Sun shines on Kesteven Rideability’s 2015 holiday to Clwyd Special Riding Centre.(October 16, 2015)
Thursday September 10th saw a group of 6 very excited riders plus volunteers & instructors getting on board a mini-bus to make the journey to the Clwyd Special Riding Centre near Wrexham for a 4 day break full of fun and ponies. On arrival, once everyone had found their room and unpacked, the riders were straight into their riding clothes to meet the ponies they were going to ride & look after for the duration of their stay. After an assessment ride to ensure everyone was happy and then a bit of tack cleaning it was time for tea...there were lots of clean plates as everyone was hungry after the journey! The following day the riders were split into two groups for a hack around the lovely tracks & woods that Clywd has on site. It also gave them a chance to view the lovely Welsh countryside and get to know their ponies a bit better. On Saturday morning the riders enjoyed a treasure hunt on horseback around the tracks where they had to find various creatures that had been hidden high and low!! Some were very difficult to spot and riders were keen for a second lap to ensure they hadn’t missed any! Then after a refreshment break it was time to pamper the ponies with some more grooming with some of the riders getting stuck in to help wash a pony’s tail leaving him looking like he had just stepped out of the salon! That evening everyone walked down to the local pub in the village in the evening sunshine for a group meal out, where a good time - and good food - was had by all. On Sunday morning it was gymkhana time, where the riders split into two teams and chose their own team names of ’Chunky Monkeys’ (Molly, Si and Katie) and ’Funky Meerkats’ (Charlotte, Emelia and Freya). The riders got into the spirit of the games and were soon cheering on their team members in games including musical stops, a bending race, and grandmother’s footsteps. At times it was hard to tell who was the more competitive….the riders or the volunteers! The winning team by a narrow margin was the ‘Funky Meerkats’ and there were big smiles all round at the rosette presentation at lunch time. In the afternoon Nicky had arranged a trip out for the group as a surprise. She drove us to Llangollen where we all went for a ride on a beautiful horse-drawn narrow boat. It was a lovely afternoon for a trip down the river and the scenery as we drove through Horse-Shoe Pass on the way was beautiful in the sunshine. And so we came to Monday morning and the final ride round the tracks. Our luck with the beautiful sunny weather had run out and it was a damp and drizzly morning, but that didn’t dampen the rider’s or volunteers’ spirits as we paddled through the ford and walked up the steep hill through the woods for the last time. After the ride the riders all gave their ponies a Finally we would like to say a MASSIVE ’Thank you!!’ to everyone who helped to make this holiday possible and create such wonderful memories & experiences for the riders. To The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation (Baroness Hogg) and the CLA we thank you for your generous funding, without which the holiday would not have been able to take place. To Marguerita Scott for making sure we were more than adequately fed, even though she was unable to join us, by sending along the most delicious cottage pie & chicken casserole she had made at home and frozen for us. And finally to all the riders, volunteers & instructors who made the holiday such an amazing few days….here’s to the next one!!