HORSE RIDING CAN BE DANGEROUS. ALL RIDES ARE AT PARTICIPANTS OWN RISK AND INTENDED FOR EXPERIENCED RIDERS ONLY. NEITHER THE FENLAND BRIDLEWAYS ASSOCIATION, NOR THE ORGANISERS OF INDIVIDUAL RIDES CAN BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INJURY, LOSS OR DAMAGE, HOWEVER CAUSED, TO ANY PARTICIPANT, THEIR HORSE OR PERSONAL PROPERTY. RIDE SAFELY, AT YOUR OWN RISK.
A big thank you to Judi who volunteered to lead a guided ride around the Swaffham Prior and Reach tracks at the weekend. It was a perfect day for it Ė no wind and not too hot. Judi kindly let me box my horse over to hers and leave my trailer in her yard. As a result of Judiís navigation and commentary I am now much more au-fait with the tracks around this area and canít wait for the new bridge across Reach Lode to officially open in September, so that I can take advantage of the many routes available to ride. We rode for about 3.5 hours and only saw one other horse rider and a couple of runners the whole time we were out. Judi encouraged me to be brave and ride across Tubney fen as we were desperate for a canter and the ground across the fen was about the only place that wasnít rock hard in spite of all the recent downpours. The cattle were happily grazing right across the track but we were able to take an alternative route and avoid them. Apart from the odd glance in our direction they seemed very chilled out at the whole prospect of us riding on their grazing land and surprisingly my horse didnít get too freaky at their presence either.
We managed the gates on either side of the fen although Judi did have to get off for one of them as the spring was so efficient we were unable to keep it open well enough to ride through. This didnít pose a problem though due to the excellent sturdy and well placed mounting blocks close to the gates.
I would encourage members of the bridleways association to take advantage of these guided rides to find out more about the local routes and enjoy some variation in their riding. As I was the only person to join Judi on Sunday we had a good old gossip, put the world to rights and challenged our mounts with some new and different experiences. It would be great to see some other people next time and get to meet their horses too.
After a very wet morning, the rain stopped just in time to get the horses ready. Several members were interested but had previous commitments, so on the day it was Lesley and I who enjoyed the ride. The route from Swaffham Prior, took us to Swaffham Bulbeck Lode bridge via Barston Drove and Black Drove. We crossed the lode and continued along the bank and along to Red Tile Farm (permissive only). From there we returned to the bridge along the underbank drove on the opposite side. The last leg of our ride took us along Headlake Drove, down Straight Drove and through Reach. This gave us the chance for some 'fairground' training, and so home. We both enjoyed it and were out 2 hours 45 mins.
Please contact me on 07763 769933 for further details (ride lengths will depend on who wishes to ride and a consensus of requirements.) Judi