I eventually managed to pin Abdul Karim down, and got Marat (the guide at whose home I am staying) to drive me over to see one potential mount he had identified. Unfortunately, although it was quite nice, it was unsuitable for my purposes and the owner was asking a frankly ridiculous price way beyond my budget. Despair. But I had car and driver at my disposal, and decided to whip down to the meat market and see what Marat the meat man (who supplied our first horse) had to offer. Happily he had two likely candidates and I immediately bought both, in the process saving them from a fate as sausage meat.
One is a nice seven year old bay gelding about 14.3hh. I tried him out and he seems quite quiet, which is the main thing. The second is a smaller liver chestnut six year old from the same home which should do as a pack pony. I would have preferred something a little bigger, but it has a strong build and as the two horses already know each other it means they will travel easily together. He is a bit green, but appears to have an amenable temperament. They have been transferred to the house of Marat the Meat (as we would say in Wales!) to join the first horse. I have arranged transport to the border at the weekend, so hopefully we will soon be on the move! As they have all been spending time being fattened up for slaughter, they are in good condition but unfit, so we will have to start off slowly.
Here they are grazing on the river bank outside Marat the Meat’s house. As you can see, they are already comfortable with being tethered which is a plus.