Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/335

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
327
THE CAPE COLONY HORSE.

A most striking instance of the extraordinary endurance of Colony horses occurred a few years ago in Great Namaqua-land. The animal in question belonged to a son of the Hottentot chief Zwartbooi, who one day, while hunting in an open tract of country, fell in with a troop of eleven giraftes, to which he immediately gave chase, and the whole of which he rode down and shot in succession. But the immense exertion was too much for the gallant creature, whose life was thus sacrificed.

This remarkable horse was well known throughout Great Namaqua-land, and is said to have been quite mad with excitement when he observed a wild animal. He only ceased to pursue when the game was either killed or no longer in sight.

The Colony horses, with a little training, answer admirably for either hunting or shooting. They may be taught to remain stationary for hours together by merely turning the bridle over their heads, resting the extremities of the reins on the ground. They seldom trot; the usual pace is a canter, and occasionally an amble.

So much has already been said and written on the Cape Colony, its sturdy Boers, its soil, its productions, and so forth, that it would be superfluous to add any thing farther. Suffice it to mention a few of the most remarkable incidents of my journey.

Soon after leaving Komaggas, my horse—a young half-trained stallion which had only been ridden thrice—shied, and, rearing on his hind legs, came to the ground on his back with sudden violence. Providentially, the soil was soft and yielding, and although I sustained his whole weight for a few seconds, I escaped with no worse consequence than a tight squeezing.

After leaving Komaggas the homesteads of the Boer became daily more numerous. Riding up one morning to a house, with a view of obtaining some bread and flour, I was