Thursday, 3 January 2013

Christine (Christy) Henchie

Christy was born in Harare, Zimbabwe and in fact lived in the same house until she was 18. She started riding when she was 8 after some encouragement from her mother who felt that every well brought up child should know a little about horses. It didn't take long for her general love for animals to turn into a fierce passion for horses.

She always had the support of her family, although none of them are riders, and of friends who guided her through riding schools and pony club. At 11, she got her first pony and never looked back! Dressage, show jumping, eventing, gymkhana... whatever she could participate in she did!

After finishing her A Levels, she went to England and found a job with Eventer and Triple Olympic Gold Medallist, Matt Ryan. She rode and looked after his horses, grooming at big events where she watched the worlds elite riders compete at the highest levels. She also had the opportunity to lease and compete a horse whilst there.

In 2003, she and her family moved to Cape Town where she quickly became involved in the local horse scene, taking trails on the beach, teaching riding, helping with riding for the disabled and competing horses for their owners. It was here she met Billy and first heard of his plans to cross Africa on horseback. At the time she thought the whole thing a little crazy!

She is not a naturally outgoing person and found the prospect of riding the length of Africa more than a little overwhelming, but never the less, here she is!

Since meeting Billy she has come to realise that the way most of the worlds riders keep their horses, ride them, shoe them and feed them is not in the horses best interest. It has been a serious learning curve and often a painful one. With every day spent on the road she continues to learn about herself and about horses.

Here are a few photos of her on the journey so far...

At the very beginning!

Christy being presented with a traditional horse breastplate in Tunisia.

Travelling is hard work!

The sign says it all!

Bath Time!

In the Almond Orchard...

In Tripoli!

Traditional Libyan Dress!

Christy and Nali in Marsa Matruh, Egypt.

Tea Time!

Collecting lucerne in Sudan.

Doing the laundry...

No comments: