06 November 2011

Improvised Saddles, An Albino Horse

The flat lands before the rivers of Simsimon.
From the bustling center of Valencia, Bukidnon, we took a 3-hour motorcycle ride towards more mountains. We passed many muddy, half-made roads. Until there were no more.

We stopped in front of a small sari-sari store (where people were hanging out and talking, waiting for nothing in particular), made our way across the first river and started walking.

Poly sacks sewn roughly with plastic rope.
At that point, I wasn't thinking at all about horses. I'd seen a few along the way, but thought nothing of them. Later on in the trip (i.e. the next day), 9+ hours of walking under my belt, I was praying that my fanny pack would drop onto the ground, have a supernatural vibration of some sort, and morph into a savior horse, like a scene in some folktale. 

The sack is stuffed with more plastic and old clothes.
Horses are perfect companions in the variable landscape going to Simsimon, where the rivers change course every few months or so, and the mud can consume your slippers just like that. Horses eat wild plants, and create nitrogenous fertilizer as a byproduct. When they die, they compost right into the ground. How's that for "green" transportation?

A fancier saddle, still improvised, for an albino horse. The thing around its neck is part of a plastic water hose.
A closer view of the sack saddle, this one with elaborate machine-sewn padding and a wooden groin nest.

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