I would like to present you a typical riding-tour day. There are no similar days we should say in advance. Even if we ride through the same route every time we try to find something more interesting, challenging, unusual and charming.
A typical riding-tour day starts with a wake up ( for those who were lucky and avoided a night-watch with horses.) Well rested and full of energy we go to say hello to our horses while early in the morning a night-watcher is obliged to give the horses water to drink. Horses must be well watered because sometimes they have problems with drinking from streams or lakes. Our morning ABC by the horses includes horse-cleaning, especially cleaning its hooves and covering them with some cosmetics. Maintenance of the equipment is also important, especially when it comes to caparisons or sweat- clothes. They must always be clean and dry.
Maintenance of the equipment
If we did some morning jobs with the horses we can go and eat supper without stings of remorse but we must keep an eye on the horses or leave someone with them in accordance with a proverb
"It is better to loose a saddle than a horse"
Refreshed and with full stomach we start a typical riding- tour day with our horses.
In case of very hot and sunny days we always try to set out early in the morning (about 7 a.m.) to protect the horses from a scorching heat. We walk with a horse for the first kilometer. It is good for us and our companion. Nobody likes to hoist heavy boxes from early morning. This kind of a walk is beneficial for our health and allows us to be in good relationship with our horse.
Bear in mind to pull up a saddle-girth.
A ride during a riding- tour is done in three horse paces–trot is the most favorable one. We must remember about a frequent leg -change, quiet hand-work and a proper posture. I keep an open mind on a subject of clothes, but please remember that we should only take short boots for a horse ride and a toque. It is proper to have a shirt with long sleeves. First of all, it protects us from the sun and secondly we are not scratched by tree- branches when riding through the forest. Consequently what is the most important we look neat and suitably in comparison to a gang of hooligans. A horse- ride is an obligation to look properly.
Ruth form London
When riding we take short brakes (near shops with beverages) then we reach our place of destination for a longer baiting. Horses must be kept in our hand or tied to a tree but we must continually keep an eye on them. After a time of 10- 15 min. a horse is allowed to be given water to drink. We should also keep in mind to find the best place rich in a sappy grass during the baiting. A saddle, caparison and a sweat-cloth should be put in the sun to make them dry after prior beaten of them. We should take care of our horses. Firstly, hooves must be examined. Then we clean horse’s skin especially under a saddle. It is preferable to let a horse take a sand- bath.
In case of baiting by the lake it's good to soak horse's hooves and legs and clean its whole body with a wet sponge and then let a horse take a sand-bath. This kind of natural cosmetics can only be envied.
Baiting by water
When everything with horses is done and we have a fancy for a bath in a nearby lake (4/5 day of a tour) we must saddle our horse, walk for one kilometer with a horse in our hand and only then mount our companion.
When it comes to long rides we are obliged to alight and mount a horse 5 – 7 times. The last alights and "mounts" are most tiring and painful. We must bear in mind that we should use every single erection to mount our horse without an effort. It’s good when a group does it automatically and synchronously.
When reaching a place of accommodation, everything is repeated - a horse first then people.
An evening supper is a recollection of a passing day, presentation of a route for the next day and assignation of night watches for all the participants of a ride.
Accommodation is planned in touristic ranches or in horse-riding sports clubs. It allows us to keep an eye on our horses and in case of going to bed- night watches are always organized (2 hours per one horseman each night). During a night watch – a torch and a knife is obliged.
Horses are tied in an arrangement. It happens sometimes that a horse in a new place can lay down and when getting up can tangle up and we must help him immediately and cut out the ropes to protect other horses.
It's well known that anxiety of one horse can be spread out to the others, especially when a stable is new and a night watcher isn't well known to the horses. It happens sometimes that we sleep with the horses (other participants are also eager to do the same). It's really worth doing! How wonderful memories you can have- horse snoring, its movements during the night, hoof –whole- digging or night animals' sounds.
What I remember the most is an accommodation under the stars near the castle in Bytów where I slept with my colleague Wojtek among 8 horses on the edge of wood and a lake.
Bathing with horses
Arrival for accomodation for the night
Supper at touristic ranche
Few rules that must be obeyed during our horse-riding-tours.
1. when working with a horse one must listen to a horse- guide,
2. all the illnesses or “drawbacks” of our horse must be submitted to a horse guide,
3. for a horse ride one should take very little luggage to protect our horse from unnecessary weight, other clothes are left – a person responsible for transfer will take care of them,
4. other things that should be memorized and obeyed- will be presented on a tour.