Friday, 24 June 2011

Bridleways

If anybody has been wondering why we tend to spend all our time on little roads instead of bridleways, things like we see in this first picture are the reason why.

Don't get me wrong, I used to ride on muddy woodland paths a lot and loved them - that was until the planners started moaning and saying that we horsie people were destroying the paths and started closing them for us. So maybe I am just out of it after not being able to use them for years, but wouldn't you expect something better on seeing an official sign saying "Public bridleway"?
In my experience "Bridleway" is often just another word for "drown in the mud", "blocked off", "overgrown" or "just plain annoying with so many gates that it's hardly worth riding along it", so I tend to avoid them.

And this is what the horses and Maggie looked like after the experience - pretty, aren't they?
Pity I don't have a pic of myself - I walked until that muddy bit, then a couple of feet before the worst bit, I noticed that one of Dazzy's back boots was off and hanging round his leg by the gaiter and the other one had completely disappeared! Damn!!! In their defence, Dazzy has such small hooves that the back boots are at least a size too big, but unfortunately they are the smallest that Easyboots make. So there was me trapsing around in deep deep mud retrieving the lost boot, which was deep in the mud/water with just the tip of the gaiter not sunk. Thank goodness, or I would never have found it! And then, to top it, Dazzy gave me a little nudge and I tripped off the middle of the path and landed in the deep water with one foot - deeper than the top of my hiking boot - yuck!
Did I mention I had some washing on the top of Dino's saddle to dry off? That was almost ready for another wash after the "bridleway". Not to forget my jeans that had so kindly been washed for me just a couple of days before. Great!

Anyway, it was so ridiculous that I at least couldn't stop laughing between the words I won't repeat here.

So that's why we prefer to stay on little roads even if the bridleway may sometimes cut off half a mile - in this specific case we would have been a good bit faster on the road.

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