Thursday, 23 September 2010

Day 1 on the Canterbury Pilgrimage ... after lunch

We were all hoping that the weather would improve in the afternoon, but despite a few brighter patches over lunch the weather deteriorated shortly after Caroline and Smelly set off for for the final leg.  The heaven's opened and they got absolutely soaked - right through to Caroline's pants, I am told!  The terrible weather, combined with a bridle way which was so overgrown it was virtually impassable, made the afternoon exhausting and also led to Caroline going a bit off course - by about two miles.   But after checking the map and with a bit of help from Campbell, she and Smelly were back on course.

At Chevening, she was met by William, Carolyn and Amy, who was riding her pony Nutmeg and Amy's friend Suzanne.   On her way to Turvins Farm, they cantered on the grass, which was a really magical moment.  So, the first day Caroline experienced the worst day's riding she has ever had, as well as one of the best.

Smelly was brilliant all day - even negotiating motorway bridges without a fuss.  He has settled down for the evening and we are all amazed at how chilled he seems.

Caroline was planning to stay in haybarns on the trip, but  after the day she's had, the offer of a hot bath and a bed was too tempting.  Thank you to Turvins Farm for the wonderful hospitality.

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