Well, today I went over to Cumnock, in East Ayrshire, to get up on a big hairy monster horse for my first big ride since before I had my operation!
I went over to Blackstone Clydesdales, as I'd decided to book a ride there while I was off on holiday for a week. Once my satnav got me most of the way there, I went in and had a cup of coffee before going off to meet my noble steed for the afternoon!
He was called Alfie, he was an 18hh (although I was convinced he was bigger!) six-year-old gelding who also gets used to pull a cart with another gelding called Randolf.
Here's Alfie before getting tacked up:
John and Maggi, who run Blackstone Clydesdales, tailor the experience to YOU personally, so even if you've never sat on a horse before, they'll make sure that you enjoy a nice quiet ride on a suitable horse for the afternoon.
Bearing in mind my "little" injury, I was put up on Alfie, who I was told was very quiet and sensible. I knew Alfie would be a good sort straight away, as once I was aboard he didn't fidget, he didn't muck about, and when I took him into the small field at the bottom of the yard to give him a wee try, he went pretty well from using a little leg and a little clucking. John described him as "the kind of horse who'll happily plod along, but will step up a gear when you ask him". Perfect!
Here we are, in the yard, just before heading out, with John on his big Percheron gelding (whose name I've completely forgotten!)
So, off we went, around the village of Lugar and Cumnock. We went through the park, where one of the staff met us to take photos (these will be up soon!), before we disappeared into the woods. We even met up with a woman there, walking her dogs, who'd been given a ride voucher for a birthday present!
On the way out:
Not a great pic, but here's some of the countryside we saw on the way round:
Walking through the park:
I even ended up leading us home!
Being welcomed home!
Some more of John's herd:
Alfie waiting patiently for an Extra Strong Mint!
Hairy monsters! But which one did I take home??
So, there you have it! A nice wee quiet ride out this afternoon! They even give you a wee certificate at the end, and the fact that quite a few people have been, or are going, back means they must be doing something right! :)