Sunday, 27 March 2011

Weekend out

Well that was very educational this weekend...
We went for a little test trip to a friend's place on Saturday and came back on Sunday. The weather during the day was lovely so we didn't get to check the abilities of the wet weather gear, but then that has already been checked numerous times and passed the test.
There were, however, a couple of other things we had to test. First of all Artax's new front boots. So far all of the ponies have been in classic Easyboots, but the ease of putting "Gloves" on and taking them off led me to think it may just be nice to use them instead. They have no buckles at all, no wires, no rubber at the back, no metal touching the hoof. They are just slip-on rubber shoes with a gaiter to help keep them securely in place.
It seemed too good to be true and I was very worried about the gaiter touching the skin. I have always had a simple rule: everything must be below the hairline; anything else can rub. On the other hand - people use Gloves for endurance rides, so maybe it was worth testing.
Now Artax has done over 70 miles in them; 20 yesterday, 30 today, the rest during the week and his legs are looking perfect.
We might just be lucky! Interestingly, he doesn't even fit the size chart as his hooves are round instead of oval, which is what the boots are intended for. So I think we can safely say they are worth trying out.

Our next test concerned the newly acquired solar charger... it was good to find out now that it simply does not generate enough power to fully recharge the GPS in the evening. So what if the GPS is almost empty, we're in the middle of the highlands, don't have a place with electricity to stay the night and it rains so I can't use the solar charger effectively? I looks as if lots of batteries want to be our travel companions on the way... We'll see. Maybe a second charger will do the trick.
And last of all there was the VERY IMPORTANT issue of comfortable sleeping. It's quite simple: I MUST get a better and warmer sleeping bag. Sorry to sound spoilt, but I'm not sure I've ever been so cold for so long! I hardly slept all night, but was in the sleeping bag fully clothed shivering! You might argue that the trip is going to take place from May, but there might just be some truth to everybody's jokes about it being winter all year round in the highlands! It's just not worth trying...
Next, and hopefully last, shopping trip coming up...
That seems to be all there is to report about. All in all it was a lovely weekend. I may need to re-think the pack bags issue for Artax as I see a tiny tear on one of the straps, but we will see about that.
These photos were taken today as we crossed and went into the river Teifi in Llechryd. What a lovely place! :o)

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