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Multi-day Rides

Lottery River

Lyford - Hanmer Trail



Kate Tapley Horse Treks 
Build a Bond Beyond Belief

Winter Newsletter 2014 

Hello Everyone

I remember a notion from Clarissa Pinkola Estés, one of my favourite authors, who wrote "Women Who run With  Wolves" — "Whenever there is nothing happening, no growth, no stirring, be sure something is always preparing itself underneath. Always be ready, the quiet is the potent time, pregnant with new ideas and energy, change and renewal."

I was reminded of this as I start this letter to you all for a few reasons.

- We are entering Winter when nature rests, we rest, the light rests, a kind of hibernation for all.

- It has been a while since my last newsletter and yes there have been stirrings read on

- I have post earthquake inertia, a term my husband and I found to describe our extraordinary immobility since the earthquakes. A researcher without the inertia should look into this as a phenomenon. The notion of the potent emptiness sustains me.

- It helps me believe that our repairs will one day be complete. (Our new spare room has rotted out with rains because of incomplete repairs to the outside-Sigh!!!)
How are you doing with earthquake recovery and identifying with the above notion?

This newsletter contains:

 •  Renewal at Mt Lyford.
 •  Our team of guides and helpers
 •  Dates for clinics, overnight rides and riding weekends
 •  Horsemanship thought for this newsletter

Renewal at Mt Lyford

Mt Lyford Horse Treks unplugged

With Otahuna finally closed and my focus on  Mt Lyford I have managed to begin restoration and movement at Mt Lyford Horse Treks.

I have introduced a new horse with others to follow and retiring some of our old faithfuls. Cosmo and Albie, who badly hurt his knee last Spring, are soon going to a seaside resort at Mehino south of Oamaru, not far from where I grew up. They will retire and live with a family who used to work on my North Otago farm when I was a child. Very reassuring for me to know they are going to a deserving environment, and I am sure a lovely way for these two amazing faithful horses to see their days out. Both Albie and Cosmo were part of the team at the beginning of the horse treks at Mt Lyford in 2001.

I have a new horse called Sioux who has already had her first trip to the huts and passed her initiation with flying colours. She is a smaller but hardy little mare with a great brain and willing attitude. I think you will enjoy her.

The Lyford-Hanmer Trail 

The multi-day trek is now 4 days with 8 days return, and has been upgraded to include homestead accommodation as well as rustic and luxury accommodation. The huts and camps on the rustic adventure have been upgraded. There is a new hut at Barcledean on the third night. It is a piece of living history built in 1880s and totally original with large open fire and kauri floor.

The four days to Hanmer and 8 return make for a much improved trail. We have no roads to ride at all,  one long day of 7-8 hours, and three 5 to 6 hour days for the trip over to Hanmer. There is no rest day now, as we get into Hanmer a lot earlier.
All fees are on the website, which has been updated, and I have the first inquiry for the season for December 3rd for 4 or 5 days.

This is still my very special signature ride with everything impressive about the South Island high country on horseback.

Remember our work for rider scheme if you want to work your way to pay for some of it.

Our team of guides and helpers

As always Kate Tapley Horse Treks is not all about me. I rely on a team of committed people who are inspired to work with people and horses to "Build a Bond Beyond Belief"

I am immensely supported by Charlotte Blok who has followed the treks to Mt Lyford after working at Otahuna and Mt Lyford. Charlotte is really committed to the continuing work at Mt Lyford and is a real asset. I hope some of you get to experience her guiding. Several others keep in contact from Otahuna, Freya and Penny who some of you have met.

We are all running the treks from Christchurch mostly, so there is a space for someone to work and live at Mt Lyford Lodge and be available for guiding and horse care. Let me know if this sounds like you. 

Riding weekend 
riding weekend has been booked for August 9 and 10. There are 4 more spaces to fill. Take a look at the programme and flyer on the website.

Natural Horsemanship Clinic
Bryan McVicar is running a weekend clinic at Mt Lyford on November 1 and 2. This event will be very good. Bryan has been teaching natural horsemanship for many years and has attained a great depth of knowledge and teaching skill. E mail me if you are interested. A flyer with details on it will be available soon.

Overnight Rides

As mentioned there are 3 spaces available on a 4 or 5 day overnight ride December 3 to 7 you may join. Cost $2,500.00 for four days. This includes a half day warm up session, night and meals at Mt Lyford Lodge, and all food and accommodation, gear transport while on the trail.

Book your own trip any time between mid November to early April. Minimum two riders.

Horsemanship thought.

I have just had a very moving session with a rider this afternoon. It reminded me of something I have been thinking about a lot lately and that is how challenging it is to get the horses language sitting easily and habitually in our body. We are actually wired not to speak equus or the horses language. I teach equus by introducing  four aspects, 

•  Focus with three eyes, including belly button as the third
•  Body Energy up for activity and down for slow or stop
•  Offering a feel with 4 phases of rhythmical firmness
•  A timely quit and embrace what your horse has just offered you.

These aspects, while seemingly very simple to understand are actually really difficult for our body to perform. The rider I took out this afternoon was a first time everrider. His first words were "Oh they are very big" referring to the two horses we were using. Our immediate response to a horse and indeed anything new is fear, reactivity, hesitation. And how is that expressed in our body?? Well all the opposite ways to the horses language. We automatically tighten, lose our rhythm, look down, pull, curl up, hold on. All the body language the horse first of all cant hear easily and secondly emulates a predator. It is my experience that the journey from here to truly speaking equus is innately a threatening one for our bodies to speak. This is why it is so challenging. Sort of like saying if you think you are going to drown try to stay relaxed and calm. Year right!!!!

Our relationship with our horse then becomes a journey of both of us building trust and achieving partnership through trial and error, developing good habits over time and celebrating the gains and mistakes more than the times when we are ineffective. In essence it becomes an act of love to persue this partnership with its built in barriers. So don't give up if you are becoming frustrated or down on yourself or your horse. This is inevitable.

See you in the saddle at Mt Lyford

Regards Kate Tapley

Director Kate Tapley Horse Treks at Mt Lyford.


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Build a Bond Beyond Belief
Mt Lyford Horse Riding is operated by Kate Tapley Horse Treks Ltd.
Last Updated: Saturday, 21 March 2015