Madiba (Dibs) is the little joker of the group. This little horse has been one of our most challenging so far but loves cuddles.

Madiba is named after one of the greatest leaders Africa has ever seen and one of my homeland heroes: Nelson Mandela. Just like our little stallion, Mandela had his freedom taken from him when he was incarcerated during apartheid. Despite this injustice, Mandela worked alongside his captors striving for a better future for all of South Africa. 

During his time in prison, Mandela learned that “courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man (/horse) is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” (- Nelson Mandela) Mandela not only forgave his captors but went on to unite and lead South Africa into a new era as her first black president. 

‘Madiba’ was the name of a great Xhosa chief in the 18th century and later on became Mandela’s nickname to the nation that he led; a term of endearment and immense respect. Our own Madiba has proven to be just as forgiving, looking beyond the confines of his new life and carrying himself with a regal grace befitting any leader. Every day he faces, he surprises us with his bravery and his willingness to work with us. Just like his namesake, we hope we can put our differences aside and continue to work together to forge a new chapter in his life alongside one another.

We would like to thank Nicola Megaw and River Valley Stables for sponsoring this amazing little horse. Nicola has been an avid Kaimanawa advocate for years and we’re honoured that she would entrust us with this next chapter in Madiba’s adventure.

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” 

– Nelson Mandela

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Back on Track!

Bijmin and I have recently completed our full on season of EPIC multiday trips at High Country Horses and are just now starting to settle back into a regular weekly routine with our Kaimanawas. We have reintroduced our morning feeding ritual, calling the boys in from the field with a specific whistle and always rewarding them with a big bucket of feed. This is a great way to solidify a call to bring them to us no matter what, which is essential when preparing for a long ride such as we are. We have committed to spending time with them before work each day to have both a social session as well as a mini-morning, "learning" session and they seem to be enjoying the engagements as much as we do.

#Madiba (Dibbs for short), is next up in line and it is time to expand on his education. I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to work with him. He requires a soft and comforting approach, while still maintaining strong leadership and motivation. Increased pressure often sends him into either shut-down mode or defiance, and it has been a long and interesting learning curve to figure out how to keep him engaged and curious during our sessions, while still making progress. I find I learn more about myself while working with him than any other horse I've ever worked with, and I come away from sessions either content that we both understood what we were achieving, or wondering how I managed to mess up our communication so drastically in such a short amount of time. Every day is a new day with Dibbs but no matter what the previous day's session was like, he always greets me warmly. I am truly thankful that I have spent so much time over the last year creating a relationship with him based on trust, so that even though new and sometime scary things happen, he stills knows that I, and most humans in general, give out the best bum scratches that any wild pony could ask for.

I will try to post as much as possible on his, (as well as Toka and Kaewa's) progress as we continue to prepare them for our long ride ahead.

-Jess

*Photo Credit- Elle Steele Photography
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Back on Track!  Bijmin and I have recently completed our full on season of EPIC multiday trips at High Country Horses and are just now starting to settle back into a regular weekly routine with our Kaimanawas. We have reintroduced our morning feeding ritual, calling the boys in from the field with a specific whistle and always rewarding them with a big bucket of feed. This is a great way to solidify a call to bring them to us no matter what, which is essential when preparing for a long ride such as we are. We have committed to spending time with them before work each day to have both a social session as well as a mini-morning, learning session and they seem to be enjoying the engagements as much as we do.  #Madiba (Dibbs for short), is next up in line and it is time to expand on his education. I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to work with him. He requires a soft and comforting approach, while still maintaining strong leadership and motivation. Increased pressure often sends him into either shut-down mode or defiance, and it has been a long and interesting learning curve to figure out how to keep him engaged and curious during our sessions, while still making progress. I find I learn more about myself while working with him than any other horse Ive ever worked with, and I come away from sessions either content that we both understood what we were achieving, or wondering how I managed to mess up our communication so drastically in such a short amount of time. Every day is a new day with Dibbs but no matter what the previous days session was like, he always greets me warmly. I am truly thankful that I have spent so much time over the last year creating a relationship with him based on trust, so that even though new and sometime scary things happen, he stills knows that I, and most humans in general, give out the best bum scratches that any wild pony could ask for.  I will try to post as much as possible on his, (as well as Toka and Kaewas) progress as we continue to prepare them for our long ride ahead.  -Jess  *Photo Credit- Elle Steele Photography

Comment on Facebook Back on Track! ...

So good to hear what you two have been up to, always adventurous and awesome even in the small details. They are lucky horses and so are you two wonderful humans. Keep the updates coming and happy travels ❣️💞

If anyone can succeed it will be you both💖

How exciting!! You both have such a kind way with horses. Can’t wait for the updates!!

Have missed your updates and knew you were busy with treks so great update.

As I can’t whistle my call to the horses is clapping 👏, one in particular knows she will always get a feed if she hears me clapping even if she can’t see me she comes trotting. Terrific idea to teach them to come. Lovely photo of you both, keep keeping us posted pls xx

That 'come to a whistle' thing is something I always wish I had installed in Sprite... When do you guys reckon you'll be heading off?

Look forward to those posts ....

what A story ! Looking forward to following you two and those beautiful horses xxxx

So fun to read your update. I am working on teaching my 5 year old mare to come when called. Love hearing how you do it. Love the picture. All the best in your trek.

Awesome photo Jess. I know you've been busy with the treks and wondering how you are progressing. Thanks for the update.

Lovely to read your update

Amazing photography!

Where are you trekking to? Sounds interesting indeed.

Love the pic and update. You guys are amazing!!! Miss you both

Awesome pic! Keep posting! Can’t believe it has been a year!

What a beautiful picture!!! Miss you guys and hope all is well.

Good to hear from you! Scratches to the boys and hugs to you and Bijmin!

Jess, thank you for sharing your experiences with the horses. Love to read your posts. Take care.

Love the updates. X

Fantastic, do you have a EDD yet?

So Dibss knows how to get you right up to the commander point I'll bet. Humbling I suppose. A psych book I remember loving is "Dibs In Search of Self". It might have some clues for you. "Dibs in Search of Self: The Renowned, Deeply Moving Story of an Emotionally Lost Child Who Found His Way– by Virginia M. Axline."

Love the updates!!

Looking forward to these updates as you prepare for your trip. Will you be taking all 3 Kaimanawas on your journey?

You two are such a beautiful couple Wishing you both a wonderful next adventure with your horses ❤️

Love the updates on how you're making progress with these wonderful boys!!

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