|CHESHIRE GROUP of ENDURANCE GB|
| ||Peover Pleasure Ride
Report by SARAH WEBSTER and EILEEN DYSON
The venue for the Peover ride at Manor Farm in Ollerton was an open field but the ground seemed to have held up well despite the rain we have been having recently and there was plenty of space to park, even though we were among the last to arrive there.
There was either a 10 or 15 mile route but as neither my mum and I, nor our horses, had been able to attend an organised ride since February (due to my ill health) we opted to do the shorter route.
The sun was shining as we set off around a mown field, we kept slow and to the edge of it as we had been asked; looking at the map we could see there was to be plenty of off road riding so there was no point in antagonising anyone by riding over their crops, especially when you are still in sight of the venue!
Very soon we came through a farmyard and onto a bridleway; the going was excellent so we were able to push on. I was a bit wary at first as my horse can be a bit excitable but as I knew we were coming back that way and we could always canter home I kept him to a fast trot and both horses happily whizzed us along the trail. The track was great, straight, well-drained, protected by hedges and made of a mixture of cinders, dirt and grass.
The first half of the ride was mostly along these lovely bridleways, through woods (nice and cool) or around the sides of fields. The terrain was very flat and we seemed to have the countryside to ourselves. We were able to set our own pace and there were plenty of places to up our speed without being overtaken or catching other riders, which is always a bonus. There were numerous opportunities to canter without being hampered by walkers or cyclists too, it was great being able to see a clear track in ahead without worrying you were going to run into someone!
The route was well marked by white arrows and with those and the map just to check where we were, we couldnít really go wrong.
When we came to the part of the ride that was along roads we ambled along for a bit, it was very warm by now and we had both discarded a layer of clothing as we were in the midday sun. The horses were slipping a bit on the tarmac so we kept to a walk, admired the technological wonder of the Cheshire countryside that is Jodrell Bank and had a nosey at some of the lovely houses and farms that we came across (and wished we could afford to buy!) At Check Point 1 we split from those riders doing the longer route and turned for home along the road to Over Peover.
It didnít take long to reach the bridleway section for a second time and returning home we didnít hold back and enjoyed some lovely canters along the tracks up to Ash Farm; from there we walked back along the farm road to the venue.
There was a photographer in the final field and he had plenty of time to take photographs as we walked through it. An abandoned New Zealand rug lying on the ground, caused a bit of a spook, especially as it coincided with two riders cantering up behind us, causing the horses to jump about a bit.
This was our only incident in what had been a really lovely ride; the bridleways we rode were brilliant and the roads very quiet. It was a most enjoyable return to pleasure riding and hopefully we will be able to do some more now before the ride season ends.
Thanks to Liz Finney of Cheshire EGB group and the rest of her helpers for organising the ride.
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