Winter is here. Well, it’s supposed to be here, but our average temperature is above the normal. It has rained a lot, in fact as I write, it is a deluge.
Long gone are the pleasant days and evenings of our summer. I still ride out, trying to dodge the showers, and soft ground.
It’s a time to reflect and clean leather, some of which is long over due. Vaquero Cream for the Bosal, and saddle butter for the leather. Beautiful smells, a quiet Tack room and the smell of clean leather, dogs laying by the stove, and coffee brewing. Age, I find has its advantages, one of which is the ability to appreciate that which has been ignored before
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.