When I travel, I like to try to get on a horse in someway. Sometimes I’ll take a lesson to see how trainers in other parts of the country or world teach. Or, I’ll sign up for a hack because horseback is a wonderful way to see the hidden gems of a nation’s countryside. I guess you could say I love “globetrotting” … excuse my pun.
In May, I went to England for several weeks. While I was there, I scheduled a hack through the countryside. The place I chose to ride was Parkview Equestrian Centre, a lesson and boarding barn (or livery as the Brits say) nestled within England’s midlands in Leicestershire County. The facility was in close proximity to where I was staying in Ibstock, just a 20 minute jaunt through the English countryside to get to the barn. My boyfriend, who at the time had only been on a horse a handful of times, decided to join me for the ride.
We arrived at Park View in the afternoon. Luckily there were boots and helmets for hire, because I had not brought mine from the States. I was assigned a little paint draft-cross with soft eyes and a shaggy coat. Being 6’3”, my boyfriend’s mount was a massive draft horse who was quite beginner friendly. A young lady who worked at the barn led us through the countryside; on a sprite pony she was desensitizing for a client. It was a quiet and leisurely ride, with minimal conversation with our guide. The draft my boyfriend was riding took full advantage of having a beginner mount and would often stop to eat or just enjoy the view. Luckily, he took it all in stride and was proficient in posting trot by the end of the ride due to all the trotting he had to do to catch up.
The views were quite nice, showing the farmland of the Midlands of England. Rolling hills with lush grass dominated the landscape. We had the occasional trots along the way, but most of the ride was walking. While I wished we had gotten a canter in, it would have been too much for the beginner with us. For an American in the English Midlands, this was a nice afternoon to spend with my favorite person doing my favorite activity. Taking in the countryside on a quiet afternoon, and just enjoying the company and views. This was a great lazy day activity to get in a riding fix.
If you’re interested in Parkview Equestrian Centre, check out their website here!