Sam’s Big Ride reaches North region

Tuesday 29 August in Cumbria
In this large region the Big Ride was to be undertaken in two parts. First in Cumbria a beautiful carriage drive and ride with two fantastic ponies: Monty a skewbald driving pony owned by Westmorland RDA whip Jenny Harris and Jack a Clydesdale cross riding pony owned by RDA driver and volunteer Faith Billington. These two are used to working together so there were no problems mixing carriage driving with riding.
Four people, two ponies, one carriage and one bike set off on a 10 km route. It was a bit like musical chairs as we got a turn in at least one saddle/seat! I was in the carriage for half and then riding lovely Jack. Where we could Jack went along off road alternatives before meeting up again with the carriage. This included an old railway line ‘The Hincaster Trail’, going past the Lancaster canal and Kent River and following a magical woodland path with fairy trees and decorations!

Thursday 31 August in Northumberland
After all the work that others are putting into organising Big Rides, it was about time that I helped out. It was a pleasure to welcome Morpeth Hunt Pony Club to a rally at my Ritton Farm and to combine this with a Big Ride. Close ties between pony club and RDA are helped by Michelle Macaulay, who is both District Commissioner and an RDA trustee/treasurer/coach.
Morpeth RDA Group and Newcastle & District Group each brought two riders and ponies as well as plenty of supporters. The morning saw the 4 young RDA riders set off leaving the rally field for a 3km route around the farm, accompanied by Sam, 7 young pony club riders and 14 on foot either leading or side walking. As we topped the hill we could see the North Sea, heather clad hills and views of 30 miles stretching away to the south. This was the first time that the RDA riders had been away from their usual venues to ride out in the countryside, although they were all quite experienced riders.
The two Newcastle RDA riders had recently returned from an RDA holiday week in Yorkshire, where they had learnt to canter and were delighted to pass their bronze RDA riding tests. Their coach Avril Lomas explained how helpful they had found one session on a mechanical horse for improving their canter. Avril has now found one that they can use in Northumberland for when it is raining as this group rides in an outdoor school.
Everyone joined together for a large and jolly pooled picnic lunch, before Sam headed out to add further kilometres to the Big Ride total with 4 Pony Club teenagers. The families at the pony club rally and others too donated funds split between the RDA Groups and RDA’s National Training Centre, in addition to riders getting themselves sponsored. There was mutual agreement that this partnership approach had been successful for all and enjoyable.

Sponsor Sam at: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/samorde

PC & RDA

Page Last Updated: September 5, 2017