vrijdag 20 februari 2009

Duinrit in Egmond aam de Hoef

We decided to treat ourselves this week, inspite of the horrible weather, and booked a hack at a manege I had heard about from another mother at our manege.

This manege specialises in hacking in the Noord Hollands dune nature reserve, and is about a half hour drive away. We got there, and found a very clean, well managed, professional and welcoming manege which immediately put me at ease, as its often a problem if you have to organise two kids and yourself with tack, mounting etc.
We had loads of help - and I was even provided with a mounting block (thank god) to get onto my very large pony. Once mounted, we were sorted into order in the paddock, and a string of 13 of us went out onto the hack. We only had to cross the road, and we were immediately on a side road heading for the dune area two minutes away.
We negotiated a gate and after that it was all bridle paths, through a varied landscape of wooded areas, and open places with gorse and shrubs. The dunes are the only areas in the Netherlands which are not flat, so it was a treat to negotiate hummocks, and slopes, and not be able to see the whole area at one time, but rather have it revealed in stages, as we rounded corners, or emerged from the trees.

We got in a few good canters, and the horses were very fresh, so it had its exciting moments. I was riding behind Jolanda's friend Eva, so had a few anxious moments stopping my Dalfy from flattening her much smaller Twiggy. Jolanda was riding a horse called Ukkie (which means small in Dutch) but it did not look like a small horse to me! Here's Ukkie back in her stall!
We arrived back after two hours, and were able to get a coffee and sandwich in the really nice cantine, as well as use the spotless toilets before driving back in the rain which had held off until we dismounted!
B.T.W. the first photo is from the website of the manege, I did take one, but its out of focus, and just as I got ready to take the second, we went into a canter, and I had to switch the camera off, put it back into my pocket, and make sure my pony didn't run unto the kids in front of me!

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