Looking forward to my first long-distance trail ride of 2021 next month! West to East across Scotland this time on partly familiar trails and many unknowns linking them together – covering over 200 miles.
I chose a route I knew some of as recce under lockdown is proving difficult and the small amount of recce I have done of the unknowns proved to be well worth it. Locked gates, broken or narrow bridges, kissing gates, extremely boggy ground, cattle grids with no side gates – were the negatives – but the positives out-weighed all of this.
A recce of the route isn’t just about identifying (mostly manmade) obstacles to horse-travel, its about collecting useful contacts along the way too. Phone numbers for gamekeepers / landowners, informing them of your intensions to keep them onside, picking up better grazing than you might have found on the hoof and making new friends who instantly offer company for the night as well as food and wine!
I’ve started packing already, the horses are fit and raring to go and I can’t wait to get back on the trail! 🙂