Have you ever thought about Horse Riding in Scotland? My name is Rosie, and I live at Blervie House, and my Mother has told me that I have to write about how great horse riding in Scotland is. She says it is part of the R is for Riding as part of her Things to Do from Blervie House. She also mentioned something to do with singing for my supper.
Firstly, I am a significant senior resident at Blervie House. I am a 16.1hh Registered Irish Draft Chestnut Mare living in Scotland. Although my Mother says I often act my shoe size, not my age (21 years old), I am highly experienced in trail riding (well, I call it hacking) in the Scottish Countryside.
I also have a new younger sister living with me; she looks just like me and is another Irish Draft Chestnut Mare. She is not as fit and active as me because she was used for breeding, but a few workouts with me is getting her fitter. Her name is Derry, and she loves meeting new guests.
The best part of riding in Scotland for horses and horse riders is that whilst Scotland is part of the UK, the Scottish Outdoor Access Code allows horse riders far more freedom than other parts of the UK or, indeed, the World.
Scotland is a beautiful country and perfect for an outdoor lifestyle. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code allows the freedom to roam or ride and not to be reliant on having to keep to Bridleways or Public Property. In short, as horses, we can go anywhere we like so long as we do not go onto the commercial property or into a private garden.
Add in the fact that 10% of the UK population live in Scotland, leaving us with fewer people and therefore less traffic. Most of the hacks I take my Mother on involve no roadwork and, therefore, minimal traffic. So peaceful.
Here in Moray, we are one of the most heavily forested parts of Scotland, so we have the superb hacking ever. If you want incredible scenery and solitude, then we have it. I am very fit because this part of Scotland is quite undulating, and we have some long hills for extra fittening workouts.
So my Mother and I spend a lot of time riding Forest Trails as we have 1800 acres of Forest next door. We meet very little traffic although there can be a lot of pheasants. Sometimes we can canter alongside the mighty River Findhorn and climb higher to admire the stunning view.
We might meander around some beautiful Lochs or admire the views over the North East Coastline from our favourite spot on High Drive. With more time available, we climb higher, ride around Loch Romach and enjoy more widespread views. Sometimes we take a packed lunch and some polos with us.
Of course, there is an excellent base of shows, riding clubs, one-day events and high-class tuition available if your rider needs to upskill. My Mother says she likes to ride for relaxation and to enjoy the countryside.
We can visit neighbouring Estates and enjoy their tracks. I love September after the harvest and enjoy the stubble fields for a good pipe opener. Those same fields stay dry over Winter and can be used all Winter.
My Mother has spent lots of time riding abroad and all over Scotland. She has ridden from Coast to Coast in Scotland, then from Spean Bridge to Torridon via Glen Affric in the Highlands. She has also ridden through the Cairngorms from Aviemore to the Angus Glens, but she says I am too busy for that sort of riding! Well, she has made me very busy writing this I must say I hope she gives me a huge dinner.
She says it is Pony Trekking, and the Highland Pony is the perfect horse for the old Drover’s Roads and Deer Trails that range over the Scottish Hillsides. I think it is because she likes to use a mounting block, but that is just my opinion.
Riding across some of the Hills means being prepared to walk alongside your pony some of the time, watching out for bogs and can involve some steep ascents or descents but also gives you a taste of the true Highlands and remoteness. If this is something that interests you, then you might find Wilder Ways interesting.
If you have not bought your horse with you, my Mother says you can visit Equus Riding and book a fantastic ride with Lisa on Roseisle Beach, which is four miles of pure sand. I like to enjoy the Forest before I hit the sand.
Riding Loch Ness
As visitors to the Country, you cannot visit Scotland without visiting Loch Ness, but how many people can say they have ridden at Loch Ness? The riding above Loch Ness is lovely, and the best place to ride from is Loch Ness Riding. You need to be an experienced rider for this, but it will be an experience you will never forget.
Bed and Breakfast for you and your Horse
Unfortunately, much as I would love to offer to share my accommodation with you and your equine friend, sadly, we cannot provide this service which is a real shame. However, we are delighted to share our routes, and if you are a keen walker or cyclist, it will help to appreciate the beauty of the Scottish Countryside.