Bridget and Nikki Brown - Out and About
Well all the humans fell into May, coughing and spluttering and generally exhausted after lambing and cattle sales and all the equines gloried at the coming of spring and bounced around looking healthy and fit. Nikki and I ventured out to man a couple of gates for the Jolly Moors Pleasure ride for the North and East Yorkshire group. It was a blustery day to say the least and we did hide as low as possible in the undergrowth to try and keep warm, thankfully most of the horses weren't in the slightest bit bothered by hiding humans and we didn't unduly frighten anyone.
Sadly due to her virus still very much in evidence Nikki had to withdraw from Silk Willoughby with Tink so instead we both headed up to Lauder in the Scottish Borders to do 60km on the 12th May. We set off the day before and hoped that we had found everything that we would need for a night away and for good measure bought extra hot water bottles. The girls travelled really well, seemingly as happy as we were to be on a road trip again. The venue was at an easily accessible farm and the sun was shining when we arrived and set up the corrals and the wagon for our nights stay. Thankfully we did have all that we required in the wagon for over night and all was well except for a slight problem when I discovered that although an air bed on the top of a camp bed is very comfortable, especially with two hot water bottles, but I have to say a little unstable. During the night I rolled over and toppled the whole thing over and ended up stuck under the partition. Nikki found the incident highly amusing! What can I say about the Lauder ride other than it was stunning, fantastic, beautiful and we loved it! Miles and miles of grass tracks on the tops of the hill, up and down dales, through rivers, everything and just fantastic. The girls were second to none and went like dreams and we were rewarded with a gold award each, What more could we want.
After a quick turn around in which time the wagon went for its MOT which thankfully it passed but with an eye watering price tag, we repacked and set off for Rochdale with close friend Emma and her horse Hamish, to ride the Mary Towley loop with Zeph and Sandy. What an experience that was, we packed all we needed in saddle bags and left the wagon and horse box at our final stopping place. The first day was steep, very steep, and we do hills up here! but it was great, the boys went brilliantly together and although we never really got out of a walk due to the roughness of the terrain, we loved it. We had a small disappointment when the pub we planned to stop at was closed but we found another one and had lunch in the sun while the boys grazed. We arrived at our prepaid overnight stay at Hebden Bridge and after settling the horses, having a beautiful bar meal settled down for a longed for nights sleep. The next day was long, really long, but it took us up over the tops and past many reservoirs, ruins of farm, wood, sunken roads and all sorts. It was beautiful. The boys were fantastic and seemed to enjoy travelling as much as we did. We stopped for lunch at one reservoir and just enjoyed the peace and solitude. It was late when we arrived at our next night accommodation at Peers Clough farm, What a beautiful place it was, Sandy was stabled with Zeph and was impeccably behaved even when a couple of mares came in to the stables near him. Day three and Our final day took us through towns and then back up onto the tops again where we followed the most magnificent old stone road for miles before stopping off for a wonderful packed lunch that Chris at Peers Clough had provided. Then onto the last leg and back to where we had left the wagon and horse box to stay for our final night. It was a fantastic experience and great bonding time with our horses, definitely to be recommended but not to be underestimated. After we got back, Sandy had his shoes removed so he could have a well earned rest and Zeph was turned out for a week or so to recover before Junes exploits made themselves known