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Articles / S.M.M. Horse Weekend -2014

Published: 2014-10-21
Category: Camps, Treks & Adventures

From the upper left: Gvido, Richard, Carina, David, Johanna, Lotta. From the lower left: Kamilla, Char, Jens, Lasse.

September 26-28 2014 most of the SMM and a few invited guests spent a weekend at what was intended as a prequel to a future primitive long distance ride. This was done by making rides from and to a permanent base camp and letting the least experienced horse/rider set the pace.

In camp both human and beast got to practice social skills and camp life. Our SMM trail veteran Richard demonstrated the art of packing and a few trail skills connected to horses.

This was a very special event to the SMM as it was supposed to gather all SMM members for the first time in years. Sadly that didn't happen as Mike called in sick and Charlie had other obligations to tend. On the other hand we had three invited guests that expanded our group to a new record for an event like this.

Our guest and good friend Gvido from Denmark offered to share his experiences from this weekend in writing. Which we of course want to share with you.


The Trek
By Gvido

A lot of things took my attention before the trek, so suddenly a lot of preparation had to be done in “last minutes”. A lot of sewing was done by Kamilla – but I think it was worth it… she was kept warm.

Jens started out with his horse before the devil had his shoes on, and drove up to pick up our horse. Jens and Kamilla had a veterinarian control the horses. We had a fast lunch and then Jens and I drove up to Sebastian’s place. It was a cozy 5 hour or so drive – I think every possible corner of historical reenactment nerdism got covered in the car.

At Sebastian’s place we got the horses into the stable, and then had a great evening with nice food, a couple of beers and loads of talk about the fur trade. Mostly about western fur trade. It was very interesting for me – I know a nice bit about the 18th century and the woodlands and great lakes area, so it was very interesting to discover the differences and similarities of what was going on in the west and how things were done there.

Jens (not me ;o) got up early and fed the horses, and I woke up by the smell of hot coffee! What luxury! We got the horses loaded in the trailer and drove the last couple of hours to Dave’s place and the intended base camp. We enjoyed the changing landscape, the autumn colors, the (several) hot coffees and a lot of historical talk.

We arrived at David’s and Johanna’s house (after a small, GPS incited adventure), slipped into the historical clothing, and started out for the woods to find the campsite – which after few adventures we did.

It was great to meet our fellow woodsmen. We got our horses on the fields, and more horses arrived. Not all horses thought it was such a great idea, and openly – and not in very kind words - challenged us on the subject.

Later in the afternoon everybody else arrived, with more kit, more horses etc. We busied ourselves with erecting and expanding our camp, starting on dinner, having a short ride to have the horses exercised, and other chores. It was a nice evening in the camp!

Morning got us out of our bedrolls suddenly and fast at the first light when 2 of the horses had a loud morning discussion about how they thought things should be. We were out of the blankets in a second and got them calmed down.

There were some challenges with the horses, since some of them were borrowed horses, not trained for our use. They looked a bit out of their comfort zone and they were a challenge to ride… at least I saw the most elegant involuntary off horsing ever – performed by Char and worthy of Legolas ;o).

This day some of us went for a long ride (that took most of the day). Lars, Char and I stayed in camp – we busied ourselves with collecting firewood, building latrines, preparing dinner, casting ball, checking out the nearby countryside and having fun.

The riding team was on a long off road ride in the woody, craggy Swedish landscape.
In the afternoon Jens, Char, Lars and I went over to a nearby field to have a nice muzzleloader shoot. We took turns shooting at a small turnip and other stuff at 50 yards. It was great fun!

More people and more horses arrived during the late afternoon and evening, so the camp was growing.

No problems with the horses during the night. Nice morning at the camp fire! Someone really should have a medal for inventing coffee!

A large group of us went for a small ride*, that proved to be a long ride with a coffee break. It was great to ride through quite changing landscape of both rolling fields, craggy hills and dense woods. It was also great to ride in a large group, and see our wool clad, hat clad, personas wind trough narrow path and moss clad stones on horseback. The only sound being the horse’s breaths and the sound of their feet, the wind in the grass and the cry of some feathery flying critter.

We had a coffee “short” brake in the woods near a lake – and that of course involved coffee, biscuits, dryed fruit, and fresh venison… all seasoned with hearty giggles.
Char, trapper fashion true, went for a piss by the lake and came back with beaver sign – chewed wood in the loads.

We returned to camp in late afternoon, tended the horses and left them grazing.
The few who stayed in camp had prepared food for the lot – we came home to freshly baked sweet churros – a real treat with a cup of tea and coffee.

The late afternoon was used on camp chores, relaxing and learning about packing horses, sawbucks and panniers.

As Kamilla, Jens and I had to go a long way – 10-12 hour drive for the horsetrailer team, we packed and got the horses loaded early. It was a long drive and great memorable times from a fun trek!

After the trek
After the equipment got cleaned I started on mending what equipment needed mending right away, to avoid making last second mending before the next trek.
Also I started on new projects for the winter trek right away – winter moc’s are already made, as is a tricorn remade and re-steamed into a low round hat… and a new, warm capote/coat is in the making.

Last, but not least, I want to thank you all for a great memorable event! Thank you very much for arranging it and preparing it.

Great times with great people!
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