Hungarian Riding Culture

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Mid-summer Night with Horses

24th June 2011



It was our plan for a long time to spend a night on the  ranch with the horses. By chance it happened finaly in mid-summer night. It was a cloudy day and we were about postponing the challenge. But it was no rain, and about seven when we reached the pasture the sky got blue, and a golden sunset light came over the fields.


After a short practice with the horses (always starting from ground, and then bareback or saddle) we let them to graze all around and set up our tent. A board on two barrels served as table for supper - of course  for us only - the horses preferred the four hectare pasture, that has an inner and an outer part with plenty of grass and reed. We did not mind when the left us and disappeared in the darkness behind the aspen trees.

It is the custom to lay fire on this night, and while we admired the lights during the supper. Foxes barked close in the valley. 


As mid-night came we decided to stalk the horses walking around and approaching them form the opposite direction. As we arrived at the fence, the whole field appaered to be dead, no horses no animals at all. We could not see any of them which was not a wonder. The reed, the bushes and trees could easily hide them. We tried to whistle without too much hope.  But after a while came a light cracking noise. And then another, but nothing could be seen. And then silence, and some noise again coming closer and closer. And then a dark shade appaered coming towards us more and more resembling to a horse. And finaly two dark and a three light body approached towards us followed by a small jumping dark spot: the pony foal. They were about fifteen meters from us, when by mistake I touched the electric fence. I jumped backwards, and my sudden movement, the flashing light frightened them and whole company turned immediately back. But they stopped soon, and as we whistled again, they turned again, and came to us. They stood up in a line, and took a small piece of grass from our hands.

I admired: what bonds horses to  human? Why they preferred the gras from our hands, while on the pasture they had plenty of it, as the grass reacehd their brests. What joins them to us?

We slowly turned back to our tent, took a mouthful wine, watched the looming moonshine though the clouds and then went to sleep.


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