An african heat wave has made riding a challenge the past fortnight. Last week the temperature soared up to the late 30’s, and the formerly green fields are now looking decidingly ‘cooked’.
Last week we had a group of 12 English riders here, who are experiencing the opposite weather back home (constant rain). On arrival it was decided that since we are experiencing African weather, its best to ride like we are in Africa. Many of the group had in fact done riding safaris in South Africa, and they agreed (if not a little wearily) that a 7am departure was the best idea.
Aside from that rude awakening of an alarm at 5am, riding out early is actually wonderful. The ground is still slightly damp, wild animals can still be spotted grazing in the open, and the horses are perky and happy to be outside.
Last week we rode through Chianini cattle farms near Sughera, through the mysterious and enchanting estate of Castelfalfi, and far out to the San Vivaldo monastery (a long ride at almost 4 hours, but well worth it). In the evenings we rode up to Riccardo and Ruths art workshop, and down to the Carfaldo natural spring waters. It was a full on week, but due to the early and late starts, horses and people were spared the stress of the extreme weather and finished the week on a good note.
Here are a few pics of us out at the end of June enjoying the (then) green fields!