Another lovely riding holiday in Wales

22 September 2014

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Pony Tails from Clwyd Special Riding Centre 2014 by our Rider, Jo


Max, Jo, Chris, Neil and myself became re-acquainted with our ponies on Thursday 4th September. We had all ridden them the previous year so we remembered them even if they didn’t remember us. They had summered well on the lush grass of Wales and Ben in particular looked somewhat barrel shaped. However at the age of 22 and with 16 years’ service to the RDA and still very fit who can blame him if he feels he needs the extra duvet layer to keep him warm during the winter.

On Friday afternoon we hacked out along the old railway line escorted by some of the friendly staff from the riding centre. Donna, contrary to her inclination, was chivvied to come with us to keep her out of the way of the preparations for her surprise birthday party that evening.  Our subterfuge worked and when Donna returned later in the evening she we were able to surprise her with a rendering of Happy Birthday in the common room decorated with balloons and banners.  Sandra and her team had set out a superb buffet supper and a birthday cake.  Hopefully it was an evening that Donna will remember.

Saturday morning was spent in the indoor school with three of the riders demonstrating very competent trotting over poles! In the afternoon we enjoyed hacking around the tracks.  The views were superb and in the warm autumn sunshine we enjoyed afternoon tea at the picnic area.  After turning out ponies and cleaning tack we adjourned to spruce ourselves up in time to go for supper at the local pub.  We noted that Max and Diego were already on friendly terms with the landlord from the evening before!

By Sunday we all felt that CSRC was our home. The staff are so welcoming and are there if needed but otherwise we are very much left to just get on with enjoying the facilities.  We therefore felt obliged to smarten up the ponies for them and so tail washing and plaiting were undertaken with enthusiasm.  After riding out in the afternoon we turned the ponies out into their field.  Max’s pony Masala had a very gentle nature and it was a joy to see him walking carefully alongside Max’s electric wheelchair as Max led him out into the field.  Dennis caused some concerns about prospects for Sunday dinner as when accidentally switching the cooker off and on he thought that the fuse had blown. Fortunately it was just a rather sensitive trip switch and none of us need have worried as Sandra and her sous chefs produced an excellent Sunday dinner.

One thing that became clear in the evening was that Karen and Max are both as competitive as each other as they were the winning pair in the beetle drive. Another year we will have to make sure we have a referee as there was some suggestions that the rules were flouted.

Monday was a day of packing up, saying our thank yous to all the volunteers and then having a last ride out with “our” ponies, before leaving after lunch for home.

This was our 4th visit to the CSRC and although it seems as if it can’t get any better somehow every year we visit it does. We are all agreed that a riding holiday at CSRC is just perfect. JW

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