The first day of our Ride for Cancer now behind us..M hugely relieved that all went pretty smoothly after the weeks of preparation and many last minute panics: maps undelivered, horses seemingly incompatible, unexpected logistical problems, etc.
Eight riders and horses gathered together yesterday morning in front of Rhiwlas:
Michael and I, Peter, Charlie Barnett, Susie, Emma, Fanny (just flown in from Majorca) and Flora Price on an ex-racehorse, our guide and pace-setter for the day !
Jane’s gigantic lorry parked behind us with kennel of dogs on its steps, her mother Pam and sister Anna there to observe and encourage! Jane herself as always whizzing about giving help wherever needed…our ŵonderful Ride Facilitator.
Set off across the bright green turf between house and roaring river..our horses primed for a cavalry charge which was narrowly avoided. Thankfully slowed down through the boggy fields beyond…ground to a halt when Slaney’s scoot boots vanished into the mud. Peter volunteered to rescue them, being the only one in wellies ..an exercise he had to repeat three times! He also had to cut through a great deal of barbed wire and open and shut many gates. Best of all, he lent us his wonderful wife to bring us lunch in a predesignated spot at exactly one o’clock! Special Wc facilities also available in the shape of a composting loo beneath an ancient tree with enormous spider in residence.
On and on through the afternoon…with the black clouds scurrying after us..swooping along the riverside to Crogen and just making it in time before the clouds finally caught up. Jane was waiting with the enormous lorry. we hauled our horses into pre-taped sections of pasture with the equine harmony in mind and prepared to depart..But the best-laid plans..Oh Dear! Mrs. B’s lovely mare repelled Frenchman’s advances with fearsome hooves and ancient Nora collapsed into apparent unconsciousness under a tree..just as the promised rainstorm was unleashed.
New sections had to be quickly created, purple spray applied to wounds, Nora raised from her temporary stupor and many wet riders could finally make it back to shelter, hot baths, a lovingly prepared supper and blissful beds.