King is a 9 year old Anglo- Arab Gelding who arrived in the Eastern Cape after severe drought in the North meant there was no grazing for him there. He has been with the project for over a year now and is currently in active deployment. His initial game training was conducted in an area of non-dangerous game where he was turned out with rhino- and would often be found grazing alongside them. He also has a particular affinity for water and was often seen taking running jumps into the dam on hot days.
Bev is an 11 year old Thoroughbred cross mare who arrived with the project around the same time as King. She has also been with the project for over a year and is currently in active deployment. Bev was already a very trusty and experienced mare when she first arrived for her game training. This was however, all shaken up when she saw her first giraffe and started acting like a youngster again! Now she has settled with the idea of game Bev is well and truly our old faithful and is an excellent horse to teach new rangers how to ride on.
Phoenix is a boerperd cross (a native hardy South African breed) gelding. In these photos Phoenix was 18yo making him now 21yo. He is currently in retirement and despite his heart condition still follows the rides out sometimes at Amakhala Horse Trails as he misses his work so much.
Abu was an arab cross gelding. In these photos Abu was 21 years old. Abu was retired not long after these pictures were taken and has now sadly passed away. After refusing to get back onto the box following the photo shoot Abu still holds the record for coming the closest so far to the resident pride of lions.
Abu and Phoenix were the first horses to set foot on the reserve in over 20 years. Horses hoof prints have not been left in that dust since the land was used for farming and horses used to check farmers stock. Thanks go to Katrin Tag, their owner who kindly lent them to the project to allow us to make that first ride happen in 2014.