Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Briwnant fun ride

Yesterday was the August bank holiday fun ride at Briwnant Riding Centre.  We decided not to ride but to go along as helpers again.  Red was tacked up and ready to go when we arrived and we enjoyed making a fuss of him and meeting his rider.

The man riding Red has not been riding for long, but rode him competently and with confidence.  Red—as usual—was over-excited because it was a fun ride, which is why we don't usually join in.  We prefer our quiet rides out together, just the two of us.

We brought Dee in to groom while the ride completed the hacking part of the fun ride and then waited for the horses to return.  We then went out to the fields to act as marshals for the cross country part of the fun ride.  These tyres were the first jumps on the cross country course and most of the horses did not like them.  Red was acting very frisky and skirted them, barely jumping.

'ö-Dzin has a new fancy camera and succeeded in capturing some good action shots. If any readers of this blog were riding on this fun ride, ask Briwnant later in the week whether there is a picture of you among the set we are giving to Briwnant. 'ö-Dzin took a photograph of most of the cross country riders.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Riding Red

I'm getting used to Red being the horse I ride.  I'm starting to feel at home on him and not feeling so much that he is too big for me.  Today I rode out with a friend from Bristol.  We worked out that we have been trying to organise riding together for about 2 years, and today we finally achieved it.

The event was not without complications.  The first one was me forgetting Dee's hoof boots.  I had to go back home for them, leaving my friend to groom the horses.  Eventually we were ready to set off.  We had been going for about 5 minutes when I realised I had forgotten to put on my chaps.  Never mind.  I would manage.

We took the track straight out from the yard to the top of Wenallt hill.  It was extremely muddy and I wondered whether this would be a problem for Dee in her hoof boots.  It wasn't, though later in the ride the velcro straps kept coming undone because they had got so full of mud.  This does not affect the function of the boots because the primary front fastening is so secure it is not a problem if the top straps unhook themselves.

The next complication was Red's saddle cloth.  By the time we had climbed to the top of Wenallt Hill this lovely new padded saddle cloth had worked its way right under Red's saddle.  I had to get off and reset the pad and saddle.  I found a suitable log to remount.

We then rode down the top part of the Wenallt horse trail, across the stream, up to Rhiwbina Hill and into the Ganol.  Then through the Ganol into Fforest Fawr.  We had a good canter up the hill.  At the car park I had to dismount again so that I could sort out the saddle pad.  It had moved so much it was practically out the back of the saddle.  I will have to either abandon this pad for Red or sew on velcro fastenings to keep it in place.

Then it was back through the Ganol and a good canter, and home through the bottom part of the Wenallt trail.  Dee and Red behaved beautifully and we had such a good time that my friend is going to try and come and ride again next week.  We thought we might explore a trail I have not ridden before.  It was lovely to feel so relaxed and to be able to take our time.  Sometimes at the weekend the time is so precious that 'ö-Dzin and I feel that we cannot give the whole of one of the days to riding, so it feels a little pressurised fitting it in.

I feel I have had a summer now that I have ridden out for a day in lovely weather.