We’re off again 😁 pics added

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
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Suffolk, UK
I’m excited to be off to my favourite place again on Friday 😁 https://widehamfarm.co.uk/horse-holidays/

Although I’ve ridden this a dozen times, each time brings new challenges, this time the forecast is for 29c on Friday so our plan to leave at 11am to arrive for 3pm isn’t ideal!

So we’re pivoting and I’m going to drop the trailer off with our gear and hay later Thursday evening so we can leave early and arrive by lunchtime and I’m going to stash water buckets on route for the horses!

It’s going to be a hot ride, we can adapt the route a little to put us in the shade as much as possible in the forest, but there’s a big chunk where there won’t be any shade.

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I've done hardly any packing, I haven't even been grocery shopping yet and I'm working today and tomorrow, and my companion is dropping her horse F to me tomorrow at 5.30pm so we can leave early Friday, so everything has to be done tonight and trailer packed and ready to go after we get F settled in at mine. And I need to get everything prepped for the other 3 for while we are away. So much to do and so little time!
 
I'm feeling decidedly stressed over this trip, which I don't normally. I'm not anxious about the actual riding, Monkey has been great recently and I've no reason to expect anything different from him.

I managed to get the trailer mostly packed last night - just need to put Monkey's fly rug in tonight, packed my bag when I got home, and before work this morning I went food shopping, so everything is mostly ready. Tonight I just have to dig out water containers to drop on route on my way back from dropping the trailer off with all our hay/feed/clothes/food/bedding etc.

I think its the heat bothering me, its made getting everything packed SO much harder (I had to keep sitting down last night as I was melting and I like the heat!) and its going to make the ride more challenging. The plan is to arrive there at noon (our paddocks aren't available before) so probably leaving by 7.30/8am, and the mornings have felt relatively cool the last few days. The forecast is hazy sunshine until lunchtime reaching 25c by noon which my logical brain knows is totally fine and we will all cope with so long as we are sensible. I will drop water at 7 & 12 miles and we have 2 people on stand-by with trailers should we decide it's too much, you know that have a plan and you won't need it theory!

So I shouldn't be feeling stressed, everything I can do, is done or being done. I just need to make it until 5pm then it's my only focus and I will no doubt feel better. In hindsight I should have booked today off!
 
It was just not being organised enough making me stressed, as soon as I got everything done last night I felt better. Though laying here at 3.30 this morning waiting for it to get light enough to go and crack on, I realise I did not pack a saucepan to cook my broccoli and new potatoes for dinner! But I think I have everything else 🤞
 
If the weather is too hot, may be just postpone the trip? This weather is not normal.
 
We had a fabulous weekend despite the heat, we just rode early and lounged in the heat of the day.

Friday we let home at 7.30, it was perfect! A really beautiful morning, cool and misty and sunny.
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By the time we got here it started to get hot!
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Friday continues
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16 miles took us 3 hours 40 minutes, but I’d put water out at 2 places and we stopped at each for about 20 minutes for them to drink and eat grass.
Monkey was brilliant, had our first stubble canters, met huge tractors, and coped with a sheep in a narrow track darting back past us. He settled great when we arrived but talked to everyone to ask for more food, he ate a lot!
 
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Saturday morning we were up and out by 8, and did an easy loop of about 6 miles in just under 2 hours, with a grass break of course!
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Then in the heat of the afternoon they got hosed down and we went for a short walk in the forest, carrying our chairs so the boys could graze in the shade for an hour as their paddocks had no shade at all, they very much enjoyed it!
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His little face was so sweaty under his fly mask
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Sunday was another scorcher, not quite the 34 of yesterday but still 32!
We both woke up we before our alarm so sat drinking coffee waiting for daylight then sprang into action to move out of our pod, load the trailer, clear the paddocks and we were off by 7am.
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The field on the left here has a herd of (exceptionally fat) ponies in, I think conservation grazers, but they all came charging over to say hi, Monkey went very rigid, but held it together 👌
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Then we picked up this old farm road and very unexpectedly met the new residents (they weren’t there on Friday!)
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Water buffalo, very skitty ones! Monkey froze when we suddenly found 2 right by the fence that had been hidden from us by a bush. Unfortunately they spun and took off, and Monkey followed suit in the other direction, depositing me on the road as he did. I hung onto him being so far from home and was dragged a way’s until my rein’s snapped. Thankfully most of the run was out of him at that point and I picked myself up and easily caught him. Then took this picture as evidence!
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No serious damage so I got back on and continued
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A bad picture, but there’s a white doe thereIMG_7918.jpeg
The rest of the ride was relatively uneventful, and the boys were still keen to trot until half a mile from home when we made them walk in! It took us 4hours 25 minutes to do 17 miles, but with an unscheduled dismount, 2 water stops and a really slow bit near the end because high lodge was heaving, it wasn’t bad going.

Thus far I feel ok from the fall, just a bit of gravel rash and my hands ache from hanging on!
 
Thus far I feel ok from the fall, just a bit of gravel rash and my hands ache from hanging on!IMG_7927.jpegIMG_7925.jpeg
He didn’t mean it, he certainly didn’t buck me off, I just couldn’t keep up with that spin and he dropped me by accident.

On a good note, he’s now consistently peeing with me on board and he gave up ‘chasing’ our companion and was happy to just go at his own pace even if that meant he was being left behind, both great life lessons 🤩
 
I almost forgot to mention, on Friday we saw 3 huge red stags! They cantered across the heaths next to us and bounced over the 2 fences like they were nothing. Unfortunately a terrible picture that doesn’t show the detail our eyes did, they were stunning!
They’re the 3 tiny dots between the 2 bushes to the right!
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We had a fabulous weekend despite the heat, we just rode early and lounged in the heat of the day.

Friday we let home at 7.30, it was perfect! A really beautiful morning, cool and misty and sunny.
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By the time we got here it started to get hot!
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Lovely photos.
Silly question, what's the fencing for, do they have birds they want to keep off the crops?
Or a guide so people know where not to walk.
 
Friday continues
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16 miles took us 3 hours 40 minutes, but I’d put water out at 2 places and we stopped at each for about 20 minutes for them to drink and eat grass.
Monkey was brilliant, had our first stubble canters, met huge tractors, and coped with a sheep in a narrow track darting back past us. He settled great when we arrived but talked to everyone to ask for more food, he ate a lot!
Lovely scenery.
We haven't got any stubble fields around here.
 
Lovely photos.
Silly question, what's the fencing for, do they have birds they want to keep off the crops?
Or a guide so people know where not to walk.
Do you mean the woven wooden fence? We weren’t sure tbh, as 2ft behind it there is deer height stock fence too and it’s just heath there, no crops. So when we came across an estate worker we asked, he said that when the stone curlew (bird) project was done there were a lot of groundwork’s and stuff either side of the path, so the stock fence was put in to keep people off the nesting grounds but then the council decided it didn’t look very nice so added the wooden fence too. But it would have been massively expensive for aesthetics on a path that I have never known anyone else to use, so I actually suspect it was to stop the birds flying into the 6ft tall stock fence.
 
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