Our first adventure away from home!
I’ve always been so scared of just boxing Henry up and going out, which is ludicrous really, I live on the edge of some of the best riding the UK has to offer. It’s a silly phobia I think lots of people have, I know countless people who have their own transport that they don’t use unless it’s a show day or a vet appointment and fail to see the miles of spectacular riding that’s so close to home!
So, with my big girl pants on, the horses were loaded and we were off to Sherwood Forest for the day.
From Sheffield, Sherwood Forest is an hour or so down the M1, it’s really easily accessible from anywhere in the UK really as the road links are brilliant and the car park allowed for super easy parking of our van and trailer combination. We parked right next to the visitors centre, mainly so we could have a tea and loo stop before loading back up.
Sherwood Forest is a fairly easy ride, there’s nothing too scary (other than lots of school children) it’s all flat and surfaced, the gates are all friendly and there’s lots of maps. It’s also great because you can tailor it to how long you want to go for, if you only want to do an hour that’s fine, and if you want to go all day that’s fine too, the routes all interlink so you can add bits on and take bits off.
This is the route we took, mapped out using Iride Live. We only hit one small piece of quiet village road which was more due to a wrong turn than anything else, the rest was open and accessible woodland with logs to jump and views to admire.
Now lunch was a slightly more tricky aspect because our half way point was a little out of the way, it would have been much easier to stop at the visitor centre for lunch before carrying on but we didn’t plan for that, we planned for ‘finding a bench’ which failed and we ended up picnicking in the undergrowth with the horses which actually was rather lovely, other than having to share your lunch with 16hh of greedy horse.
After lunch we had a fairly quiet stroll back to the car (with some clearings to blast through) Sherwood Forest is such a gorgeous place wether you do it on foot or on a bike or a horse, I felt like this was the confidence boosting trip away from home both me and Henry needed, he’s never boxed up and gone out for the day, and usually has major issues about leaving home, which was why I was apprehensive in the first place.
There’s room to tie up at the visitor centre to give the horses a break and a snack before boxing back up. The boys had lots of nice attention from people walking past wanting to say hello, it was all really lovely, especially for them to be in that environment.
Remember to bring your halter, and my clip on reins from Total Horsemanship are perfect for clipping and unclipping in situations like this. I couldn’t be without them.