Yesterday was a good day all in all. I say that because it didn’t quite go as I expected, but turned out nice in the end.
I was the driver for the day, Julie by my side and LIGHTENING in the oss box behind, we would be driving to Luddington, a very small village by the River Trent on the flatlands between Goole and Scunthorpe, here is a little bit more about the place. After the last Ice Age Luddington was covered by Lake Humber until about 9,000 BC. When the melt water lake finally disappeared the Luddington area became dry, surrounded by wetlands, on a branch of the River Don. Luddington was amongst the last of a chain of islands in the marshlands of the Isle of Axholme. Not a lot is going on in Luddington these days but its a beautiful place to live, one just needs a 4×4 and a plough in the barn for those winter months!
The plan was for me to go on my pushbike with my camera alongside three ladies on their mounts and ride round the countryside with them on a nice gentle “Hack”….(that’s a stroll to you and me) The day’s entry fee and any sponsorship was going to Help for Heroes and Humberside Air ambulance. Sound a good doesn’t it?
LIGHTENING gets a good brushing.
It was a bit overcast to begin with though a bright spot began to burn through about 10.00hrs, by lunchtime the sun was out and the overcast was despatched, the day was really nice from then on. It started early with LIGHTENING getting woken up early to be groomed.
RIO nosey as usual, wonders if its edible
Jo and Anne plod on by on their morning hack
Both RIO and BARNEY looked on. Jo and Anne were up early and passed by on their osses, it all happens early down our lane on the weekends! It took a carrot to entice him into the horse-box, once inside we took to the road following a slow horse-box all the way, these were Julies horsy companions for the day.
We were amongst the first there so parked with egress from the field in mind. It didn’t take long for all three to sign in and get tacked up,
This is the closest I got to LIGHTENING and Julie on the hack.
I followed them out onto the road going through part of the village before turning onto a track, we were now in the countryside, the girls had decided to go on the black route which was 15 miles. I thought this would be fine because I was told it would be a mix of road and track. I had ridden 6 miles every day for the last ten years or so on tarmac to and from work, it became apparent though that this was going to be tougher, the girls didn’t go slow either, very soon they were a telescope length in front!
The trouble with osses is that if one starts trotting then they all start trotting, it seemed that one of the three was doing what it wanted and it certainly didn’t want to go at a steady pace! I tried to keep up but fell further behind I might as well have been on my own. I was so unimpressed I can tell you! I sent wifey a quick text and followed the green arrows taking a shorter route back to base.
Even my bike needed a lie down!
After resting for a while calming my heaving chest, beating heart and venting blasphemous chunterings I decided to go back out as far as the first series of jumps about a mile away and take photos along the way and of any who tried out some of the jumps and of others who were just setting out. I went back to the start point and finally caught up with Julie and LIGHTENING the other two as they returned back from the black route, a total of fifteen miles according to the sheet. Kath had arrived now with Nikki and the other two RIO and BARNEY. All three shouted greetings at each other as they spotted each other, in fact LIGHTENING seemed up for going round again with his two stable mates!
He normally doesnt like water on his nose!
After washing and brushing him down and bribing with another carrot we loaded up and set back for home across the flatlands on the back roads heading towards Crowle then onto the super long straight road back to wards Thorne. A bit further on a tractor was stopped across the road at an angle its huge trailer was slumped firmly in the ditch a paramedic, ambulance and a police car were in attendance. It was such a straight road I could see how on earth it had happened! We had a short wait before we were able to squeeze by as the bobby did his best to manage the incident on his own.
So you can see the day didn’t go quite to plan. It will be different next time I can bloody well tell you that! However I still managed to have a decent day and hopefully the photos reflect this. REMEMBER to place your cursor over the smaller photographs to make the larger!
At nearly 19 hands this was some big fella!
The thing about big osses is its harder to get on and off! AND its along way down..
Looks like a nice family outing
Mr and Mrs Crossley
At least this fella kept a good pace for the cyclist
There were some jumps too if they fancied it
Five gallop past me
Nicest shot of the day..both looking and smiling!
Kicking up the dust as they canter on by
I actually thought the third oss was sweating but he has a fly mask on to keep the pesky flies away.
Holy Heels…new socks for Nikki for Christmas then?
Kath is ready to go, RIO is just sooo happy..bless!
Nikki and BARNEY also keen to get going
Ollie goes along on the bike…its a 15 miler, good luck young man!
I want to go with them mum!
Laughing his head orf!!