Having experienced two of the other trail rides from Argyll
Trail Riding I was eager to try the Loch and Forest Trail,
developed by manager Chris Hall. The advantage of this particular
trail is the small groups size, governed by the fact that
the horses are transported back to base each evening. For
riders, the best feature is that you stay each night in
the same guest-house and don't have to pack and un-pack
at regular intervals. Also as there are myriads of track
and trails in this part of Argyll the route is designed
to vary and evolve over time. We started from Brenfield
on the Kintyre peninsula with basic instruction about our
tack and tying up etc and were introduced to our mounts.
My horse Bragi (Norwegian god of poetry) was an experienced
TREC horse and like all the horses at Brenfield was responsive,
well trained and a great ride. A new innovation recently
introduced, by Chris, a western enthusiast, were the lightweight
synthetic western endurance saddles with were very comfortable
for horse and rider.
We set off up the hill and were soon able to see over Loch
Fyne with the isle of Arran in the hazy distance. We would
stop and get off every so often to stretch our legs and
give the horse a breather. Our splendid picnic lunch was
by a reservoir and the horses snoozed in the sun. Over the
next four days some picnics, carried with us in saddlebags,
were in the rain but we still enjoyed them! As we rode toward
the coast we looked over to Jura and all the many small
islands off the coast – just beautiful!
Our trail took us over grassy tracks, up and down mountains,
through forests and by the lochs – hardly another
person was seen – just the wildlife – buzzards,
deer and midges!! Our party was a very international one
– made up of French, Scottish, English and Australian
so we had lots to talk about and horsy tales to tell. Each
night we returned to the lovely Allt Na Craig guest house
run by Hamish and Charlotte Nichol. Charlotte is a horse
rider herself so was keen to hear all about our days exploits.
had a choice of evening meal options, as this is not included
in the price, ranging from sea front café to up-market
seafood restaurants for which the area is famous.
On our last day we rode back to Brenfield alongside the
Crinan canal and after saying a fond farewell to our mounts
had tea and cake in the farmhouse and received our certificates
of completion. This has to be the best way to see Scotland.
Despite some rain we all had a great time, were well looked
after and entertained by our leader Chris, who looked after
everyone's needs and, of course, the horses were just the