This morning we took Red on an exploration of Briwnant Riding Centre's land. First we rode about half way along the track and then turned off it to head up the hill through the undergrowth to the top field that borders Wenallt Road. There is a gate to the road from the top field. This will be a really useful track to take when accessing the Wenallt trail, because it avoids a large section of the road. It is very beautiful up there with wild primroses in full bloom and many rabbits scurrying into the cover of the bracken. The bluebells are just beginning to blossom. The view is extraordinary: right across Cardiff, the Severn Estuary with both Severn Bridges, Penarth Head, Steep and Flat Holm in the estuary and beyond them the coast of England. It was a little hazy so it was not possible to make out the Devon and North Cornish coasts today, but still one could see for a distance of more than 30 miles.
Next we rode back down towards the stable yard and then turned left along a muddy track. We learned later that this used to be the access track to Briwnant and eventually comes out at Thornhill Road by a hotel. We rode to nearly as far as the hotel and turned back. Two of the Briwnant dogs accompanied us which I think helped Red feel more confident, but also made him a little lively – I think it reminded him of hunting. Apparently if we took the track to its end, there are other rides that can be accessed from there, so I look forward to exploring those one day.
Arriving back at the yard again we went through a gate into two of the fields that are being rested at the moment. Here I took Red down to the bottom of each field so that he could have a good fast canter back up the fields, which we enjoyed. I had not cantered him in the top field as he seemed quite nervous up there as it is so high and open.
This ride had taken us about an hour. It is great to be somewhere where we can ride for so long without touching a road. Red is relaxed and settled and obviously really likes it at Briwnant. And—I hardly dare put it in writing it seems so much too good to be true—we can bring Dee here. We can bring her back from Cornwall and put her here on grass livery. I'm not sure how we are going to organise this at the moment, but we are going to Cornwall to see Dee next week, so I can discuss it with the lady at Gorgeous Grazing then. I can't quite believe that things could work out quite this perfectly at the moment —I'm afraid of jinxing it—but how wonderful it would be to have both our horses to ride out on together again. Dee is still up for riding. We shall have to start gently as she hasn't been ridden for four months, but she always enjoyed hacking out.