I know now that dreams can come true…

In the weeks before the start of my internship at ADHS I couldn’t believe this was really happening. Buying new clothes, getting vaccinations and packing stuff didn’t seem real to me. But as soon as I got on the plane, there was no other choice than believing this was really happening. I was going to South Africa, for 5 months!

My internship was about African Horse Sickness. A horrible disease that causes lots of sick and even dead horses every year.

Every rain season there is a big risk for the horses to get infected. There are no vaccinations yet and the only way to prevent AHS is to take measures so that mosquitos can’t bite the horses. So it was my job to take these measures. Together with my ‘team’ we dug a ditch to make stagnant water flow, we closed up the stables with mesh, every day the old grass got removed out of the paddocks and lots of more measures were taken. And it worked! None of the horses got sick this year, so in 2012 we won the fight!

And I know what I was doing all this for. I fell in love with Yakima, the sweetest horse I’ve ever known. I didn’t want her to get sick, so she was my greatest motivation to do this research.

But the research wasn’t the only thing wherefore I went to ADHS. I wanted to learn about horses and horse riding. I never expected it to be so much fun! Every day I had a smile on my face and we had such an amazing time with the horses. Jumping, playing games, swimming with the horses, canter trails, in-hand-work, lunging, and so so much more! And off course was my sweet Yakima there every single day. I loved working with the horses and Traci taught me so much about the horses and riding. Before I came to South Africa I jumped 50 cm, but in a few months I jumped twice that height.

But it was not only the work at the stables that I loved, it was also the bush I fell in love with. The beautiful trees, the sunsets, the colours and the animals. It was amazing to drive through the bush. Glen taught me so much about everything in the bush and I loved learning it. Every game drive was special, not one was the same as another one. And I think the most special one was the one where we found the big seven, I had goose bumps that game drive!

The 5 months I’ve spent with Traci, Glen, Anna, Shannon and all the others at African Dream Horse Safari were absolutely amazing. I will never forget the awesome time I had and I’m sure I will be back! It was really a dream that came true!


Written by Karen (Netherlands)