Day 8 – More Tack Shops (and rain) 

August 20, 2015 

***quick note. We are posting additional photos to our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/blueridgepony ***

Guest blog by team member Bella 
This morning we woke up at 8:00 am! (We were supposed to get up at 7:20 but Kaja, Jaycee, Elise and I might hit snooze a few times.) Once we were up and moving all of us took a trip to another tack shop because we had to get 2 more stirrup irons and leathers. We drove about 30 minutes to Chepstow, Wales to Ride and Stride tack shop. (Let me just say the ride there was filled with lots of group singing.) 

We only found 1 pair Composite stirrups at the first tack store so we went to another one that was 30 minutes away from Ride and Stride. 30 minutes later we arrived at John Ayers tack shop. There we found more stirrups irons and leathers. 

After we got what we needed from the store we proceeded to drive to St. David’s where we went around the shops. We went into Jack Wills where Coltin bought something for his Nan. (Shoutout to Nan Mcbain). We also walked into a few more clothing shops. We finally found a store called Rossiters which we all adored. It was almost like a Hallmark and Pier 1 Imports on steroids. After we got some gifts for our loved ones we went home to the Lockyers. 

We waited around for about 45 minutes for the farrier to come to do the ponies feet. We got Holly, Skippy and Foxy’s front feet shoed and trimmed all around. Once they were all finished with their feet we took the ponies out for a hack. 

Emma lead us some crazy way where we had to run through a large amount of stinging nettle. THANK GOD none of us got it but it was definitely an adventure! When we got home from the hack we went to dinner at Cripple Creek Inn which was filled of giggles and American stereotypes. 

On the drive home we saw a hedgehog crossing the road. Kaja, Elise and myself all jumped out to try and catch it. I tried to grab it as it ran in (what I hadn’t realized) was stinging nettle! As soon as we shut the door of the car Alicia, Coltin, Krista, Jaycee and Emma thought it would be hilarious to drive away. So Elise, Kaja and I all sprinted up the road to try and catch the car! Kaja mad it because she was ahead of us. But then they drove some more and Elise and I were still sprinting to the car – finally we got in and headed home. 

Tonight consisted of a lot of packing for this weekend and hearing Alicia talk to her beloved puppy Cricket over FaceTime. It was a great day and I can’t wait for tomorrow! 

  ***the photos will not load here. I’ll post them on our blog’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/blueridgepony ***

 

Day 7 – Castles and Zoos 

August 19, 2015
Guest blog by team member Elise 
We got up at 7:30 and mucked the stalls, fed, and watered the 3 ponies we had here. Mrs. Lockyer graciously went and picked up two more ponies today, to complete our set. We decided to go back from Wales to England, to the Bristol zoo. We had a wonderful day at the zoo! Some of the favorite exhibits were the lions, the seals, and the butterfly exhibit. In the seal exhibit, you can walk through a viewing tunnel to watch the seals swim right over you! They were even spinning and swimming upside down. 

Some of the kids went on a high ropes course. It was cool to watch half of the team, navigate the zip lines, hanging logs, and other tricky obstacles. 

After the zoo, we traveled to Ragland Castle.  It was so interesting to see the welsh ruins, including the moat, and the dungeon! Later that night we took our first ride on the ponies. I personally really enjoyed Foxy, he was quick and I agreed with him very well. Kaja immediately clicked with Holly, a smaller refined bay. They make an amazing pair! Coltin and Jaycee both switched ponies often, but rode each pony very well. Bella rode the ponies very well, but will most likely be suited for our fifth pony who is arriving at the competition. We had a delicious dinner cooked by Mr. Lockyer, and then we settled down for the night. 

Today was so much fun, I can’t wait to see what’s next! 
****more photos to come.  They wouldn’t all load on here****

  
    
                     

  

    
 

   
    
 

We Moved to Wales! – Day 5

August 18, 2015

Yesterday we moved to Wales.  It was mostly a relaxing day. We met two of our loaned ponies, Foxy and Spot!  Everyone wants to ride both of them.  But since Spot competed yesterday and traveled today we are giving him the day off.  

I was very excited to see Chrissy and Emma.  The Lockyers are always fun and I feel right at home with them.  Yea!  

We got the sleeping arrangements sorted out, visited the Lockyer ponies, saw an unwell hedge hog on the road, watched some games videos and goofed around.  Alicia was awesome driving the tiny hedge lined back roads.  And… well, it was a good day.  

Not much to report. Tomorrow we plan to head to the Bristol zoo and get some riding in.   

  
   
    
    
    
   

Day 4 – Tack Shopping we go! 

August 17, 2015 

Yesterday was a much better day than the previous one.  I got up rather early, called Avis and arranged to have our car exchanged.  It was sort of a bigger ordeal than you would expect.  But we made it back to the hotel with a new car (although exactly the same as the other car – But this one has a working clutch).

We had a quick bite to eat and went to Wadswick Country Store. One word – Awesome!  Wadswick is a two floor tack shop,with a gun room (Coltin’s favorite part).  There was tack, clothes, equipment, blankets, everything.  The staff was also outstanding.  They stayed open late to get us all checked out and they seemed to really enjoy chatting with us.  They were helpful and very approachable.  Everyone left the store with a shopping bag and a huge smile.  If you are ever in this part of England, check their store out.  You will not be disappointed.   I should also mention that some MGAGB riders kindly recommended we check out Wadswick, along with two other tack stores.

After all that fun we stopped for dinner at a Toby’s Carvery, which was also a big hit. With a good British style dinner in our Bellys we went back to the hotel and took a swim. There was some splashing, some people may have been pushed into the pool and some of them may have had their clothes still on, but it was all in good fun.  A few of us took a turn at the steam room, sauna and hot tub before we went back to our rooms for showers and packing up.  

We had an evening desert in the loby bar, worked on some blog posts and then hit the hay.  Tomorrow starts the beginning of the real reason we are here, to ride!   We plan to meet up with Chrissy in Wales and help her pick up the rest of our ponies and move to her house for the week.  Watch out Lockyers, we will see you soon!!!! 

Not so many photos today.  The car swap really ate up a big portion of our day. We plan to have more good pictures to share from day five!  Thanks for following our adventure and keep checking back for more updates! 

   
   
  

Day 3 – The Breakdown. 

August 16, 2015 

Guest blogger: Team member, Jaycee

Leaving our hostel was bittersweet but we were ready for our next adventure, one that we were never expecting.  We picked up our rental car about 3 sizes too small then what we asked for but was the only one available. We tried to make a game plan on how to pack the car but we ended up shoving bags in any way possible. If we had rope we would have strapped bags to the roof. We were sitting on top of suitcases and had suitcases and bags on our laps and feet. It is not exaggeration when I say that not one more item could have fit in the car. We were all unable to move but singing and laughing the whole way; until we got to a small road block. 

We were an hour into our journey when we came to a rolling stop in traffic and the clutch went to the floor. We pulled up the clutch petal and it went stiff so we are unable to push it down. After messing with it for a moment we get it to function. But the smell coming from our car started to strengthen.  We were winding up a steep mountain on a densely wooded back road, church lane, when we came to a stop with the engine revving and the clutch to the floor. Smoke began swirling out from the hood. We had smelled the burning from the time we started driving the car but we thought it was the buses around us. We determined that the clutch was blown and no way the car was going anywhere. 

Parking as best we could on the side off the road we called the rental company and to make the story short we were on the phone with multiple people more then 12 times and ended up waiting a total of 5 and a half hours. Within that time we brought out a speaker and had a couple dance offs. Snacked on the food krista had smartly packed and waited and waited and waited. Let’s just say we made a lot a memories had plentiful bonding time. The tow truck brought the car to the hotel, we all spilled out of the taxi and stuffed our faces. All in all we got to our hotel at around 10 pm and ate all we could then went to bed.

Note from Krista -I think the team all reached new levels of boredom and silliness while stuck on the road.  There was hooting with owls, games of “ninja”, stick fights, stone tossing and unnameable actions of utter craziness. I am really impressed with how well they endured this “adventure”.  

Also – Avis/Budget had shameful emergency customer service and wasted 1 1/2 days of our touring in total.  

   

    
    

  
 

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