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Reports and Picture Gallery >> Archive for 2008 and 2007.

Reports and Picture Gallery Archive for 2008 and 2007.

  ThIs is the archive page for 2008 and 2007 reports.

Chairs Chat, September 20, 2008

Well my three year stint as chair is up... this will be my last chairs report. In truth I have very little to report on the home front as I have managed very little riding this year – but I know many of you have been out and about riding and flying the flag for the South & West Wales group.

There is however some very important articles in the next newsletter to read, so please do read and digest all the info. Because of this we have chosen to separate the awards dinner (Friday November 14th) and the AGM (Wednesday November 26th) so that we shall have enough time to discuss the matters at hand fully. Full details, venues etc. are in the newsletter. Please make every effort to attend both but in particular the AGM.

Having been on the committee for seven years in various roles when I stand down as chair this year I shall also be standing down from the committee.

I have seen and experienced many different committee members in that time but have to say, this last committee has been a really lovely bunch of like minded people. Every one of them I consider a friend and I know that although we shall not be meeting up for committee meetings any more we shall continue to meet up as friends. A big thank you to this committee for all your efforts for the group they are too considerable to mention.

I wish you all the very best, and remember...

  A bad ride is much better than a good walk!


Pen Ddol Y Gador Ride, 5th and 6th April, 2008.

Jimmy Mac and I did the 33km Pleasure Ride on Saturday 5th April at this ride and it was absolutely fantastic! We rode with our friend Gerry and his lovely 17hh mare called Meg. Jimmy and Meg went along very well together. I was very pleased as Jimmy has been off work for quite a while (he is raring to go now!) and Meg has been out hunting all winter so she is definitely fit! 

We started off through the forestry and then over the mountain where there was loads of great cantering! We had a whale of a time and Jimmy felt very well and strong and powered along effortlessly!

The route was very well marked and there was only one gate!

I would like to thank everyone who put on such a brilliant ride and did such a great route. I know a lot of hard work goes into putting on a ride!

We had sunshine too and did not get wet at all!  It was just a brilliant day out and I was thrilled to bits with how Jimmy went in his new Specialized Saddle!  His shoulders can now move much more freely and he's loving it!  Sometimes I think I can't stop him now but I can really - eventually!

Alex Nicholls


Another season over - 2007 report from Clare.

Well what a year, where does the time go, Replica and I have had a fun successful season. We got sun burnt at Easter riding at the Forest of Dean , completely soaked to the skin at Margam in May; fell off at Cirencester in June! Suffered ride cancellation in July and August and ended the season with some highs namely Red Dragon and those hills and Tintern.



Warming up

Cirencester was our first stay away from home for some years; we stayed off venue in a great situation with field and stable for Replica. John and I camped in our old green Rice trailer, which was surprisingly cosy. On our first evening there I was busy sorting Replica out and I came back to the trailer to find John had the lounge’s out, kettle on, a TV on the little seat at the front of the trailer, and was watching TV lounging! Cirencester wasn’t its usual heat wave and horseflies this year but this didn’t detract from the ride. We enjoyed the experience despite Replica tripping scalping her nose and me consequently falling out the side door!                      Flying start

Final Vetting, Cirencester

Red Dragon and again we stayed away. Nearing the end of the season and having missed out on Barbury and Sherwood our aim was to take it steady and get round in one piece. The damp foggy weather was somewhat of a hindrance for a glasses wearer but the going was surprisingly good. Generally speaking I get off and jog down tarmac, saves Replica’s legs and I can jog quicker only this year I didn’t realise how quick and it was only afterwards that I realised the damage I had done to my tendons and shins! Needless to say Replica was absolutely fine having taken it easy down the tarmac bits and had her legs cooled and later bandaged, me on the other hand on a heavy dose of anti-inflammatories! Interestingly apparently what I did to my shins is what often happens to young race horses and I can say it was particularly painful and not something I would want to put my horse through.

  Tintern was intend as a stroll to end the season on the weather was glorious, my heart rate monitor had packed up after Red Dragon and I hadn’t had a chance to get it fixed but I wasn’t too worried. The roads at Tintern are like glass so I got off but there wasn’t any jogging as Replica had no grip at all and her shoes were only a week old. I was very pleased to finish the ride and the season with a clean record. Replica will pick up her 1600km Competitive ride medal this year so am very proud of her.

  Season over Replica has had her MOT with the vet and is now having a short rest until December when she will be brought back into training ready for 2008. I hope you have all had a fun season, look forward to seeing you riding in 2008.


The Alexander Technique with Phillippa Morrell, Thursday 13th September, 2007.

Pontargothi Community Hall, Nantgaredig. 

Any sort of riding is based on balance. The Alexander Technique can help you discover how much the balance of the rider affects the balance of the horse: how the way the rider uses their head, neck and back directly affects the horse's way of going. Some parts of us can tend to become too tight, some too loose, so that the signals we send to the horse can be confusing. The Alexander Technique can teach you how tone rather than tension is what we are seeking: improvement in muscle coordination without loss of mobility.

22nd May - Vet talk by Lisa Durham on "Prevention is better than cure" at the Gothi Bridge Hotel, Pontargothi.

Lisa gave us a very interesting illustrated talk about how to look after your horse's legs.

Her main topics included:

- desmitis (inflamation of ligaments)

- foot problems

- tieing up

- superfiscal tendonitis

- osteoarthritis of the fetlock

- distal hock pain (spavin)

- paravertebral myalgia

- splints

- gluteal myalgia.

Lisa recommended a regular "MOT" for your horse which includes:

- conformance and hoof balance

- trot up in hand

- flexion tests

- lunge on firm surface

- blood test

- back examination.

She also gave us some good advice about food supplements.

About 20 members and friends came to the talk and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Thank you Lisa.


Eva and John


  • EGB Pony Club Ride, Llidiad-Nenog, Brechfa Forest, May 6th.

    What an enjoyable 24k ride we had through beautiful forest and moorland scenery in perfect weather.

    After such a dry April we were worried that the tracks might be very hard. In fact the riding conditions were perfect on recently renovated bridleways, open moorland and very little roadwork.

    There was a choice of distance between 8k, 16k and 24k.

    Over 60 riders and 20 dogwalkers turned out. Over £1,000 was raised for Macmillan Nurses. Everyone had a good time with free hamburgers afterwards. Congratulations to Barbara and her supporters for all their hard work. We look forward to Barbara's next ride on July 1st.

    Eva and John

  • Forest of Dean rides report - Out there competing and having fun.

    Replica and I competed at the two Forest of Dean rides, March 11 and April 14/15, 2007.

     March Hares saw us ride 42k CR graded. Always a popular ride and great to get our competitive season started. The venue was packed with eager horses and riders. This was Replica’s first competitive ride in her hackamore so for a ride I’ve done many times I was a little apprehensive not helped by a well meaning rider commenting as I warmed Replica up pre- ride, “core you're brave – a hackamore!” 

    Obviously she didn’t know it was our first outing, however I need not have worried. Replica was pretty well behaved. Those that know Replica are aware that she doesn’t like company much and pulls terrible faces and ears go back if ever we pass anyone or they pass us. Well to add more insult she now sticks out her tongue! 

    Very embarrassing for me, highly amusing for onlookers and one rather surprised rider who as we passed exclaimed, “ She just stuck her tongue out at me!” Embarrassments aside Replica rode well. John (crew/long suffering partner) met me in all the usual places and we rode easily at 14kph. 


    Bluebells ride saw us ride 51k CR graded. The weather was fantastic, never expected to be putting on sun cream and wearing a t-shirt. Not worried about the hackamore anymore and knowing the route pretty well now was using this ride to concentrate on increasing speed. We again had a lovely ride.

     I have seen deer on this ride in previous years but no such luck this year. Just two lovely fluffy Dulux dogs and many people out enjoying the forest and weather. We completed the ride at over 16kph and Replica had a very good recovery rate. She did however manage to pull some atrocious faces at the vet during the trot up, all captured on camera diligently by John, cheers love! 

    So enjoy some of the moments John captured. Next competitive ride 62k at Margam Park, hope to see you there.

    If you’re out there having fun, please share with us. We like to hear about what our riders are up to.


    Saracen Horse Feed Talk by Saracen nutritionist

Thursday, March 1st, 2007 at Nantgaredig, Pontargothi, in the newly renovated Community Hall.

What an interesting talk on horse nutrition given by Saracen nutritionist Lizzie Drury!  It included information on the horse’s nutritional needs and how to feed to get the maximum performance from your horse.

We all know that not every horse is going to be the next Olympic star but this feed talk was about getting the maximum potential from your ‘little star.’ Many of us went home with food for thought and with the Saracen goodies, leaflets and information, we could refresh our memories on what we had just learnt quietly at home and begin putting it into practice.

Lizzie also explained how Saracen do a great service where you tell them what you’re feeding, weight etc and the horse’s details - what work it is in etc - and they can analysis the information and tell you exactly what your horse requires for the work it is doing. They can discuss if your feeding regime is correct and advise on any areas where minerals and vitamins (or just more or less of a particular feed you’re using) are required. They can also start from scratch and plan a feeding programme for your horse - all wonderful to have such help at your disposal and the peace of mind that your horse is working happily and at it’s optimum.

A big thank you must go to Lizzie for coming all the way from Kent and doing the talk for us. Thank you to Karen and Candy for being on refreshment duty and thank you to Clare and Karen for providing the cakes. Thank you to Wendy for collaring you all and making you pay the entry fee and buy raffles tickets. The raffle was in aid of Wales Air Ambulance and raised £22. Thank you for bringing raffle prizes and supporting this event.

The Valentine’s Ride Report, February 10 and 11, 2007

Well what a mixture of disaster and success, whom could have forecast the snow on the Friday? Not even the weather forecasters it seems! But hay ho you're all a hardy bunch and a few phone calls Friday night and most of Saturday’s riders would happily venture out on Sunday instead.

Over the Friday night the weather conditions didn’t deteriorate or improve and I felt Candy and I had made the right decision to cancel Saturday. After all it’s an endurance riding sport not an endurance just to get to the venue! Obviously the advantages of a two-day ride means Candy and I can both ride and we have plenty of offers from riders/helpers whom help one day ride the other.

Jane and Guy on Aldern Ambassador and Cefngarn Meredydd

I have to say a huge thank you to them for their support they would have all given up the riding and just helped on the Sunday but I thought this asking a bit much and with “skeleton staff” (Sorry Karen) and a few “old faithfuls” (Sorry John, Roger!) we could do it and let them all ride too. Candy and I sacrificed riding something we were both sad to have to do but that’s ride organising. I was especially disappointed as I’d cleaned Replica’s tack and I needed to take Replica out in public in her 2007 change to a Hackamore. I wanted to check she would behave as well in public as she had so far been at home and in the school before competing at the Forest of Dean in March. So Candy and I decided to ease the pain and made plans to ride the following Sunday with a few others at Brechfa, same route, but without the stress and work!

So the weather had been glorious the previous weekend when Candy and I marked the route. A week later, Saturday 10th 1pm and Wendy’s camera phone photos proved to us that we had made the right decision to cancel. So Sunday morning a little apprehensive as to what we were going to find we headed up to Brechfa. Well we needn’t have worried the big thaw was well under way. We soon got set up, checkpoints into place. Candy now bumped to checkpoint 2, please note there is no heating in Candy’s car, blankets, hot water bottles and a constant flow of a hot flask and a true hardy soul is needed for a days check pointing with no heater and all with a smile on her face! She is a star. Equally Roger, Friday night when I rang Roger concerned about him coming out in such conditions he wouldn’t and couldn’t be put off, “Clare if your going, I’m going” Truly amazing dedication which has to be appreciated and commended. I was also so, so pleased to see Karen, it was touch and go as to whether Karen would get out of her snowed in lane and I would have been juggling secretary on the day, radio control, timekeeper, selling cakes… Help I’ve over stretched myself! I think I took Karen by surprise when I hugged her! John was kept busy stewarding the vehicles safely into the venue and doing a sterling job supplying me with hot tea and being a support.


Anyway as the photos show you came, you all rode, you all smiled and loved the snowy patches and really enjoyed yourselves, which made it all worthwhile. Thank you to all who supported the Wales Air Ambulance Cake Stand, which made an amazing £73.40 in just the one-day. Overall the ride raised just over £400 which given the weekends trials and traumas is a pretty staggering achievement.


Sally King on Lewis and Wendy (just) on Nerissa

Thank you to all those involved in making this weekend a success.

See you next year…   Clare

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