Shortly before Christmas I went with three friends to a farm on the west bank to do a bit of horse riding. This was a fun journey going in a old VW Beetle out of Jerusalem through the border, getting smiles from Palestinian kids who haven’t seen a little car like this in a long time.
Its a long time since I have rode a horse, in fact I am not even sure if I have since about 1998 when I worked in a kids camp in Florida… Anyway it seems quite obvious in yanking the reins and yelling woah to stop, but when this particular horse just likes to gallop up this hill and the only thing keeping me still onboard was my feet in the stirrups – it gets quite scary, and hard to grapple the reins and steady myself…
Without realising it, I managed to lose my watch after pulling back on the reigns so hard, it snapped the metal strap, I didn’t notice I lost anything until our instructor pointed out why I had a few scratches on my arm… My friends who came with me were much more savvy at riding than me though. Come to think of it, I didn’t see anyone with a riding hat 🙂
This camp is close to an Arab village but the young men working at the farm says there is never any trouble here, as police and army regularly patrol this area, but there are good relationships with the neighbours it seems. The farm primary business, is making cheese and yoghurt from goat’s cheese, didn’t get to see the goats in their shed, but did get to see the finished products for sale. They have to buy pineapple and other fruit from somewhere else to make this.
Time to relax after scary and crazy horses, and try some goats cheese with some of the people on the farm, think some young adults out of work get a chance to do some training in helping here. This was a fun day out on my last (first week of January 2010) day out here.