Oct 13th….X Country practice at Simms Hill

I went over to Simms Hill this morning with the camera again and joined the ladies of The Epworth and District Riding Club. The weather was not brilliant to begin with, grey.. overcast..a bit damp, typically”autumnal” as the weather girls like to say lately, intimating a wonderful fairy tale crispy golden brown leaf dropping day.



Simms Hill is essentially rabbit territory, the ground is soft and sandy in places and held together by a couple of acres of grassy flatlands, this is where the school areas are. Then there is the X- Country course in amongst the  tussock meadow to the right all the way down to the small river, it’s quite shrubbery and mini jungly. The rabbit holes are dotted around and not a place to dash around “willy nilli”…unless your on a pony and of fearless innocent age! Its bad enough looking where to put my two feet let alone four fetlocks!









Remember to put your mouse over the photograph and double left click to ENLARGE it!

It looked a little glum to begin with at 10.00hrs when I arrived but already people were busy getting horses and pony’s out the trailers and horse boxes, some stood happily munching hay nets, tack was being sorted and helmets were fitted, down in the school area some were already warming up. I had a coffee then zipped up and fidgeted with a comfy position for the new camera and long lens . I’m very much still practicing with it and it still feels  heavy and as clumsy as a rocket launcher compared to my smaller Pentax 35mm.



The clouds in the distant look like a distant mountain range somewhere in Africa, it looks a bit like the Serengeti Plains perhaps and not just South Yorkshire!


I am a fan of candid photographs and am always looking for such a shot. As the girls walked away from me this humorous image presented itself. BIG oss..smaller oss then even smaller person.


I walked back into the mini jungle in search of adventurous pony’s and came across a pair with mums and cameras, they were practicing several jumps with mums taking photos. I just loved the way she peered over her glasses as she raced around the jungle!


   The girls give their mums new instructions as to where they must stand and get the next great photographs!







As you can see its not all about fearless young ladies. There are fully grown ladies having just as much fun!





The slight morning haze began to lift the grey cloud on the horizon gave way to a muddy white overcast, it was getting brighter. The water mark was rising up to my knees as I tramped around the tussock area in and out of the trees looking for pony’s to photograph. Today was a free practice and everyone was free to do whichever jumps they wanted. This made it a little difficult to set up a shot, Id spot a young filly head into the undergrowth, Id hurry ahead and wait at the next jump only to find they had gone elsewhere, a chance missed…then another oss would come charging out from behind me to jump the sticks behind me. It was very hit and miss today, though I still rattled off 190 shots! I was asked a couple of times if I’d mind photographing them over various jumps.





I’m quite happy to help out, it means they give me the time to prepare. I love the quick pace and the impromptu stuff but its nice to set something up sometimes.

Sometimes its nice to get somebody actually standing still and more than happy to pose for me!


The pony pair stop for lunch with mums and look over their photographs





REMEMBER…Double left click with mouse over photo to make LARGE !!


Sooo Happy she was that she went round the course another couple of times. Hubby thought he was on a route march bless. Armed with camcorder and wellies he disappeared back into the jungle!


Going much slower now, this pony nearly ran me over in the jungle, if she hadn’t shouted I would have been a goner. Thank you and sorry for getting in your way!






Jo goes for gold. For once she doesn’t have the camera and can really enjoy herself.




                             Back to the school area for some quiet one to one practice.

              Lining up for a double jump uphill then the drop down the other side


Easy peasy lemon squeezy it may look but I think I will stick to my Honda Goldwing 1800cc motorbike!


I’ll leave you with a really fun picture and shows why the day was so enjoyable for me.  

I have quite a few more on file but I will be here until the early hours of next week If I put every photograph on here and my blog would soon get as fat as a telephone directory!







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