SA Country Life

Cowboys Never Cry

He rides effortlessly through flat, red, open grassland towards the white sandstone bluffs of the Great Escarpment, a skilled horseman, rancher, adventurer and true-to-life African cowboy who sits a horse like he was born there. This observation is not far from the truth.

Wiesman Nel herded stock on horseback in the Wittenberg mountain range at the age of six, managed farm horses at 16 years of age, and soon after started breeding a line of his own. Today, aged 40, he rears, trains and oversees a stable of 280 Arabian and Boerperd horses on the family-owned Moolmanshoek Private Game Reserve near Ficksburg. “It’s hard to explain, but my love of horses is like a disease,” Wiesman confesses.

My time with Wiesman begins several months earlier when I learn about an African

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