An Unexpected Canter

The weekend just been was a really nice and chilled out one. I did a bit of cycling (I managed to clock up over 100 miles in this past week), been horse riding twice and bought a kick-ass pair of sandals. 🙂

Seasalt sandals
Love these sandals! Coveted them since a mate got a pair of yellow ones and then Franca on Oranges and Apples got some too, well obviously I needed some 🙂

Continue reading “An Unexpected Canter”


Heavy Horses Heaven

So here we go then! Another Cumbrian Heavy Horses moment 🙂

The weather was kind to us and we had blue skies and warmth on both days although not constantly. The verdict from my riding buddies was ‘fab’ and ‘when can we do that again?’. The guest house in Kirkstanton was lovely (The Fold Guest House), a really nice breakfast and comfy rooms with a friendly host and hostess – I have to say I loved how comfy my bed was after the hands-on day and the view from my bedroom was lovely. To get woken up by the sunshine before a day of riding – brilliant!

We had chosen a hands-on experience day on the Saturday stretching from 9:30 until 5pm then a beach ride on the Sunday with a very early start for the tides – one of my buddies could only do the Sunday so drove down on the Saturday night while myself and the other lass arrived on the Friday. As always the customer service provided by Annie and her team at Cumbrian Heavy Horses was fabulous, we felt like part of the team not just people coming to ride and it just shows the different levels of interaction you can have there.

On the riding front, well, I am a little frustrated with myself as I got off 3 times on the Saturday during the rides out and I was very stressed out and upset at these points. Both Annie (the owner) and Holly (the lass who looked after us on the hands-on day) were amazing with my nerves, as were the people riding with us – no one made me feel ridiculous and they all offered helpful advice which I am planning to follow up on. On the beach I had a full blown panic attack but I didn’t get off (in no small part due to the fact I was in the sea) so I didn’t do the galloping or really much cantering at all. I have been a bit miserable about that this week hence the length of time to put this post up (and the fact there were around 250 photos all in) but as Mr Inelegant Horse Rider said “but you are smiling in all the pictures, you love riding who cares if a couple of times your nerves got the better of you”. He is correct so I’m not going to go into any more detail about my nerves on this trip and instead let the photos speak for themselves! The one thing I will say is that I learnt from my buddies that I talk to myself during these moments saying ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I’m not okay’, ‘I’m getting really nervous’ and the like, I wasn’t even aware I was doing that!

So moving forward I am trying to work myself out of the habit of my anxiety, it won’t be easy so I might not post after every lesson, or it might be a short one but I am sure I can do this.

Oh and if you get the chance to ride with Annie and the crew (they are all unfailingly lovely) you should go for it! I am back in August – well if they let me back that is 🙂 !


Ellie the clydesdale and me
Straight through the brambles
Josh and I
Look at the size of that beast!
That’s a happy smile
horses and riders riding off into distance
Off they go for the 1st big canter
Three Clydesdales
The Saturday crew (from left to right): Duke, Ellie (isn’t she beautiful) and Fred
All action, the trot is very different to normal trotting :)
All action, the trot is very different to normal trotting 🙂
Josh and Me
So Josh decided we should randomly head back to the group – clearly I was paying no attention
All the horses pressing together on the beach
So horses like being part of a herd huh??
Clydesdales cantering on the beach
I like this cantering shot. Annie (at the front) is checking if I am okay – how sweet!
Josh and I
Me and my giant for the beach (total softie), Sol and Helen in the background

**Many of these photos are courtesy of Leanne Marie Maddison and her lovely husband Dave who followed us on foot, thanks so much for letting me use them guys

Td and the Colourful Rider

A brief horse-y update ahead of a weekend of horses! I turned up to yesterday’s lesson still slightly orange, green and yellow from the Colour Me RAD 5k I had done in the morning, impeccably turned out for lessons as always 🙂

I was given Td, now I think he knows if he sees me then he has to work and so kindly headbutted me in the shoulder as a way of greeting me. We got on and into the lesson we headed. I went in with positivity and I think it showed. As always we were in open order, I put into practice the tips I could remember, walk-halt transitions with lots of praise and a halt if we did a nice active walk, trying to keep Td off the track while avoiding the other horses and trying to stop his wiggly neck from going too squint. Continue reading “Td and the Colourful Rider”

The inelegant cyclist is born

I should warn you all that this is likely to be the start of a few posts about cycling over the next couple of months as I gear (like what I did there?) up for Tour o’ the Borders in August. Two weeks ago I finally accepted that cycling 12 miles a day on my commute was unlikely to prepare me that well for 55 miles and 3615ft of climbing and looked for a training plan. The mate I am doing it with has done a lot more cycling than me and is strong on her bike (and strong mentally, she has the ability to just keep going which I really admire) but she is also a social whirlwind meaning long training rides with her are unlikely to happen. So I have had to strike out on my own and I have found out something…I love cycling. I sang that Pharell Williams song ‘Happy’ as I cycled up and through East Lothian for 20 miles last Saturday, it probably helped that the sun was shining that day and I had been out riding earlier on and had enjoyed a great riding experience. Continue reading “The inelegant cyclist is born”

Blue Sky Riding

This weekend was packed with horse riding and biking. I had a private lesson at my usual stables on Friday afternoon and then went back to the stables I was at last weekend (Well that was more fun!) on the Saturday afternoon. I lucked out both days with sunshine and blue skies, in fact it was so warm on the Saturday the beach was getting pretty busy and we had to be careful of little kids – don’t worry we were, I ran no children over and given my spacial awareness some credit definitely goes to my pony 🙂 Continue reading “Blue Sky Riding”