Horse & Harmony
Thursday 25-May-2017 17:17

 

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Hoofprints Over Scotland - A journey of a thousand miles!

We are very proud to sponsor Kate Godfrey, Doogs & Yeoman on their epic trip round Scotland - all in aid of the World Horse Welfare!

Find out more on Kate's website http://www.afinehorse.co.uk/introduction.html or why not keep up to date on their progress on her very entertaining blog http://afinehorse.blogspot.com/.

.....A thousand miles in everything a Scottish summer and autumn can throw at you is a pretty robust test for any gear, don't you think? So I'm delighted to have the opportunity to be testing out some equipment for Horse and Harmony. Based in Aberdeenshire, they have a very good understanding of what's needed (and what the Scottish weather can do.)

They have very generously offered to be the main sponsor for our ride and are delighted to be supporting World Horse Welfare - a great cause. I'm particularly pleased to be associated with them - not only have I bought some excellent gear from them over the years, but they're almost family! Well, not quite - they own a Highland gelding whom we bred who is a full cousin to Doogs and Yeoman, the mainstays of the forthcoming ride.

I won't ever forget the morning that pony was foaled - somehow he'd managed to roll under a fence and we found him lying in the River Isla at 4 am - with a rather hysterical mare on the other side. Still, no harm done (except to us - have you ever tried lifting a very wet new-born foal over a high fence?) He always was a total character, and I gather nothing much has changed! Although he's gone grey now, he was also memorable when he was born for being - I can only describe it as - tangerine! (Not a colour recognised by the Highland Pony Society, as it turned out, but very striking.)

Kate

            Doogs, Kate & Yeoman                                     

    

A Thousand Miles in a Barefoot Saddle

I used the Barefoot Cherokee on a thousand mile ride around the hill tracks of Scotland.  Some of the time I rode in it, and some of the time it carried packs and panniers.The saddle survived some very tough handling: being constantly wet due to poor weather and river crossings, as well as going up hill and down dale, scraped against gateposts and trees, but still looks as good as new. Even better, Doogs survived the whole trip without so much as a mark on him: the saddle was obviously comfortable for him and he was always eager to be tacked up.  It stayed in place well, even with panniers which is a tough test for a saddle, as it means carrying dead weight and it is easy for a saddle to slip in these conditions. It was immensely comfortable to ride in, too.  Some days he had it on for about twelve hours, with just a short break for unsaddling at lunchtime. He never once indicated that he was not happy to be saddled up again. This is a very robust saddle which suited my broad Highland with no withers admirably.  Because we were covering such steep terrain, I did also use a breastplate and crupper for safety, but for less intrepid riding this would not be necessary. The horses' backs were checked by Catriona Goulding, equine physio, who was heard murmuring "I wish all the backs I looked like were in as good shape as this!"I also wholeheartedly recommend the fenders which came with the saddle - so comfortable and I experienced no rubbing or pinching on my legs, even after riding for many hours - I didn't wear chaps.

Thank you Barefoot and Horse and Harmony for the perfect saddle for this trip: I would imagine that three months of this punishment would be equivalent to about five years of 'ordinary' riding!

All I have to do now is think where we're going to take our Cherokee next...

Kate Godfrey








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