Valentine day ride Valentine’s Day saw 10 members and a number of adult escorts set out from Plas Dolben to tackle a  challenging 12 kilometre course up  towards Moel Arthur, over towards Loggerheads and back down the mountain. This ride qualified as a Merlin ride (between 10 and 19 km). The target speed was 8 kmp/h –  which was only possible if the time spent walking up tricky, rutted paths, negotiating gates and steep hills etc was made up by pushing on when we reached more open, grassy going – which everyone was more than pleased to do judging by the mud splattered faces and ponies and happy, smiling faces! There were some amazing views en route, including the sight of the sea over towards Rhyl and then later over the Dee Estuary. It definitely helped that the weather was on our side – a lovely sunny day after snow the day before –  how lucky were we? The fabulous route which was almost entirely off-road was planned by Rhian Pierce and many thanks to her for her time, effort and assistance.

Back at the venue in the target time of just under 1 hour 30 minutes the ponies were untacked, washed off and heart rates were then taken. Although for this distance ride a heart rate check at the end isn’t strictly necessary it’s good practice for when and if members progress to rides over 19km when vet checks before and after the ride are compulsory.  64 beats per minute is the highest heart rate allowed – but all the ponies were well below this and some were down in the 30’s – very good given that most ponies’ heart rates taken at home are between 30-40 bpm. Successful completion of the ride meant that all the participating members came away with a lovely Merlin rossette.

The next endurance training is at Easter but details of all training will be on the fixture list and on Iona’s weekly update. Why not give it a go??

Please note that parents are very welcome to help escort the more junior members and there will be no charge for their attendance.

Thanks … Kate Williams