Common Ridings

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Common Ridings

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    02-07-2009, 03:46 PM
Common Ridings

I just found out that there's a cultural thing in the Scottish borders called "Common Ridings". It has a very long history (up to 400 years old if I remember correctly) when the riders in a border town had to go and "ride the marches" or ride all around the common land held by that town.

It's more of a ritualised tradition now but it looks like a huge amount of fun and I'm intending to go to atleast one common riding this spring/summer.

Basically you get several hundred really well turned out horses and there's one leader with a flag and you set off on a few hour long trail ride with a lot of galloping etc. there are also a lot of watchers and there's usually other things going on too like scottish dancing etc.

Here's a video clip I found taken on one of the Common Ridings last year

Look at all those riders!

I live in Edinburgh and only started riding here last November so wasn't really aware of that tradition. I'm just taking lessons every week now, the stable I take lessons at leases horses for the common ridings so I'll arrange it with them. Should be a huge amount of fun although I guess I sort of need to buy a riding jacket. Don't have one now.
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    02-07-2009, 04:28 PM
Ooo, interesting. That's a pretty cool thing to get into!
    02-07-2009, 05:25 PM
That looks like a lot of fun. Could I come with you? Do you think everyone would laugh at me if I showed up on my 14.2 hh Mustang with a western saddle? LOL
    02-07-2009, 07:07 PM
Sure! Just hop across the pond and come to Scotland when there's a Common Ride on ;)

A 14.2hh wouldn'nt stand out I think. Not everyone rides huge horses. The western tack and riding style would. Especially if you were dressed western as well

I've actually only been riding English style for a few months. I'm Icelandic and I have a lot of experience trail riding and herding, going over all sorts of terrain and ponying up to 3 horses at once etc.

The only horse available in Iceland is Icelandic horses (it's illegal to import horses and all the horses already there are Icelandic horses) and, well they're actually ponies really. Roughly 13hh-14.5hh ish. And built like a pony. Until a few months ago I'd never ridden a horse bigger than that. Also the Icelandics are gaited and you focus on the extra gaits all the time.

I rode a 16.5hh horse for the first time this week and wow the ground was far away.

Anyway I still can't really visualise myself riding big horses like that even though I'm doing it now. I'm so used to my furry, sturdy gaited ponies :p
    02-08-2009, 02:50 AM
Looks like fun! I hope you get to join in!
    02-10-2009, 12:27 AM
The Scots are mad!!! In a good way. I have a decent portion of Scottish blood in me as I am decended from Willim Wallace which I think is awesome.
    02-11-2009, 08:41 PM
It looks like it would be a lot of fun. What is the purpose of this ride? What is it suppose to symbolize?

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