Scotland “bonnie” Scotland! A beautiful country to be a rider (minus the midges), says Becky Murray
1. We have miles upon miles of stunning countryside hacking… if you don’t mind being eaten alive by midges that is.
2. And it’s not just whilst hacking… our horses go out in the field dressed up like mummies. Fly rugs; fly masks; fly spray… anything to keep the pesky blighters at bay.
3. There is no such thing as a fair-weather rider in Scotland. We can be going cross-country in a snow storm in spring, our summers consist of heavy downpours and our winter feels like the Arctic.
4. And while we are happy to ride in a blizzard or torrential rain… the ground often has other ideas. That event we’ve been looking forward to for weeks? Cancelled a few days beforehand due to the wet ground conditions.
5. We often complain (naturally!) about the bad weather, however we secretly prefer riding in it. Sunshine is such a rarity in Scotland that a bit of heat and we feel like we’ve been teleported on our horses to the Sahara.
6. Being Scottish, we are particularly proud of our native Highland and Shetland ponies. Hardy-ponies that you won’t catch shivering in the depths of winter.
7. We have to travel hundreds and hundreds of miles to get in on the big competition action. Travelling to Horse of the Year Show, Olympia, or Hickstead means trains, planes and automobiles just to get ourselves there.
8. But the journey is always worth it if we get to watch our very own Scott Brash. We still haven’t forgotten his spectacular contribution to Britain’s gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics, and we’ll still talk about it in years to come.
9. Now we didn’t get the Olympics, but we were hugely proud of our very own Scottish venue, Blair Castle, hosting the European Eventing Championships in 2015. We’ll talk about that in years to come too…
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10. And finally, us Scots knows that every good catering van at a Scottish competition venue will stock our trusty “Irn-Bru” — because drinking whisky between dressage classes on a Sunday morning is frowned upon.