January 29, 2007

Off–road on 4 hooves

Wild, wet weather has kept Megan stabled almost 24/7 since Christmas :(Megan

Farm at least fetlock deep in mud/water = no turn out in paddocks & no speeding over the fields!!

Weekday exercise (0600hrs – 0700hrs) is currently in darkness on the all-weather surface – which can get kinda dull…

So yesterday, on a fine sunny Sunday morning, I headed for the local off-road track (bridle path). Have to hack out a few miles on the lanes to reach it but on a Sunday morning they are fairly quiet, more runners/cyclists/walkers than vehicles.

The track in question is sort of ‘Y’ shaped and multi-terrain. The base is fairly firm so standing water and mud are just added fun rather than serious hazards!

Plan was to head for one of the far short arms of the ‘Y’ track, weave through to the other short arm and then take a burn up towards home down the long stretch.

Found myself thwarted a little by fallen trees (too big to jump) from the recent storms :( (see below) but for the big kid me this just added to the adventure!! :P

Negotiated my way through what I could, taking Megan through as many gears as possible. Ended up thoroughly wet & muddy – fantastic buzz for both of us!!! :D

To stop being a big kid (just for a bit) I did get to thinking:
This track is the only totally off-road bridle path that I can hack to. My horseback explorations found that an entire arm of the ‘Y’ has been cut off by large trees down at either end and elsewhere I couldn’t pass under partial falls due to the lack of head height.

  1. Must get in touch with the Council and get this sorted (will blog back here on progress)
  2. As with many bridle paths, this track is used by MTBs too. (not ideal but a fact) Whilst up on 4 hooves I’m more than happy to find a few fallen obstacles to jump ;-), but on my MTB I would come unstuck. Also, partial tree falls can be ducked under on MTB, but up 16 2hh on a horse they become a serious hazzard!? :(

- 4 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Re. blocked trails, have you seen this new website?

    29 Jan 2007, 14:58

  2. Catherine Fenn

    Interesting link, however I sometimes find it’s good to talk!

    I’ve chatted to the rights of way officers for both Coventry (Mike) & Solihull (David) Councils.

    Both RoW officers were extremely helpful and friendly :D

    Bridle path in question is on the Cov/Solihull borders but I now have it confirmed as under the jurisdiction of Solihull.

    Most importantly Solihull have cleared 2 big trees today and will return to check on low branch hazards etc. later this week.

    BTW In my search for info. I came across the following 2 path user surveys:
    Coventry CC
    Solihull MBC

    29 Jan 2007, 16:24

  3. An emailed image of the problem can be very useful.
    Note about the Coventry Public Paths User Survey: “Please complete by Monday 8 January 2007.”

    29 Jan 2007, 16:58

  4. Catherine Fenn

    Checked with Mike (Coventry CC) about the closing date and he confirmed they are still accepting submissions.

    29 Jan 2007, 17:06

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