Survived the (mostly) fun ride


Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
Surrey Hills
We had a gorgeous day for it, though Sid said it was definitely too hot for a cob.

Start time was 11:40 and we arrived on the button, so didn't have to wait around at all. Abby, who hasn't seen much of the world, was all eyes at the heaps of horse boxes and horses, but Sid just cocked an eye as if to say, "Oh, a party, OK."

We were 5th to last, and within the first half hour all the others had passed us, so it was peace, perfect peace until we were about a third of the way around. A lot of the ride was on stony, sandy tracks, some quite deep. You could see that earlier horses had cantered, but with both of ours barefoot we felt that walk and trot was good enough. Where it was narrow or scary Sid led, and where it was wider Abby muscled in front.

You can see the orange streamers that marked the route. Sid liked them and made a point of sniffing each one we passed.

The route was really beautiful and at one point - quite extraordinary - we rode through the set of the latest Marvel movie filming in Winterfold forest. The horses were not particularly phased by dozens, even hundreds of Winnebagos and Range Rovers, lights, random bits of road built in the middle of nowhere, and an entire set with a blue screen the size of a house.



There was a long, peaceful bit of bridleway after that and we just carried on walking and trotting, no canter, no pressure.

Things started to go a bit pear shaped when we reached the photographer. Alice asked me to go past him first, so she could be sure Abby would canter. I did, but Sid didn't wanted to canter past him and so we trotted, with Alice calling from behind, "Go on, go on!" Then on a very narrow path we met two young riders coming in the other direction who insisted they couldn't turn around even though they were only about 10m from the start of the path. We had to turn and go back, then turn again. For some reason this completely wound Abby up, and having been super chilled she was now super stressed. She jogged, she danced. She got very far ahead and Sid wanted to hurry to catch up, even downhill. I bridged my reins, it helped a lot but it was still stressful.

By the time we got up onto our home heath Abby was still fizzing and we agreed to separate because Sid was getting really tired and Alice wanted to canter some more. We did separate, and Sid was very good, strolling along one of our familiar paths. But then we got to a place where we often canter and he said that he wanted to go to. When I said no, he gave a HUGE single buck. I was prepared and didn't come off, but I was nearly off, clinging to his neck and looking at the ground. I shouted at him ("F*** you, Sid!" I am ashamed to say), and blow me if he didn't stop dead and lift his head at exactly the angle required to push me back into the saddle.

We rejoined Abby and Alice and headed back to the start point for our frillies. My husband very kindly came and brought us water, apples and my walking shoes, and took the saddles away so we could lead the horses home, about 40 minutes downhill.

When we were 5 minutes from the yard Sid caught the edge of my shoe with his hoof and I fell right over, downhill and under his feet. He stopped at once and I hauled on his feathers to get myself up. So in 12 miles and 2h 45m of riding I didn't fall off, but then I fell over right within sight of home!

I am about to get into a hot bubbly bath. I ache! Sid seemed fine, after his wash off he trotted cheerfully off up the field to graze. I shall give him a massage tomorrow, though.

One thing to tick off the bucket list. Next time I may do it on my own, though. Or with a cob who goes at Sid speed.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
It sounds like most of it was very good, and you handled the less good bits brilliantly. I find hot weather can be very useful at taking the edge off them when they still have some winter woolies on, the downside being it tends to take the edge off me too lol

Thank goodness it wasn't a windy day, those streamers could have caused some fun and games :eek:
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Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
Brilliant, your plan of attack worked well with no excitement, apart from that one buck but very nice of him to help you back in your seat šŸ˜œ

Unless you have a really well matched pair pace wise it can definitely put more stress on a ride, Jess used to leave everyone for dust in walk and trot but her canter was slow and weā€™d always end up fighting about weather or not she could gallop to beat them šŸ¤¦ā€ā™€ļø
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Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2003
What a brilliant boy Sid is. He looked after you. I find it easier to go solo, then you can go at the speed to suit your horse and don't get pressurised into doing things you don't feel you want to. Give him a pamper tomorrow, he is such a find, a really nice person.


Well-Known Member
Dec 3, 2014
Rhode Island,New england
That was quite an adventure.
Wow coming upon a film set was awesome.

They were filming an episode of BODY OF PROOF at Goddard Park when we were there one time.

It was 2 years before that episode popped up on TV

It was cool to be saying..while watching the episode.
I know that spot. Ohhh look there's the..
It was fun to recognize places out in the woods.
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