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Two weeks in Tibet
8:40am Monday 27th February 2012 in Equestrian
LANDSCAPE: Rebecca will be riding Tibetan mountain horses for her trek through the beautiful country.
A HORSE-mad teacher is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime and spend two weeks in the wilderness of Tibet.
Rebecca Richards says she is both nervous and excited at the prospect of the Tibet Challenge Ride, which aims to raise funds for leading equine charity World Horse Welfare.
Rebecca will travel through the upland grasslands of Sichuan Province to the rolling hills of the high plateau, which are surrounded by the massive peaks of the stunning snowcapped Min Shan and the Anye mountains.
“We will experience the untouched nomadic culture of eastern Tibet, visiting remote Buddhist monasteries and spending time with local people along the way,” said Rebecca.
The group will be camping and staying in traditional Tibetan homes. The wilderness will be even more authentic as the riders will have no vehicle support along the way.
Rebecca, who is 41, said she started to get itchy feet three years ago but was thwarted in her plans for a big adventure.
“I was all set to go trekking in Mexico and spend one day with the World Horse Welfare team. I even held fund-raising events but then I was made redundant.
“That’s when I re-trained to became a teacher and had to wait for a long school holiday before I could embark on such a trip,” said Rebecca, who used to work in the equine nutrition department at Midland Shire Farmers when it was based in Worcester.
Rebecca, who works at Fownhope CE primary school, and lives in Tillington, near Fownhope, Herefordshire, leaves for China – where the adventure begins – on July 22.
But her departure will be a bittersweet experience as she is leaving behind her own beloved horse Chinta, a 15-year-old Welsh section D which she got from the Monmouth-based Society of Welfare for Horses and Ponies.
“I have always ridden and worked at racing yards and livery stables,” said Rebecca.
“But I am really just a happy hacker and now I am getting extra fit to prepare for the long days in the saddle on the local Tibetan mountain horses we will be riding for six hours at a time.
“I am most worried about the camping and the altitude – and making sure I have enough thermal clothes with me!”
To sponsor Rebecca, who hopes to raise thousands of pounds for the charity, e-mail her at email@example.com.
For riding challenges, go to worldhorse welfare.org/you-help/ challenge-rides.