Dear Fellow Travellers-
My parents and I are planning a trip to England and Scotland this May, and one small part of that is my great desire to ride horses in Scotland (or northern England). I was thinking there might be a small chance of combining that in some way with seeing Hadrian's Wall. Any advice? I have had a terrible time trying to find any horseriding at all. I like to think of myself as an experienced rider, my mother is familiar with riding, and Daddy will do his best!
Any help will be appreciated. Thank you!
Scotland will be magnificent for riding. It is wild and beautiful.
Have a look at www.activityscotland.org.uk for specific riding information, and a general tourist info which covers all of the UK www.uktouristinfo.com.
But call it pony trekking, not horseback riding, it's our different languages, a days ride is called a hack.
If you,are a competent rider in an English saddlle,you will probably find trekking rather dull - nose to tail with people of all abilities, so walking almost all the time. This is only fair to the horses if it is very hilly of course. Try this website:
http://www.kimmerston.com/ for galloping on the beach!
Also google in things like 'Northumbria horse riding' for a wealth of sites offering many links to riding centres which you can then email in turn for details. You can also contact the British Horse Society and for Scotland just google words 'like horse riding Scotland' and the area if you know it. For exciting riding, avoid establishments offering trekking only.
The Roman Wall is really a walking route so bring some walking boots as well.
Oh, and if you are used only to the security of a Western saddle, try the much less deep seated English one before you go. Cinches are called girths by the way.
Best of luck, from Alison
Well, I've never ridden in an English saddle, but I'm almost as good bareback as I am in a Western, is that comparable at all? Thanks for the website tips.
Girths, check, pony trekking, check, hack, ok! Yes, English and American, I know, so dissimilar!
Anybody have any tips on preparing to ride English? I'm trying to find a place here where we can ride some or get instruction. . . Is it at all like bareback, and do you have to have your feet cinched up so high?
Aha, you are the same Helen who asked about packing. If you are proficient bareback, you must obviously have a good seat and good balance. A good way to judge the length of your stirrup leathers is to place the stirrup under your armpit and place your finger tips on the buckle where the leather slips under its safety clip at the pommel. Adjust the length of the leather and re-do the buckle. Try mounting AFTER tightening the girth(!) and re-adjust if you like. Leather length is a matter of taste. I like them longish but you must beware of losing the stirrup at speed. It's usually wise to shorten the leathers a hole before jumpimg or galloping.
Hard hats are compusory at all riding establishments. Some use cavalry saddles which have deeper seats.
Hope you have a great holiday.