Rummys Blog An world of endless Monday

Monday, 19 April, 2010

Vale of Belvoir

Filed under: Rides — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 11:39 am

Look! See! I’m smiling! Though it doesn’t really look like me.

So we went to Vale of Belvoir this weekend to do a 30km pleasure ride on Casper. We might have gone for a fillup 40kml competative ride except I was worried that Cas wasn’t quite fit enough for that distance, page and he had been lame a couple of weeks ago on a local 30km training ride.

I needn’t have worried he was sound and fit!

The Vale of Belvoir is¬† a very nice ride, syphilis I know my perception is biased because Cas was sound, the sun was shining and we had a “no-fight” ride.

Yes, of course we “doped” him up with stay-kalm, and I’m sure the calmer and the lack of other riders passing him helped keep him calm, but horsie aside V o B is a lovely picturesque ride.

It starts well, not long after you leave the venue you pass fields full of pretty chestnut thoroughbred mares all with cute little foals. You go past old buildings and tumbledown walls made from the local reddish yellow sand stone. Every couple of miles or so there’s a pretty little pond you can imagine the local kids spalshing and tadpoling in (not that I saw any). Later on in the ride theres fields of little black Shetlands, again some with foals. It seems like a place taken out of time. You wonder if Miss Marple is sat in someones reception room taking tea with the vicar.

The scenery is a little flat for my taste, but occasionally you even get a proper vista of miles and miles. As if the scenery weren’t enough on its own to persuade me to go back to this ride, the groundwork is mostly unsurfaced, dry,¬†bridleway with a little roadwork (usually with a verge) and only the occasional stony farm track to remind you of exactly what you aren’t getting.

If Cas were still barefoot I think this ride would be a permanent fixture on our calendar.

Cas was in such a good mood I managed to let him walk alongside me without holding onto the reins. Of course, being Casper, he can only keep this up for so long before he gets bored and I have to catch him as he trots past.

My personal rating for Sunday was A+, I think it would be tough for this ride to get anything less than a B.

Monday, 22 March, 2010

Ride Report: Major Oak

Filed under: Rides — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:49 pm

We went to Major Oak to do a 32km pleasure ride, hair this is the longest ride we’ve done this year and only top equal with last years batch of recovery pleasure rides.

I was a bit worried about our fitness, recipe both mine and Caspers, winter has been long and there’s not been as much training as I would have liked. In the end I needn’t have worried. We both of us managed well, Casper still had enough oomph left over to canter past the last turning and I don’t ache too much today.
I would say that Cas started feeling the extra distance at around the 20km mark though not properly until the 25km mark. He was definitely a bit tired by the end. I think 16km (the other PR class) would have been far too short and 32km was probably a decent training distance. We’ll not be moving up to 40km for another couple of rides though.

There was one point on this route that you get within a couple of km of home and then turn away for a further 6km. For the first time ever that I can remember Cas seemed to know where he was and actively turned around and told me that “home” was that way! A first, and a definite sign that he was getting tired, normally he doesn’t give a shit where home is as long as he’s moving.

Monday, 1 March, 2010

Escrik Park – Ride

Filed under: Rides — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 12:14 pm

This weekend we took the pony out to Escrick park for his second pleasure ride of the season. There was a lot of doubt about whether we were going to attend; first of all we didn’t receive any maps or ride details leading us to suspect that it had been called off, doctor and then the weather looked like it was going to be torrential on the day. So I’d mentally decided that this probably wasn’t going to happen. Sue made a phone call on Saturday and then it was back to all go!

Sunday morning, a late start so we could avoid most of the 80 odd expected riders, and off we go after loading the route from a couple of years ago onto the GPS watch.

It turned out to be a pleasant 20km, Casper was dutifully drugged up an hour before the ride so he was in a calm mood. The weather had changed overnight from potentially bad to dry. Most of the other horses had left before us so we wouldn’t be getting overtaken. A decent set-up for the day.

The route, though different was generally the same as a couple of years ago, so the pony satnav was useful, and even if it hadn’t been, the route was very well marked. The ground was boggy, but most of the route was on hard track and unaffected. Casper was in a good mood so we trotted most of the way with some nice gentle canters.

We did make an “on the day” change, which we normally try to avoid, this was because the gaiters on the “boots” he’s wearing until we get him shod were rubbing his pastern. So we put some vet-wrap on his pasterns (instead of tights) and that actually worked for the entire ride without any significant problems. There was a small rub at the bottom of the vetwrap, but not enough to actually break the skin. I pulled him up after about 5km to check up on how well this new change was working, if the rub-protection had failed I was going to turn back home. Just after we’d pulled back from canter to trot to walk the dozy little sod tripped and I ended up going ever so gently over his head to land on the ground. No-one was hurt and I got an excellent view of his feet, all was well. Onwards!

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful, we passed a number of other pleasure riders, gently so as not to upset their horses by storming pass. All was pretty good. Sue even cycled out to meet us half way, always a pleasure to see her.

The only, less than good, point was when we caught up with a couple of the 30km riders who, looking over their shoulders and seeing us decided to canter off. I find this behaviour annoying, it winds both me and Casper up – If we’ve caught up with you it’s because we’re going faster than you, just cantering off to keep us behind is at best only a temporary measure, I promise we’ll be passing you sooner or later, you may as well accept that and let us pass now!

So we finished sound and only a couple of kph over the maximium limit for pleasure rides (oops!).

All in all it’s a decent ride, not really a barefoot ride, and a little hard if you are concerned about that. I think we’ll probably alternate this ride with the Shipley park ride in future, it’s on at the same sort of time and about the same driving distance, and, from memory, one that can be done barefoot.

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