Aside from the odd donkey ride at the seaside, I’ve never had the opportunity to go riding. A few of my friends went horse riding when they were younger but for some reason I just never joined that bandwagon.
Nevertheless, the idea of horse riding has always intrigued me and it’s been firmly on my ‘list of things to do before you’re 30’ for a long time! Thankfully I’m still a way off 30, but despite having a few years left this summer was the year I decided to tick horse riding off my list – well pony trekking actually, that’s the same right?!
I did some quick research on t’internet and soon found the perfect place to fulfil by horse riding dreams. That place was Boltby Pony Trekking and Trail Riding Centre. Set just outside of Thirsk in the tiny but beautiful village of Boltby, I arrived excited to hop on a horse for the very first time.
The day I chose to try out my new activity happened to be on one of the hottest days of summer – hurray for me! With the sun beaming down, I wandered around the paddock with my friend wondering which pony would be mine. From out of nowhere, a very friendly lady appeared and wasted no time getting us kitted out for our trek. After sussing out the perfect fitting helmet, it was finally time to meet our riding partners…
Out came Niko first – a friendly looking ginger horse who trotted along nicely next to our guide. My friend took to the stirrup first, and as a relatively experienced rider she hopped on easily.
Next came Ruby.
Described as being a bit ‘wider’ and more ‘temperamental’, I instantly regretted not grabbing Niko first. Ruby took a little more persuasion than I’d have liked to leave the stable – panic began to set in. Thankfully, she eventually made her way out complete with a mouth full of hay. Despite the initial dramas, I instantly fell in love with Ruby and her chunky style. So off I went, nervously climbing onto Ruby apologising for disturbing her lunch and preparing to get ready for the start of our little trek.
Led by our guide, we made our way down the road onto the back streets of the village. Trotting down a pretty country trail I had a massive grin on my face as I took in the amazing scenery and got to know my pony. The first thing that became apparent was Ruby’s food addiction, hence why she was described as ‘wide’! Every opportunity she got, she was trying to get to a bush to munch on some greenery – naughty Ruby!
I was pleasantly surprised when our guide let us control the horses ourselves down the trail. She briefly explained what we needed to do to get Niko and Ruby trotting along nicely, a mini lesson if you will and we were soon going it alone. I even managed to pull greedy Ruby away from the nearby bushes!
The whole trek was only 30mins long as we just wanted a little taster, but it was enough for me to know I’d love to do it again. Not only a unique way to discover some of the beautiful countryside, pony trekking is a super fun activity and surprisingly relaxing too. I also thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my new friend, Ruby.
I can’t recommend the Boltby Pony Trekking and Trail Riding Centre enough for anyone looking to experience their first horse riding experience. I plan to go back for a longer trek soon and even have my eye on a day trek with a picnic included – Ruby will be pleased 🙂
Have you ever been on a pony trekking adventure? Tell me about your experience by commenting below.