Browsed by
Month: June 2016

JfA 2016 Day 8: Blockages, slurry and views

JfA 2016 Day 8: Blockages, slurry and views

Oxbridge to Martinstown Winterbourne St Martin, Dorset I am more than cross, I am livid. Dorset is sitting on the most wonderful network of byways and bridleways and vast numbers of them are totally unfit for purpose and downright dangerous. Venetia and I have spent seven hours in the saddle today as well as having to jump off to heave badly hung gates, whilst tripping around in slurry, then some routes were completely blocked by trees and vegetation. Having contributed…

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JfA 2016 Day 7: part 2

JfA 2016 Day 7: part 2

Venetia and Mary set off from Bettiscombe along a bridleway past Lower House Farm. We gaily followed a limestone track through fields of Maize believing it to be the bridleway – no waymarks had been seen. On looking at the map with reading glasses on later we went too far north and the track was not straight enough to have been the bridleway. We emerged onto a lane north of Pilsdon, opposite a sign saying Jubilee Trail and a footpath…

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JfA 2016 Day 6 and 7: Horse flies and rain

JfA 2016 Day 6 and 7: Horse flies and rain

The horse flies were out in force as we left in the morning but we eventually left them behind when we met the sea breeze descending to Seaton.  It was a varied day from rural bridleways to housing estates and the sea front.  Greeting the people we passed, especially on the sea front was interesting – we were quite a spectacle for many of them. We were grateful for the neighbour at one gate who kindly opened it for us…

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JfA 2016 Day 5: Rest Day? What’s a Rest Day?

JfA 2016 Day 5: Rest Day? What’s a Rest Day?

The ponies are bearing up better than the humans with this trip. Venetia was quite scornful that we were doing less than 20 miles per day and that we were having a rest day so soon. But firstly, we are all getting older, secondly finding B&Bs that would take horses was well nigh impossible and thirdly with the increase in work load from rights of way stuff, none of us have had time to devote to getting ourselves or the…

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JfA 2016 Day 4: Lanes and More Lanes

JfA 2016 Day 4: Lanes and More Lanes

Hawkerland to Southleigh, East Devon We are now seriously riding from west to east. The whole difficulty of this ride has been getting across the rivers, all emptying into the Channel. We had to hack north to get across the River Exe and to negotiate Exeter, but years ago in the days of horse transport travellers would have slipped across on one of the many ferries. Most of the river crossings are such busy roads that we had to avoid them.  It’s…

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JfA 2016 Day 3: Railways, Rivers, Roads and Airports

JfA 2016 Day 3: Railways, Rivers, Roads and Airports

We were all a bit apprehensive as we were told that the bridleway down to the River Exe from Upton Pyne was horrible. Well it was indeed. The gate off the road was less than five feet wide and shut with a shackle and cable attached to a post that collapsed onto the ground without the gate to hold it up. A serious challenge to negotiate unscathed, even on your feet, when attached to a young pony who was spinning round…

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JfA2016 Day 2: Flat tyres and traffic

JfA2016 Day 2: Flat tyres and traffic

Today Venetia joined Elsa and I. Arriving where the ponies were staying, we found a flat tyre on the trailer. Aargh!  Luckily we are members of the Organisation of Horse Box and Trailer Owners. Contacting them was easy and they gave their usual efficient response although it meant that Venetia and I set off an hour late. Elsa was left to deal with the tyre which was resolved by fitting a new one, so thank you OHTO for sorting us…

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JfA2016: Day 1, Crossing Dartmoor

JfA2016: Day 1, Crossing Dartmoor

The day before the off we went into Chagford to buy some wine for some of our hosts further along the ride. We were chatting with the shop keeper about the bottles being presents and why, and he told us that there was a new newspaper called The Moorlander, with its offices just above his shop. So we went to find the Editor, who was very interested in our Journey and came the next day to take photos of us starting off….

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JfA 2016: Maps, maps and more maps

JfA 2016: Maps, maps and more maps

Planning started in early 2015 and my New Forest mare promptly went lame. So the good news is she has now had a filly foal. Maps, maps and more maps are needed, and gradually at the beginning of this year a route was planned. That was the easy bit.  B&B for horses is virtually non-existent. As my son said, the travellers of 150 years ago would not believe it. I have called this ride the Ride of Rivers, Roads and…

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