The morning began early at T’Niqua with washing Mandla and Storm, preparing them for their first public appearance with the newly revamped wedding carriage at the Ouland Royale tea in aid of FAMSA. While they dried off in the sun of a perfect day, we packed the vehicle with everything that would be needed for a trip away – feed and water buckets, enough hay, halters and such to make sure the big boys were comfortable for the duration of the event.
Looking their finest, the rest of us donned our best, climbed in the carriage and set out along the road to the venue on Robberg Road with a number of passers-by stopping their cars alongside the road to get out and take photos of these handsome boys taking us in the elegant carriage to our destination. One thing that people who haven’t spent time around horses don’t realise is that hooting in greeting while driving past is not always the wisest, but the horses were calm and confident with the passing traffic.
A few guests had begun arriving when we reached Ouland Royale, and we made our way down the drive to find our own parking bay where the horses would stand to greet the rest of the guests as they arrived. The horses graciously received much attention, especially from a few little girls with a love for horses who promptly made the carriage their seating place for the duration of the event. Quite happy to nibble hay from the tailgate of the bakkie, the horses patiently waited while the girls sat in the driver’s seat, pretending to be on some grand adventure and telling stories about princesses in their carriage.
The event was well supported and many guests posed for photos with the beautiful Percherons on their way out, amazed at the size and gentleness of these majestic beings. The little girls asked to be taken with for a ride as far as the gate when we left, and then we were back on the road headed for home.
Back at the farm, the horses were unhitched and hosed down to cool off after their hard work which they performed so willingly. A satisfying roll in the dirt for Mandla undid all the efforts of his earlier wash, but was well deserved after his superb efforts of the day. We were all impressed with how he and Storm coped with what was asked of them for their first event.