miss M on my back and I still don't know he she managed to stay on my back as I belted after Tusa. We came to a stop under a tree and just as Miss M was trying to catch the leading rope on Tusa´s head collar, he frantically started running again. At this stage the saddlebags had moved completely to underneath his belly and all I can say is that Tusa went mad!! He was kicking and bucking wildly and in the process managed to get the saddlebags ripped into pieces. Everything came loose, including the tripod that was fastened on top and with a undignified snort Tusa got rid of the equipment. We finally succeeded to catch him at the back of the house but when I tried to asked him what happened, all I got was a hurtful look and I still haven't found out exactly what went wrong.

We were supposed to do only a short trip that day (about 12 km) and the people of the farm where we were staying that night, came over to meet us. They offered to take the entire luggage with them to the farm so that we can travel without any extra weight. So, off we went on the first day of our journey with Tusa getting the best deal, as he had nothing to carry but himself! It was getting late at this stage and I calculated that we had at most an hour and a half of light left. Not that this bothered Tusa because he was dragging his feet from the word go and Miss M had great difficulty to get him to walk alongside me. No matter whether she held the leading rope a bit longer or near the head collar, Tusa kept on pulling back, making our progress very slow. I thought by myself that if he could walk as fast and much as he could talk we would have had no problems! He was starting to annoy me and with all the pulling and stopping, I decided that I've had enough and I tried to turn back. So it was merry-go-round for the next while with Miss M trying to urge me to move on and Tusa getting twisted up in the leading rope every time I turn around. I didn't really want to give Miss M a hard time and apart from a few attempts to stop in the middle of the road, I went in the direction she wanted us to go. Tusa was still sulking though and we struggled on for another while. With the sun going down very quickly, I thought that Miss M would have to make a decision very quickly and when Tusa broke away again after she tied him to the saddle, I knew the time has come. Tusa was hobbled so that he can't go very far and Miss M and I continued on the dirt road towards our next destination. Within 20 minutes it was pitch dark and we only had a half-moon to guide us on our way. I had never galloped in the dark before and I was on alert all the time, getting a little fright every now and then when we would pass a signpost or when I spotted something on the side of the road. Everything looked very different in the dark and all I was hoping was that we would find the farm very soon. Well, this didn't happen because we took the wrong left turn and ended up at a locked gate where we could see a house in the distance. Miss M shouted "hola, hola" and after a short while a young boy came in a pick-up truck to investigate. He called his father who knew where the farm we were looking for was and he suggested that we follow them. I was galloping very fast behind the pick-up but after a while the man stopped and offered to ride me so that Miss M can get warm in the truck. We finally arrived at the farm and although I was tired and all hot and sweaty, I sighed with relief that we made it safely.

Well, a lot of other things happened since then and important decisions were made about our trip but we will tell you all about it when Tusa or I write again in a few weeks time.

Adios!

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