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Nicky Hoseck, Wild Coast Ride, part 4

Published: 2/24/2013
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Editor’s Note: Nicky Hoseck works on a farm and as a guide for Wild Coast Horseback Adventures, an outfit in South Africa. Over the past several years, she’s racked up over 3,000 miles of guiding.
Her most exciting miles came last month when she joined Barry Armitage and Joe Dawson (of the Adventurists fame) on one of their wild treks.
Follow Nicky in this four-part series as the group travel about 120 miles, from the mouth of the Mngazi River to the mouth of the Kei River.

Read Part 1
Read Part 2
Read Part 3

By Nicky Hoseck

Saturday marked the last day of our adventure.
We had three rivers to cross and just over 30 miles to cover to our final destination. The day was pretty grey with intermittent rain and one of the horses was battling a little with chafing from the girth the day before.
We adjusted all her tack, did away with the martingale and set out with a whole new perspective – one filled with chestnut ears as the head is flung around in celebration of this new liberty.

Shaan-Rae and Candis joined up from The Kob Inn with us at the beginning of the ride but the fast pace soon separates the original four members of the team from our new companions. The beaches are fast and furious and the horses, now on familiar ground, are full of running. We hit the long beach before Wavecrest with a spring in our steps and plenty of banter about the gallop ahead.
As I knew the horses well, I also knew that I was riding the fastest one and it is not long before we drop, lengthen, and leave the others behind. Although I have galloped this beach hundreds of times, it never fails to produce much exhilaration and the feeling of complete freedom.
I wrote in my diary: We are galloping into an abundant beauty where happiness pushes light into the shadows and illuminates the darkest corners of my soul.

After a wade through the Nxaxo River, we ate lunch quickly and continued on our way. We usually take one full day to ride back from Wavecrest to Kei Mouth, and now we were hoping to squeeze it into a couple of hours. We did.
Although the guys have let me lead the way since Wavecrest, I lost all control when we hit the golf course and watched in horror as they canter heedlessly up the fairway, threatening to destroy our already strained relations with our neighboring golfers!

Joe’s excuse was that he forgot to put his horse’s bit in. Barry’s was that he’s simply pig-headed and doesn’t play golf!

What an incredible week!
I feel almost homesick for the adventure and for the companionship of both humans and horses.
This trip has inspired me to dream beyond my comfort zone, plan new challenges for myself and my horse, give up smoking, and basically change the entire way I approach life and horses.
Again, from my diary: Right now, in this tiny moment, there is no one who can clip the wings of my freedom. Together, my horse and I, we can conquer untold wonders and discover all that lies beyond these horizons.

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2/25/2013 Todd
I would have loved to turn up heels on the golf course, too!

"Anyone who is concerned about his dignity would be well advised to keep away from horses." - Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh