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Nine riders conquered our raging Black Sea

27.08.2011

Four caravans with two horses in each of them started for our Sea Riding Adventure 2011 in Irakli and Aheloy. Simple calculus showed that 1200 horses all together pulled along the way our 8 horse powers over a distance of 900 kilometers. The good news was that if any vehicle ended up with no fuel, right there we had alternative driving power.
Our army on four legs was represented by Gosho, Cleopatra, Kogan, Geya, Simon, Pegasus, Shakira and Galius.
The riders were led by Stoica and the group joined Zlatolina, Ivan, Rumen, Dimo, Milena, Yasen, Drago, Jim and Liyana.
The huge waves on the beach (just in a matter of two days they took the lives of 8 people along the Southern Shore of the sea) and the roar of the water were somewhat scary for our horses at the very beginning. So they thought that deep and dry sand was a much safer place and they ran away from the surf with skilful maneuvers. At least half of the riders were getting dizzy from the constant move of the splashing water but a glance at the horizon was saving them from falling off the saddle.
After a few canters our smart horses realised that running inside the water, making big splashes and racing is a lot of fun after all. Kogan was filled with desire to run, as long as he was not asked to swim. Simon found out that getting deep inside the water is inevitable part of riding as his owner Ivan – fully equipped with breeches, helmet and gloves or in his bathing suit would always push him in the deep waters. Most obeying, steady and brave appeared to be Gosho. Jim and Liyana were happy to feel how reliable he was. Pegasus, although rather calm as a character, demonstrated that he was not too keen to get inside the waves and he did everything in the power of his four legs and strong neck to stay on the dry sand. Cleopatra used every opportunity to race everyone else, while Geya and Galius were not too happy to be held back by their skilled riders. Known with her emotional character, Shakira kept doing maneuvers that her rider Zlati would not expect.
The fact remains that nobody fell off the horse during the riding on the beach. It was a completely different story in the sea though. The biggest emotion for the riders and for the viewers on the beach was swimming bareback with the horses. The huge waves were problem for people who would have liked to swim but our strong animals, steadily standing on their four legs were strong enough to face the powerful hits of the surf. And we were lucky enough to remain on their backs. Well, not all of us did. First Dimo was wiped off by a huge wave while teaching Geya to be brave and get inside the water. He fell with his clothes and with his mobile phone inside his pocket. No wonder he did not get phone calls afterwards. Among the most spectacular crashes in the water was the performance of Stoica on Galius. Huge tide, invisible underwater hollow and the horse dived with his nose forward, while Stoica just made big splash next to the animal. Jim showed acrobatic approach to getting on bareback Gosho and off in the water.
Constantly being pushed by the powerful surf, often the riders remained on the horses holding on with their nails and pulling the mains of the animals. The only problem was that when a rider would fall in the water, the horse would try to get close to his rider. Then his powerful legs were stepping all over and it was up to the rider to protect himself, surviving between the crushing waves and the body of the animal. So Rumen and Dimo felt the weight of a underwater horse hoof…
Our riding team appeared to be great fun for the people on the beach in the unprotected area or it was often scarier than a squad of fire breathing dragons. While some people were clapping, waving and taking photos, others were running away carrying kids in their arms. The privacy of the nude people was also invaded as they certainly did not expect flying riders on the beach.
Ivan, Dimo and Liyana also enjoyed cantering on bareback wet horses on the beach. No doubt this is the most emotional ride but the canter creates a bit of a problem as the rider inevitably bounces quite painfully along with the stop.
Some of the most beautiful, as well as funniest moments were photographed by Liyana and Rumen but the unique video recordings were made by Drago. To see them though, you have to wait till our famous Christmas Party.

For an entrance to the free beach we paid 5 leva per vehicle

Original business approach made us full of investment envy. Right in the middle of the field in Aheloy we saw large sign: PRIVATE PROPERTY. Tax for trespassing and one day parking: 5 leva. Quick calculation of the possible income showed results close to 100 thousand leva per summer season with no other investment of any kind. The fact that all cars were driving off road through the field was only natural. A young man with yellow vest, sitting under a weak lonely tree was giving receipts to every passing car. This year we were lucky not to be charged for the caravans as the jeeps and the extra two horse powers were considered as one vehicle.
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