Ride Round England 28 March 2013
Newsletter No. 2:
SIX WEEKS TILL STRIDER AND I SET OFF!
And why did I say I would try to get a letter out every 10 to 14 days? Its 29 days since the last one. Its been busy for the Ride and for other bits of life too.
CotswoldRDA on 7 March: Thankyou to 70 or so of you who came that evening. Sorry you had to watch for quite a while as the photographer clicked away at the far end of the school. He did get a good shot that went into the Gloucestershire Echo and they wrote a great article too. I have met several people since who said “Oh, you are the person .....”. As a footnote: Strider and I set off about 9.00pm to hack the 3 miles home. We had white LEDS on his front saddlebags, offside of the saddle and my leg, plus red LEDS on rear bags, sheet tail flap and my leg, and all the reflective hi-vis. There was very little traffic and it treated us with serious respect. He was absolutely steady at a good forward going walk and we were back to the yard by 10.00pm. Here is a link to the Echo article http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Cheltenham-horse-lover-riding-England-charity/story-18381331-detail/story.html#axzz2OvgLPCVF
And the weather .....: Has not improved so the ground has been slippy and muddy or frozen hard and very slippery. We have done a lot of work on the roads which means we can get good pushing up hill and bracing downhill but it does limit where we go. And, except for in the school ....... can anyone remember what a canter is? Also I find it hard to plan and do 5 hours and more on road in unfriendly conditions, though we have done some 3 hours plus of good work.
A Weekend Away: At the beginning of the month we did a 22 mile hack up to Mickleton via Broadway, which includes going up and down the side of the Cotswolds several times. Almost all on roads and after one bit over very muddy clay I stayed on the roads even when they were not great. On a bit with bends we stayed out from the edge of the road and I held a large red spotted handkerchief out at arms length to give cars a bit of extra warning. I got some nice waves for that and people were mostly really good. We stayed with friends at Mickleton which was lovely and came home a slightly shorter route (one hill cut out), 20 miles, the next day. Good learning: More fitness needed for both of us; lunch bucket when tied to a tree means dont walk round in circles; he needs more feed and a bigger lunch; he needs to be tempted more to drink; I may need to have an earpiece for the phone; I must walk and lead for 15 minutes every hour and a half to ease my joints; I need to dismount and remount more often in odd places; I was wearing enough clothes even with a biting northeast wind! And Nikkithe RugLady’s special “bag” for my trumpet fixed on and travelled perfectly.
Helpful People: Sue Buckley, our Bowen Therapist has continued to be a star, straightening us out and giving more advice than that. Mark Johnson, the farrier, and I have agreed we aim at shoeing every three weeks for the ride and as soon as Mark has confirmed which locations he can do I will get in touch with the other farriers who have volunteered their services and sort out where we meet up. I have had offers of help and accommodation from all round the place, thanks to the BHS, EGB, Pony Club, RDA and Treccies putting the word out.
Finding Accommodation: This is making progess. Several more nights have been fixed and several are “in the pipeline”. We only have one night missing between the start and south of York. That is for just south of Chester. I will send the “plan” out with this Newsletter so you can see what it looks like. Where the “Conf Y/N Prov” column has a N, I am not yet fixed. Suggestions of people or places will be gratefully received.
Sponsorship and Shopping:
The first dose of wormer came from wormers-direct.co.uk and Strider will get it when some grass has grown and the geldings change fields.
SEIB, www.seib.co.uk have sponsored Strider’s insurance for a second year which is a serious chunk of money!
Saddle Exchange Co saddling solutions have got me for FREE a Mattes sheepskin numnah, seat saver, girth cover, browband and noseband cover. And if you can afford to buy that lot, Wow! They are really superb www.saddleexchange.com and www.mattesequestrian.com A huge thankyou to Dean and Gini and to Mattes.
While we have decided to keep Strider in shoes and not go to boots, I am getting some boots for emergency use and a big thankyou to Liz at Hoof Bootique, www.hoofbootique.co.uk for giving me lots of advice and a discount. I hope to meet up with her as I get to the Devon and Cornwall boundary.
Pony Club UK kindly gave me a stand at their National Conference on 6 March which produced a whole lot of interest and offers of help and linking up in different places. Thankyou very much to the Pony Club. It was a very good day for me and the Ride.
Strider’s view If you are not on Twitter, where you can find him @riderndengland, but would like to see his views on things, he now has a Facebook page which gets his Tweets, and other comments on what is happening, see http://www.facebook.com/StriderTheHorseTravellingRoundEngland
Do, please, pass this Newsletter on to other people who might be interested, and tell them to email me to be added to the list.
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