A weekend on horseback

A breath of home

For the first time since I visited her in Tornabarakony Eszter was back at Lake Velence for this weekend - she grew up in Gárdony.

To give Tüske a little exercise and show me the area she talked with Babi, the official spokesperson of the Hucul horses of Vereb, so Tüske might stay in Gárdony over the weekend, at the same place where Eszter had trained her.

And because we didn’t see a reason to get a hanger for the transport and Gárdony is only a 20-km-ride away, we - or, more precicely, me - rode Tüske there and back again.

Over Stick and Stone

Someone might say now: “Twenty kilometers? Completely alone? And isn’t it bad for riding around the area if Tüske already has to go twenty kilometers just to get to the start point of the ride on her own?”

The first worry I can soothe only partially - because back to Vereb I rode the 20 km alone.

But on the way there I met up with Eszter and her boyfriend on their horses in Pázmánd, the neighbouring village to Vereb in direction of Lake Velence. They had started earlier that day from Gárdony to ride once around the whole lake.

From Pázmánd we went through vineyards, over field paths, a beautiful small valley somewhere between Nadap and Pákozd and over hills full of small thorny bushes with a fantastic view of the whole area.

We followed a red hiking trail that brought us to Pákozd where I had to leave the pair (and Tüske) because I wanted to meet up with Sebastian in Székesfehérvár later.

One deep breath, here we go!

Because I was travelling with the Rainbow Tribe on Saturday we could only continue riding together on Sunday.

The two of them finished their tour around the lake on Friday, and because they already had to leave Sunday afternoon we only rode through the area around Gárdony - meeting two friends of Eszter and their horses in between, who accompanied us for a while.

It was arranged beforehand that Tüske would stay on that paddock until Monday so I wouldn’t have to ride her back on Sunday afternoon.

Eszter showed me a possible and beautiful way back to Vereb on a map, which I could take on Monday, then they were gone, on their way back to the Slovakian border.

The ride back

On Mondays I’m usually in the office with the other volunteers, but Sebastian allowed me to use this Monday for the ride back instead.

Because the owners of the paddock only had time in the morning I already had to start shortly after six from Vereb to be able to prepare Tüske on time.

The ride was pleasantly uneventful - Tüske, who was a little unsure for the first few minutes about leaving her horse-friends behind - realised very fast that we were going home and eagerly trotted forwards.

She’s a very calm and brave horse and showed that again when we had to use a bicycle underpass to cross below the railway track and highway. She played a little nervously with her ears in the beginning but that’s it. I still let her through this underpass, just to be sure.

Just for the fun of it - and because it was actually on the way - we made a short stop at the office and said Hello to the team. They were happy, surprised and amused about our fleeting visit but had to get back to work very soon while I started the last part of the way.

What I will take away from this weekend for sure: Tüske and I understand and like each other a lot better now, she really is a wonderful horse. And even if she might be a little stubborn every now and then that’s alright, I just really enjoy spending time with her.

I hope it won’t take as long as the last time for me to be able to ride her again.

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