people at the next farm were really very hospitable and Mercedes
(the woman of our host family) seemed to be a good horse rider with
a lot of experience. She suggested that they with Miss M go out
to where Tusa (still his name at that stage) was left behind halfway
the night before and she offered to ride him back to the farm just
to get a feel for him. True to his nature, Tusa struggled when they
tried to put on the bridle (I don't know who trained him but he
has a lot to learn!) and after a while, Mercedes got on top. It
was about an hour and a half later when they reached the farm and
she confirmed Miss M's suspicions that he is indeed incredibly lazy
and needs a lot of spurring on. She also wasn't impressed when she
saddled me up later and tried to lead Tusa who just kept on pulling
back, giving very little co-operation. I also thought this to be
a bad reflection on me as he made it very difficult for me to move
A very important decision was then made by Miss M
and later she announced that she would be travelling with only me.
She realized that she had to minimise the pack considerably but
I think this didn't bother her too much. I knew she'd rather have
only the basics with her than having to struggle with a burro (meaning
"donkey" in Spanish). I heard them using this name when
talking about Tusa but decided not to share this with him and spare
his feelings. "What you don't know, doesn't hurt you"
my mother always said! And in any case, it is not his fault that
he didn't get proper training or wasn't ridden enough.
The next day was an early start and after Miss M came
to fetch me, Tusa kept on calling for me. The sound of his voice
was breaking my heart but the decision was made and there was no
turning back. I knew it was for the best. I wasn't overly impressed
when I spotted what I had to carry but stood still nevertheless
whilst everything was loaded and tied on top of me. It was a chilly
morning (the blue skies very deceptive) and after Miss M put on
her poncho and took a few pictures, we were rearing to go. It
was a dirt road for most of the way to our next destination and
I found the dust from a few oncoming cars rather irritating. I also
kept on thinking of Tusa alone in the paddock and a few times I
suddenly stopped abruptly with no intention of continuing. Miss
M got quite annoyed with me and decided to use the leading rope
as a whip to spur me on. Now call me a wimp but I don't like physical
pain and after a few raps on the bum I decided to stop the messing.
Mercedes' daughter, Sofia (a lovely 16-year old girl) came out with
their 4x4 (called a camionetta over here) a couple of times to check
on Miss M and I just to see if everything is going well. I was walking
with a lively trot at this stage and just as well she didn't spot
me pulling one of my tricks!
reached our next town after about 3 and a half hours on the road
and as we entered the side of the town, we spotted a girl in front
of a house, waiving and indicating to go in her direction. Everybody
was waiting for us with great excitement and there were a lot of
questions (a mixture of English and Spanish combined with some very
expressive sign language!) whilst I was sipping some (well deserved!)
water and Miss M tucking into a plate of Milanessa - breaded chicken,
which is a national favourite dish).
More news until next time!
Marianne an email >