Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Riding in three seasons

The last two weekends we have had to work and so have been unable to ride together.  So yesterday 'ö-Dzin took a day off work and we went on a lovely ride together.

We decided to do the same ride as I had ridden with my friend TK a couple of weeks ago, as 'ö-Dzin had never been on the golf course bridleway.  This time we were going to do this circular route in the opposite direction however.

The Ganol
We set out in glorious sunshine.  The weather has been extraordinary in Wales for about a week – hotter than it has been at any time during the summer.  It was really too hot for riding but it seemed silly to waste this little glimpse of what summer could have been.  Unfortunately Red had already been out for an hour so he was a little reluctant.  As it was so hot and Red had already done some work, we decided to make this a slow ride.

The horses had a long drink when we crossed the stream in the Wenallt.  When we arrived at the Ganol quite a strong breeze had blown up.  All around us leaves were falling and it felt much more autumnal.  We had heard that the weather was due to break and had hoped that we would be lucky and it would hold out for the Monday.  We did not canter the horses at all on this ride.  We had a few trots.  We were content to plod and simply enjoy being out together.

Ridgeway golf course
At the end of the lane leading to Ridgeway livery, where the horses used to live, there are two gates to negotiate.  Red is not very good at gates.  He doesn't seem to understand what he needs to do – either that or I fail to ask him properly.  Dee is wonderfully intelligent with gates and so we usually ask her to take the lead and show Red what to do.  It turned out that the gates were easier to deal with in this direction as it was just a matter of pushing them open.  We succeeded in getting through them both without needing to dismount.

I love this photo of Dee
The track across the golf course was much more obvious in this direction.  Red was a bit unsure of a golfer on a green near the track.  There were two fluttering red flags and the golfer had a big bag lying on the green.  Red became very alert.  Then there was a large skip full of rubbish which he was not too keen on either and stepped sideways to give it a wide berth.  Then as we rounded the edge of the house there were two red mattresses and Red started on seeing them – but that was it: the totality of Red's concern.  He is such a steady lad.  Dee is always calm and reassured when she is with him and will follow him past anything.

Are there any more treats?
Red was completely relaxed again by the time we reached the road at the end of the bridleway.  Neither of them were bothered by facing the traffic.  It seemed more sensible to continue on the footpath to Wenallt Road facing the traffic rather than having to cross the road twice.  It is only a short distance.

Beginning the walk down Wenallt Road we could see cloud rolling in across the hills.  The top of the transmitter tower was lost in mist.  It became really cold and damp – winter seemed to have arrived!  We crossed the fields for the last part of the ride to avoid the very narrow part of Wenallt Road and soon we were home.  Dee and Red, Nor'dzin and 'ö-Dzin had all had a splendid time together.

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