Monday, 21 January 2019

Pregnancy and Endurance Riding

What an exhausting and exciting 2018 I have had.
I had the chance to compete in the South-African International Endurance Riding Challenge with a horse that a leased from a very good friend of mine.
I asked her if I can ride him with the option to buy. We only did two rides together since I brought him home with me, but what an amazing two rides they where. Since I only had young horses that need to build up, I did not have a competitive horse to ride and I was thrilled when she agreed to let me ride him for a while. As the dream was to ride a 120km on him and then take him to Namibia for an international there. But unfortunately things did not plan out a I wanted them to.
Two weeks ago I decided to return him and let the dreams yet again slip for 2019.

A week after this race on the picture above we found out that I was 5 weeks pregnant.
What an amazing and scary feeling at the same time! So from there I refrained from doing any riding but was still highly active in the roll as ground crew.
The care taker of my horses rode them and kept them fit. Still competing in a few rides before I decided to give them a rest from the season.
Still going full steam with planning the 2019 Endurance Season, it just occurred to me.. Am I going to spend my time on training a horse I might not even buy or do I spend my time on focusing on the careers of my young horses. And this is just what I am going to do.
I bought all of the young horses for a reason and I am going to build them up as successfully as I can!

I am currently 37 weeks pregnant and planning on a natural birth. Hopefully all goes well.
I can't wait to start up and ride again, it's been too long. 
The first few months was not that bad as I was very busy with the volunteer program.
But seven months in I got FOMO haha.
No riding, No hard physical activity, No deepsea angling with my husband, it was quite terrible.
But soon I realized it's nothing compared to the bundle of joy coming into our lives and changing it forever.
And I cannot think of doing live and all its adventures with this amazing husband of mine!
Focusing on what makes me happy and our new addition to the family!

I absolutely cannot wait!

Take CARE!

Monday, 26 February 2018

Riding with the African Painted Dog.

We are a small group of people in our Endurance Riding Club, called Letaba Endurance Club. And a few of us decided to do jointed run on Sunday to get our horses fit for the next race which is 17 March 2018.  We had such a blast, we did a round of 22km. It was very humid with a heavy rain storm building up.
On the reserve they all kinds of plains game species, and then they have an African Wild Dog also known as the African Painted Dog with the beautifully colored pattern they have. It seems that they could have been painted. But nevertheless, they are active conservationist in trying to save this species as they are extremely endangered and we are always lucky enough to pass by these camps on horseback. The horses where completely docile and quite curious of these animals jumping up and down along the fence line whilst we make our way passed the camp.
What an incredible experience!

The extremely endangered African Painted Dog.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Traveling on a budget to Singapore.

My sister and I love to travel and see the world, I have not been a ton of places but we are getting there:)
My sister chose our destination for our 2017 travel abroad adventure, and indeed a adventure it was!
We started off with air tickets via Singapore air directly to Singapore Changi Airport. The duration of this flight was 10hours and 25 minutes. We started off with a bumpy take off but all was absolutely spectacular from there, the service, the people and of course the food. The ticket cost R6900 around $587 p/p.from Johannesburg to Singapore with was not bad at all for us. We normally take a stop over because it's always cheaper, but not in this case. Happy to take a direct flight.

We arrived in Singapore in the early morning and the airport was breathtaking! We quickly exchanged money and headed out to get an uber. On our way to the hostel, we could see how clean and neat everything was, such a beautiful city. The uber cost us from the airport to the hostel $15 sharing, $7.5 p/p.
The hostel we stayed in was Cube hostel. Loved it! We only spent 3.5 days in Singapore, but we saw a lot of great things! The price for 3 days in Cube was $125 sharing, $62.5 p/p.
The city itself is as picturesque as you can get.

Things we did in Singapore in just 3 days!
  • China Town Tour, which is for free at any hostel. You can take a ticket from the front desk and just show it at the start of the tour. Meet and greet at same point which will be given to you from your hostel receptionist. There are two different tours you can do for free. Ensure that you ask for both tickets.
  • Make sure you try the Chinese Steamed buns with filled meat.  For me that was one of the highlights of Singapore!
  • Gardens by the bay, we went late afternoon and left around midnight. SPECTACULAR!!! Ticket Pricing $28 p/p.
  • Cloud Forest and Flower Dome which is inside a dome. I have never seen anything like this. Truly a wonder to the human eye. Such talent and awe inspiring commitment these people have to nature. Ticket Pricing $28 p/p. and the Flower Dome also $28 p/p.
  • From there we went to Sentosa Island, we took the train EVERYWHERE! So cheap! We bought a standard ticket which you can use 6 times which we paid $5 p/p. for. We traveled to Harbor Front and from there we took the cable car to Sentosa Island, $20 p/p. And the day pass for Sentosa Island was $40 p/p. We only wanted to see the statue of Merlion and visit the Aquarium which was an additional $35 p/p. From there we too the tram back to the Train Station.
  • The last thing we did was go to on a Night Safari. You take tram and pass all the animal enclosures which was so striking! The vibe and music Ade it feel as if we where in the middle of Africa going on a safari!Ticket Price $35 p/p.

Gardens by the Bay at night! Felt like something out if Avatar!

Chinatown Tour. Love the food!!

Cloud Forest. The first thing you see upon entering. Awe-inspiring!

Flower Dome. Inside it's like a Winter Wonderland. Loved every minute of it.

Cable car views to Sentosa Island.

Cable car views to Sentosa Island.

Merlion Statue on Sentosa Island.

Dinner, before we set out on our Night Safari.
We are not allowed to take any pictures with a flash. The tour is at night as you can imagine was extremely difficult. Unfortunately we weren't able to get any.

Until our next adventure!

Take Care!

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Focusing on Equestrian Endurance Riding with a busy work lifestyle.

How do we balance a recreational lifestyle with a hectic career?

As an outdoor fanatic I love sports! Mainly running and Endurance Riding with my horses.
I am blessed to say that my career mainly involves outdoor work. And on the other side I run a Wildlife Veterinary program which is a 24/7 kinda job.
For everyone that has a active lifestyle knows that it is also as 24/7 job.
Healthy eating for me and my horses, making sure they have al the best available nutrients all throughout the year. You have to be fit and so your horses, which is double the work.

Running falls in great with Endurance Riding.
As you need to be physically fit to be able to ride these long distances. 

Preparing a horse for a Endurance Ride.

1.Long distance riding in a totally unfit state will take 2 months or more.
2.At every stage of training the horse must be fed in proportion to the work done.
3.Hill work to strengthen the horse.
4.LSD (Long Slow Distance work.) Some people say at least two years, and I follow a three year plan.
5. Working up to fast rides over a longer period of time.
6. No book can take the place of your horse to tell you how much, how fast and for how long you should go on a given training day.
6.Common sense, when this is missing you can cause the greatest damage to a horse.

Here I will share a few tips on how to ensure you achieve your goals.

1. You will always have set backs, prepare for them, learn from them and build up from there.
2.Always have a goal. Doesn't matter what it might be, bettering a PB, putting in a extra workout session or running that extra mile.
3.Have a set out routine to follow during the week.
4.Never make excuses! Follow through not matter what!
5.Building up a horse for endurance takes a few years, but in the end it will be all worth it.
6.Cater to your own likes an dislikes, you will learn a new set of skills with every race.
7.Use every competition as motivation.
8.Track you workouts, for you and your horse. As workouts intensifies you can track the progress.
9.Make habit and lifestyle changes.
10.Learn to say NO! No the negativity!

Spend some time with me on Instagram @osmersjessica

Take Care!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Eventful Hyena Hunt.

Well, I am sitting in bed trying to find the correct words to describe what my day was like yesterday. And whilst I am busy procrastinating, the shallow vibrations of Hyena calls eco through the bush.
Ahh home is the best place to be.

In this present time it is my birthday in South-Africa and I am a solid 25 years of age and I literally don't know where the time has gone.
Yesterday after getting everything done for the arrival of the next group of Veterinary students, I decided in the spur of the moment to accompany my husband and fellow clients to a reserve bordering Kruger National Park. This place holds a very dear place in our hearts and I was very excited to see this beautiful place again.
The wilderness is unsurpassed. everything is left untouched and extremely wild. Lions, Elephants, Hyenas all breaking through the fence and traveling between Kruger National Park and all of these bordering reserves. That is why the aura of the place screams wilderness like you have never experienced before.

On our arrival we immediately started looking for bait, just in case we needed a plan B for the Hyena hunt.
As daylight simmers down we needed to get a move on with the bait and luckily they shot a Dyker and the nerves where a little less tense.
Hyena hunting is extremely difficult as they are smart creatures. The reason for hunting the Hyena is quite simple, over population and over destruction of wildlife numbers on this reserve.

As dusk settles in they Hyenas did not fail to let us know that they where active, calling one and other from one end of the reserve to the other. The noise piercing through your veins!
We settled in and got set up in an old salt shed, where they would salt the skins before sending them to the taxidermy. Nevertheless that the lion pride had a keen sense of breaking and entering the salt shed to get to the skins. So we had to keep an extra eye out for them as well.
We sat in the shed for about four hours before hearing complete chaos! I t sounded a like a mad fading frenzy, the Hyenas made a kill on the other side of the river bed not too far from us and we decided to drive there. In the hopes of getting onto their trail, in the pitch black darkness of the night.

As we approached the war zone we stopped and listened to the helluva ruckus that they made, and I tell you it was absolutely breathtaking to be in the midst of chaos with nothing but pure and raw nature.

My husband took the two hunters and tracker with him as they pursued them on foot. Matt and I stayed at the vehicle and kept an eye out for any other dangers. We sat in completer darkness with only the stars to brighten up our paths, how beautiful this sight was. Miles and miles of breathtaking starlight

We sat for a while staring into the thicket of the brush until we could not see them anymore, only glimpses here and there of his green light flash light until suddenly a shot was fired, immediately knowing it was a clean miss. It wasn't until then that we realised that this was going to be a long night. Until we herd the cracking and breaking of branches and the noise came straight for us. Grabbing the torch, not hesitating for one second that this  is a Hyena  coming to size us up and as soon as we shone the light on him he took of behind us.
Not long after that we the rest of the hunting party returned with a freshly caught nyla bull that the Hyenas devoured! The perfect piece of bait, exactly what we needed to get the upper hand.

We dragged the carcass behind the truck to an open field and tied that what was left to a tree, when the ruckus of the Hyenas feeding started again. Immediately following the noise again, but this time it was not as easy. They where on to them and just kept on running away. Following their defeat the hunters retreated, or not completely.. Taking the road to the open field again we could see that the Hyenas too the bait and followed the scent, like the expert scavengers they are. Lighting the spotlight into the dense brush we could see a few pair of yellow reflected eyes.

It was only a few seconds until another shot was fired and it was a straight hit.
Very delighted with the trophy at 12:00 in the morning, we could load up and head back home.
The amount of Hyena on this property is terrifying. There where two packs which at least had thirty animals each.

We headed home wards around 01:00 in the morning. Encountering a rough bull hippo on the main road next to some alfalfa fields. Overshadowed in puncture wounds from older bulls, trying to finds his place in the animal kingdoms hierarchy. He will stay on the bottom of the hierarchy until he matures and grows into an mature, adult hippopotamus bull that can defend his territory no questions asked. But for now he needs to keep a low profile and out of mature bull's territories.

What an eventful night.
Take Care

Monday, 19 June 2017

All in a Days Work.

We are always hustling about, and then you get those extra busy days like this one was.
We had to move quite a bunch of auction animals for my father in law as the auction is drawing near.
We darted six Sable Antelope cows, all went smooth and uninterrupted. Everybody operated like a well oiled machine in the field.
When we finished up with the cows we moved along to this one bull, still very young and showing immense amount of potential.
We waited for our transportation crew for a few minutes and whilst sitting there I always like to take a closer look at the tremendous animals. His beautifully curved shaped horns are symmetrical to one and other, they have thick basis almost too thick. It is like the horns of an antelope tell a story about their ancestors. Big bodied and muscular animals with a fighting spirit.

As we reversed the drug and the Sable Antelope was already introduced to his new breeding herd he gently tilted over his head and gracefully scratched his back with those spear like horns.
We should always know who the real boss is.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Golden Wildebeest that Outshine the Sun.

I have said it before and I will say it many more times to come, "I love working with Wildlife!"
I landed my dream job of Wildlife Veterinary Assistant with the Veterinarian we run our Volunteer program with.
Animals are substantial, they give a certain purpose to life. Working with them always leaves me in awe of how bountifully God has blessed our lives and I wish that this beauty never fades.

The picture below shows me with two Golden Wildebeest cows that we recently sedated for relocation. They are a color variant of the common Blue Wildebeest that we have. Their coats shine with a golden ember color, if the whole herd stand together they outshine the sun.
They are hands down one of my favorite animals.

The first Golden Wildebeest bull was captured in the 1990's on a game farm called Swinburne, by Alec Rough in the Limpopo Valley. (We are from the Limpopo Valley)
The majority of Golden Wildebeest originate from this area. Pioneer breeders firstly referred to them as Red or Yellow Wildebeest.

Take Care!