I have often ridden over areas of land, that I thought were free to roam by us none landowning proletariat. Not so it seems, to my everlasting shame, I have been ignorant of English Land Law. While Scotland has a Right to Roam Act, England alas, has not. The saving grace in all this, are the myriad of Bridleways and Footpaths, Permissive Ways and so called Green Lanes. These are historical rights of way, built up over generations, but sadly, are being little used by the Smart phone weilding public.
I fear that in the years to come, landowners will find any excuse to rid ‘their’ land of the footfall, of multiple visitors to the countryside. Horse riders, now afeared, due to heavy vehicular traffic upon the roads, reduce themselves to Arena work and competitive rides, where traffic isn’t an issue. This is to the loss of all horse riders. However, there are a few intrepid persons, intent on claiming back the Bridleway et al, I include myself in this, we must never give up on these highways of the ancient Packhorse and Tinkers Cob.
It was a dismal ride on a beautiful evening. Unfortunately, my horse Toby, had his own opinions. All he was wanting to do was turn for home, which wasn’t going to happen. So instead of the usual once round the forest, it was twice, to prove a point to Toby, the the wrong thing was hard……
In other words he was made to work harder, when if he had done the right thing, he could have been home earlier.
To go,or not to go, that is the question. In fact he did. It took gentle persuasion and patience. It was, as you can see a wet day, our route was through some really magnificent country, pity we didn’t see most of it. I was riding my old sure footed mare Gracie aka TOGG. The weather broke around midday, to reveal blue sky and sunshine.
This was our short break at Styhead Pass, having just lost a shoe. It was me walking from here to Seathwaite and the end. I didn’t mind, but I was more concerned for the horse, as you can see, it was pretty rough.
Coming down Seathwaite Valley, beautiful sunshine. An amazing route,we intend to do it again.
The la’al dog, that’s Bex, my Border Terrier, a great dog. Here I am, on TOGG, we are with a friend high on the Fells of Lakeland. We’ve been together for nigh on twenty one years, and without doubt, it’s been an incredible ride. Although she’s resting now, we’ll be out together soon.
We had a great four days filming up in Scotland, near Loch Muick,just a few miles from Breamar. It was the backend of September 2019, the weather was exceptional, and the company was just cool!…. TOGG did her usual stuff performing for the cameras. This Old Man, loved it, what can you say?
To willow in the seductive landscape if the mountains. The peace of mind that comes with beauty, is real and calming.
The day started wet, but at least we were out, far and away the best salve for a mind full of thoughts bound for the interminable scrapheap of memory. The day finished in great weather, loved every minute of it. I like walking downhill, it’s less effort, and gives TOGG a breather, poor old lass.