Living on an island can be a challenge, when it comes to crossing the water with a horse, but the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to a slower pace of life. This month we visit the Isle of Man, Isle of Wight and Anglesey
Robert Young reports from the Isle of Wight:
We are very fortunate to live on an island that is so picturesque, the backbone of this lovely island is chalk downlands, which run from East to West, with sea views on the North and South sides, surrounded by fertile valleys and woodland. We are blessed with 200 miles of bridleways which are supported by the Island Bridleways Group and Isle of Wight Council Rights of Way. We have the second highest ratio of horse per head of population in the country.
In the past, the Island has supported two driving clubs, together with the British Driving Society. The Isle of Wight Harness Club, which concentrated on drives, which was founded by the late David Biles and the prominent member of this club, was Sophie Atkins who is now a respected BDS judge, having judged at HOYS and many other events.
Running in parallel with the Isle of Wight Harness Club, was Wight Equine Driving Society, which catered for other activities, including Indoor Driving Trials, which produced qualifiers to the National Finals. Cones and ran the famous 3 day Trans Wight Drive. Which at the time attracted entrants from all over the country and was limited to 35 turnouts.
Morfydd Greatorex explains why Anglesey is the perfect place for carriage drivers:
Anglesey has plenty of country lanes and quiet beaches that many of our BDS members drive along every day. The scenery along the roads is beautiful there are lakes, windmills and many churches on the routes. One of our members regularly drives to the windmill in Bodedern with his pair of Welsh ponies. Anglesey also has a large forest which members of the BDS have yearly permits for access to drive, it is owned by Natural Resources Wales, Newborough Forest is open to the public cyclists, riders and carriage drivers.
Nicola Pimbblet gives a flavour of driving on the Isle of Man:
Everyone who comes to visit our beautiful Island is always enamoured by how scenic and peaceful it is. There’s never much traffic and the island generally moves at a slower pace than the rest of the UK. We are hidden away on the North East coast of the island overlooking the pretty beach of Cornaa where you can often spot seals and dolphins.
You can read the full reports from the islands in the November issue of Carriage Driving. To buy a copy call our Subscriptions Team on: 01722 716997