Friday, 11 April 2014

Food and Flies

When I started pack horsing across Kazakhstan, space and weight were important considerations.  Ortlieb waterproof folding bowls have proven themselves for human use as seen below. I would like to think that this cool and pristine looking model is representative of the image I project while on the road but I sadly fear the truth is considerably more ancient, grubby and dishevelled  .........

And the bowls were also a perfect solution as buckets for both feeding and watering the horses, even when I subsequently had to abandon horse packing.  Below is Zorbee having his evening feed out of an Ortlieb bucket by the Alatau mountains in Kazakhstan.

 Lightweight and robust, they fold up to a very compact size for packing.  Unfortunately during the 8000 mile journey, my bowls disappeared for one reason or another.  So I am delighted that Lyon Outdoor the UK distributors for Ortlieb, have generously provided me with three 10 litre waterproof buckets for the North America expedition.

Another essential item we used on the Eurasia crossing were fly masks.  Insects such as flies and midges can be extremely troublesome if not torture for horses, and fly masks are pieces of kit which although not necessary all the time are absolutely vital when insects descend in force. 
The main fly mask I used was from Shires Equestrian, and I found it to be far superior to the others I tried, fitting snugly and comfortably, and covering the horse's ears. In the photo you can see the clusters of flies being kept off Suncar's face on the Kazakhstan steppe.

I recently realised that I would be riding through the Maritime provinces of Canada at the height of the blackfly season but with only one decent fly mask between the two ponies.  Malcolm Ainge of Shires Equestrian has come to the rescue yet again by kindly agreeing to provide a second Shires mask, this time with a nose flap. Hopefully Albert and Mace don't fight over it.

And finally a link to an article in the St John's newspaper The Telegram

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