Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Horseball Harry

We have now moved the four Shandan horses to a very well run horseball centre for some intensive training. The centre is owned by Harry Tse, a qualified horseball coach who has trained all his staff in natural horsemanship, and it has been a delight to see the horses responding to the quiet handling they are getting. We have got round to riding them all, apart from one black horse that is exceptionally wild - we think it must have had a bad experience somewhere along the line. They were all decidedly unimpressed by the human race when they arrived, but the new Zorbee Mark II (he looks a bit like our first Zorbee) is no longer headshy and is actually enjoying the attention. He is also bombproof and a steady little ride. The surprise was a little bay gelding who we initially thought might be too small to use - he turns out to be a real little goer!

Harry is doing a sterling job of promoting horseball in China, as he wisely identified it as a sport at which native Chinese horses could find a niche. The horses here are all obviously calm, healthy, happy and enjoying their new profession.

As the only local hotel that would accept foreigners was way out of my price league, we are comfortably esconsed at the back with the neighbours, who cleared out a room for us. I had my first really hot shower here, and we eat with the staff in a clean little canteen.

Li Jing arrived today and I was very pleased to find that between my halting Mandarin and his rusty but rapidly improving English (he has been speaking Russian for the last 10 years or so) we can communicate well. This is now important as Li May has decided the trip is not for her and is not coming along. We now have secured an experienced volunteer driver cum mechanic, Mr Wan Yan Shi, who is also a horseman.

I am not including photos here, as I am sending this post via my wireless connection and just tried to download some photos without success! The connection is slow and unpredictable, but better than nothing.


  1. Wish you a pleasure tour. Michael Wang

  2. I just read about your adventure this morning, April 18. I will bookmark your homepage and keep track of your progress. I wish you and your companions a happy and healthy journey. Godspeed.
    Martha Fitzpatrick