Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

[RC] Monsoon season - Steph Teeter

November 1 is the official start of monsoon season. Yesterday on my beach walk I watched a huge black cloud get darker and closer - a sheet of rain out over the ocean. I turned around a little early thinking it might just be heading this way. We got a few sprinkles though, and not much more. The riders came to the dining room early, to eat and theget to the barn in time for the night ride - the barns would open again at 8. 2 hours to saddle up, ride, get back, untack, clean the horses, feed for the night and then back to bed. The Americans -Kathy, John, Heather, Roger Yohe on John's 2nd horse, and Hasumi-san (Cameo shipped from California, so she's in the American barn) when out on their training trail, and then Mercedes and Luis from the South American barn on their training trail. Zulu followed the S. American, and I went with Major Rahman to follow the Americans.

Major Rahman is a jockey sized tougher than nails retired military special forces soldier. His passion for horses (he always wanted to be a jockey but his father talked him out of it) let him to venture into horsey business in KL after a 23 year stint with the military. He met Azrin when she was managing the 2006 World Cup (Jumping) in KL - he was selling trophies. They became friends and she invited him to part of the 2008 WEC management team - in charge of security, logistics, etc. He's a hoot! While the riders were saddling up he was baiting hooks to go canal fishing after the ride. He's an avid hunter.fisherman,sportsman,outdoorsman, a real passion for life and sport. Tomorrow the guys are doing the pre-ride feral pig hunt. I guess the area is somewhat over run with wild pigs, so Major Rahman, Major Majid another ex-military ranger who is now the stable manager for the event, Zulu, Boy (his name is Zamri but everyone calls him Boy :), and anybody else that is up for a little sport, are going out on a hunt. Should be interesting! They'll give the animals to the local farmers to eat. There a lots of little tobacco farms here - they even have irrigation!!! which means there must be a dry season here, something I never would have expected! The farmers each have a little piece of land that they work, then they use communal drying barns. Small wooden houses, built up on stilts (protection from termites), very simple, very basic. Chickens and goats in each yard. I see a lot of these people at the ocean fishing, playing with their kids. They may be poor, but they don't seem miserable.

So while the guys are pig hunting the OC is closing the trail, no riding. So the riders, grooms, anybody else that wants to, are headed inland to a National Park with a huge reservoir, water falls, etc. They'll take a boat ride around the lake. Sounds like fun. John (he arrived this morning :) and I opted to stay here - we'll probably head over to the venue to get on the really really fast internet, check things out. I'm hoping I can go along tomorrow afternoon to take pictures of the next arrival of horses - 3 Dubai horses, and 3 horses from Argentina (purchased by Dato Kamarudin) are arriving by military transport from KL. The runway in Terengganu is too short for commercial cargo planes, but the military planes are ok with the shorter runways, remote locations, etc. Should be fun - we need to get permission from the military to go along and enter the runway area. we'll see!

All the Malaysians are arriving now - I think there will be around 20 Malaysians riding 160km, so there will be at least 40 horses starting total. I talked with Karina de Villers, the South African trainer for TMKN Equestrian - Tengki Ma Khata Kelantan (Crown Prince of Kelantan - the sultanate bordering Terengganu). She just got back from a trip to South Africa with the riders - they rode the Saldanha ride on the Captetown coast (the same ride I rode last year!!) - she said they also rode the Lobatse (Botswana) ride - they're trying to get experience by riding outside of Malaysia. Good for them! I invited them to come to Idaho next year :)

Today was a 'real' rainy day. Drizzle in the morning, a little sun here and there, and then kaboom the skies opened up. It rained so hard that there were puddles and pools within the minute. Rained for about 15 minutes really really hard, deafening. Exciting! Mercedes and Luis were out riding when it rained - she said it soaked them to the skin in seconds. And then it drizzled most of the afternoon...

It's so very good to be here - the Malaysians are wonderful hosts - sincerely thankful and pleased to have the foreign riders. There is no guile - no arrogance - just an extraordinary effort to do it right. I truly love these people.



Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

Ride Long and Ride Safe!!