I trekked out with Shawn of today to see some absolutely beautiful scenery surrounding the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales. I rode a very reliable, pretty much bombproof horse named Burgess, a Welsh Cob. We are staying with Haydn Jones at his B&B Tregoyd, where riders can take day long or multi-day treks to the surrounding area. We would be climbing up into the mountains to take in views of the countryside.
Shawn is Welsh and grew up in speaking Welsh as her first language. She explained that like accents in the U.S., accents in Wales change from region to region, which makes sense. Those folks in North Wales tend to speak Welsh more and have a thicker Welsh accent than those in the South.
We rode over a small stream before getting to a grassy area, where we warmed up with a few nice canters, before climbing higher up. We passed through the bracken, which was already starting to turn brown in preparation for fall. As we climbed up, the views of the fields surrounding us got better and better.
We passed through a field of sheep, which would usually scatter about when you walk near them. They didn't flinch at the horses though. Some of the sheep had these freakishly long tails, while most of the sheep had short tails. I asked Shawn what that was all about. Shawn said that the sheep with the long tails are sort of the rogue sheep. Those that have a short tail have had their tail docked. When this particular breed of sheep are babies, they put a band on their tail, so that part of the tail it falls off and doesn't grow as long. Yes, this is not the most pleasant topic, but I thought that it was interesting. So interesting, that I actually looked it up this morning and found that people actually want the tail shorter to keep the sheep healthier. The sheep who had the long tails had somehow escaped this banding process.
We then rode through a wild area of braken and tall grass with beautiful views of the Brecon Beacons mountains in the distance and another high mountain that we would climb later in the day.
We had a lot of chances to canter on this ride, which made it fun. We let our horses have a break and had a picnic lunch by an area with natural springs. We then climbed up to a spot where we were able to have ice cream and take in the beautiful views. No joke. In a nearby parking lot a ways down from where we were riding, there was a good humor truck. The film crew went down and picked up some ice cream for us, so we enjoyed the stunning views (in the sunshine!) of the beautiful surrounding Welsh hills.