30 May 2016
I had an amazing May Bank Holiday Monday photographing the Calvert Horse Shoe Ride near Exford on Exmoor. The aim of the event was to raise awareness of the activities of the Calvert Trust Exmoor and to also raise money to support their horse riding activities (more about that later).
Monday was a beautiful day, fine but not too hot, which was good for the horse and riders (and me!).
There were two courses, a 25 km long ride which went up to Dunkery Beacon and the 15 km short ride around Nethercote and Winsford Hill.
Both rides started at Comers Gate, with about 100 riders taking part and were welcomed and set off on their way by Lady Ann Mallalieu.
I love having the opportunity to photograph horses, so I was in a kind of seventh heaven!
I am not rider though and have not spent much time around horses, so I asked Robin for any advice he could offer me how to stay safe and not cause any trouble. He told if they have a red ribbon on their tail, they might kick, and a green ribbon means an inexperienced horse...and might kick. I decided that it might be best to stay clear of the hind legs of all of them all, just in case, which was quite a challenge with so many horses about. I also learned that some are not that sure about cameras. Apologies to those and their riders I inadvertently startled. You were amazingly forgiving.
It was a gorgeous day, and with the route going through some of the most lovely parts of Exmoor, what could possibility go wrong. This may sound totally obvious to all you horse riders out there, but wow, horses don't half go quick, so being in the right place at the right time meant some fairly swift moving on my part as well. I missed some photos (hard not regret the ones that got away), but really pleased with the ones I did catch. To see all of the photos of the day please have a look here at my gallery or have a look at the Cavlert Trust Facebook Gallery for an edited selection. Please feel free to like and share to help spread the word.
The reason for the event, apart from having fun (and there were a lot of smiles on the day :0 ), was to raise awareness about the work of the Calvert Trust Exmoor, based near Wistlandpound Reservoir . Its aim is to enable people with physical, learning, behavioural and sensory disabilities to experience exciting, challenging and enjoyable outdoor activities. It's an amazing charity that brings real joy to peoples live, but it's not cheap to run and many people with disabilities do not have deep pockets, so the Trust are always looking for ways to raise awareness and money so that as many people as possible can enjoy being on Exmoor.
The event raised £1,760 all of which will go into supporting their horse riding activities. Not a bad effort I would say.
If you would like to find out more about supporting their work please have a look at their Support Us page.
There are so many ways to help out, my way is to take photographs on days like these, So please, have a chat with them about volunteering , you don't have to just take my word for it when I say volunteering can be so much fun :0)
I hope you enjoyed this blog, remember to check out The Calvert Trust Exmoor and my gallery, (if people would like to buy prints, I will make a donation to Calvert Trust :0) and I would love to read your comments.