Ride FAQ's

What happens on the day?

As it’s a Social Ride there is no vetting procedure before starting so you just park up, go to the Secretary’s Tent and let them know you’ve arrived, collect your numbered bib, 2x wristbands with Secretary telephone number on and route map and confirm the distance you want to ride. Then you just need to tack up (remembering to put 1 wristband on yourself and 1 on the horse’s tack), go through the Start/Finish line and tell the Timekeeper your number and head out and enjoy yourself :-) 

What time can we set out on route?

It’s any time between 9.30am and 11am (unless stated otherwise in the ride details) but we do ask everyone to be back at the venue by 3pm so if you are only going to be going slowly then please chose one of the shorter routes. The day is only possible due to people volunteering and giving up their chance of riding so we try not to keep them there too long, especially if the weather isn’t very nice.

How long are the routes? 

We try to offer a variety of distances where possible and try to offer something for everybody to do. Sometimes the distances may be shorter or longer but we aim to offer an 8km (5 mile), 16km (10 mile), 24km (15 mile) and a 32km (20 mile) route.

What are the routes like?

Every route we use has been checked by at least one of our Committee members and a thorough risk assessment has been carried out as to what hazards can be found i.e pigs on route, road crossings, narrow bridges etc. We try to limit the amount of roadwork that is included but, again due to location of venue/bridleways, it is not always possible to have a route that is totally off-road and we try to make the routes circular with “loops” added on for the extra distances where possible. 

How do I know where to go?

All the routes are marked with spray paint arrows on the ground with the change of direction marked a few yards away from the intersection and at the intersection and you are also given a map of the route to take round with you. There are usually manned Checkpoints along the route. It is important that you shout out your bib number to the people on the Checkpoints as they make a note of what time you went past and radio it back to the venue, this is particularly helpful if you ring in to the Secretary to say you are lost or have fallen off as it gives us a rough idea of where you are.

How fit does my horse have to be?

Most horses that are ridden regularly for a couple of hours a week are capable of doing the 16km (10 mile) route. It is actually more tiring for the horse to walk continuously (think how tired you get trailing round the shops for an hour carrying bags) so try to do some sections of steady trot to re-energise them. Bear in mind that if your horse gets excited by being out somewhere new with new friends around them that this will cause them to tire quicker so for the first few times it might be wise to do a short distance just in case – you can always do the short loop twice if you feel like your horse is capable of doing more and you will be back at the venue by 3pm.

What do I have to bring with me?

Where possible we try to have a Burger Van and toilet at the venue to cater for the riders. For the horse you need to bring something for them to eat and drink. My horse has a haynet in the lorry/trailer which is big enough to keep him occupied on the journey there and back and whilst tacking up, a feed to eat when he’s finished as I’m sure he gets as hungry as I do at the end, water to drink and I usually take extra water to wash him down with afterwards, especially in the summer when he’s hot and sweaty. I also carry a Thermatex type rug and a rain sheet in the lorry so I can keep him warm and dry if the weather turns nasty.