Today was my first official day in Scotland and my first official ride. I went out with Candy Cameron of Loch Ness Riding Centre. The area on this side of the Loch is beautiful. Candy's farm is located on the quieter, less touristy side of Loch Ness. Many people come to the Loch Ness area to go monster watching, which we did as well, but we looked for Nessie on horseback, riding through hills high above the Loch.
Candy said that her area reminds her of the Lake District in England and I agree. There is lush, green pastureland dotted with sheep and cows plummeting to grand Loch Ness below. If you want to ride with Candy, make sure that you are an experienced rider. She is a pretty serious endurance rider herself and has a small number of horses that she is training. You'll ride one of these horses, so be ready to go, go, go. These are not nose to tail trail horses. Candy takes out a small number of riders. Day to day, she is mostly focused on training.
I rode a young, five-year old chestnut thoroughbred named Meg, who had a lot of energy. We did a lot of trotting and cantering on our ride, as we traveled through beautiful farmland, along quiet lanes and then through some overgrown trails and down to the shores of the Loch. Candy rode her horse Louie.
In the Loch below a motorboat passed causing the water to ripple in a weird way. This, Candy said, is what some people mistake for Nessie. I could see how people would think that this rippling looked like the ripples on a monster's back.
The ride was certainly an adventure, and by the end, I was glad that we would be exploring the loch on a boat the next day.