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Galloping with the half breeds in Hungary 2012
Sometime in the spring 2012 I saw a little article combined advertisement in a Finnish horse association magazine called Hippos. It was about a week long riding tour in April 2012 with Hungarian half breeds near Lake Balaton, Hungary. I immediately got excited and sent my typical long email to the editor to let her know who I was, what sort of rider I was, and that I was interested. There was no answer for ages, so I sent another email to find out if the first had come through. No answer again, but then I got a phone call from Hille Matekovits, a horse tour veteran, who would be the Finnish guide on the tour. She apologized for the magazine not having made any contact yet, and told that for some reason there had not been enough bookings yet – there had to be nine customers to make it profitable for the Hungarian organizers – so we would still have to wait and see. I tried to help her by advertising the trip to my friends, but for most of them April was bad timing. However, in the end Hille did find enough people to establish a big enoug group and the tour could happen.
It was a wonderful long tour with a variety of beautiful, slim, shiny, and agile Hungarian half breeds, and with a lot of galloping on forests tracks, along vineyards, and across hay fields. In fact walking and galloping were the only gaits we really did on the journey, except for a very short trot in the beginning of each day to warm up the horses. Days were long, since we covered a lot of kilometers each day – altogether 220 km’s in six days – and only stopped for lunch about one o’clock each afternoon. As Hungary is a country with long equestrian tradition, there was always some amazing big old stable en route, where to leave the horses for the night, while we usually slept in the village nearby – once we even slept in the same stable building above them!
The program was really wholesome, our group had great spirit together, and our hosts were super nice and very professional, as were their horses. Of course, above all I am grateful to Pompás, the handsome towering gelding with big bouncy gaits, who taught me such a lot about balance and staying on big bouncy horses even when they get spooked by invisible little green men who jump at them from the forest every now and again. I and some of the other riders from the group have already reserved ourselves a places for the tour next spring, only this time it will be an eight-day, 400 km trek around Lake Balaton!
- A little break before the last long gallops and wading in the river. The white horse Sanna is riding, was the only Arabian full breed in the group. There was also one young but well behaved stallion with us.
Around Lake Balaton 2013
(…With Piri, the 4-year old mare. Coming soon…)
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