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  • Writer's pictureAngie Raab

Horses - filming a documentary

Updated: Jan 26

"No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle." - winston churchill

"Hooves and Harmony: Riding for Conservation on Mount Kenya"

As the African adventure unfolded, taking me from the vast landscapes of Borana to the charming town of Nanyuki, our quest to become the voice of our rangers, took an unexpected turn. Amidst the sun-soaked poolside days and chilled nights, a serendipitous encounter with horses became the next chapter in my journey—a harmony of hooves in the heart of Mount Kenya. Plans were hatched for our time with the horse-backed anti-poaching unit, an alliance that promised a unique perspective on the challenges faced in safeguarding wildlife. On our way to the stables a detour into culinary delights led us to the best fries in Laikipia, where flavors danced on our taste buds. The little shopping center, a pitstop en route to the horses, became a familiar landmark. Mounted on resilient Ethiopian ponies, our horseback adventures unfolded amidst ancient forests, savannas, and the slopes of Mount Kenya, under dramatic skies that set the stage for our high-altitude escapade. Sitting on a sturdy, brownish-red companion with a missing ear, I rediscovered the joy of riding. Through forests and under the watchful eyes of birds of prey, the wind whispered through evergreen leaves, creating a melody of peace.

I found solace and purpose. The illegal wildlife trade may persist, but in creating memories from these moments, I've discovered an unyielding resolve—never to forget why I am here. These horses emerge as silent guardians in the quest to protect wildlife and preserve biodiversity because of their ability to move quietly, cover extensive ground, and harmoniously navigate the landscapes. Rangers on horseback can patrol expansive areas, monitor wildlife movements, and respond swiftly to potential threats. This mobility becomes a crucial asset in the protection of remote habitats. Their presence along with their riders, is often accepted amidst herds of zebras, elephants, and antelopes. This natural acceptance creates an opportunity for conservationists to observe and monitor wildlife behavior without causing undue stress or disturbance.This, in turn, aids in the conservation of biodiversity and protects both the animal inhabitants and local communities.

Visit the Mount Kenya Trust to learn more about their incredible efforts.

(photos: bog photography, kimberly wood, andreas maxones photography)

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