Tosca and Zulu are taking the Otago Central Rail Trail in their stride.

Tosca, an Arab cross, and Zulu, a Friesian Clydesdale, were saddled up for an adventure with their owners Kirsty Mann and Tsarina Dellow along the rail trail last week.

While most people cycle the trail, Ms Mann and Mrs Dellow, of Hanmer Springs, opted to take their horses along for the adventure, a sight that prompted conversations along the way.

Ms Mann said one cyclist requested swapping their modes of transport.

“Of course, the answer is always

The women and their horses spent Wednesday night, last week, at the Dunstan Equestrian Centre, before leaving Clyde for Chatto Creek on Thursday.

They were supported by Mrs Dellow’s in-laws, Warren Dellow and Leonie Cameron, of Nelson, who have been touring the district in their camper van.

Mr Dellow and Ms Cameron’s plans to tour the district at the same time has meant they were able to transport the horse float as required.

Mrs Dellow and Ms Mann, who have done a lot of back-country trekking together over the years, decided to tour the rail trail following a year of restricted travel.

Ms Mann was riding the entire length of the trail, while Mrs Dellow went as far as Wedderburn.

Their previous excursions have been assisted by a pack horse to help carry their gear, but thanks to their support crew, they have been able to travel lighter and at a more leisurely pace.

They have also been able to enjoy luxuries that are not usually on their itinerary, including restaurants and spa pools.

“There’s no stopping for salmon bagels, normally,” Mrs Dellow said.

As they settled in for the night at the Chatto Creek Tavern last Thursday, it was not just Ms Mann and Mrs Dellow enjoying their surrounds.

Tosca and Zulu were also treated to five star service.

“They had a whole lovely grassy paddock and fresh water and a couple of cows for company,” Mrs Dellow said.

The duo enjoyed their journey and sharing the trail with cyclists.

One of the best ways to share a trail with a horse, particularly if cyclists were coming from behind, was to give some warning, by calling out “Hello” a distance back.

“We can sort the rest,” Ms Mann said.Running sneakersTHE SNEAKER BULLETIN