Tilly and horse riding

“I promise I’ll wear deoderant” was one of the last things Tilly said to me before she went on a horse riding retreat during Half Term week.  She was excited by the prospect of horse riding three times a day and the thought that she would be surrounded by girls of a similar disposition to her for a whole week.  She would also be able to talk about horses incessantly without any fear that the listener would choose to take their life (something I have often contemplated when Tilly educates me about the different mixes of horse feed that should be used according to season).

Set in 200 acres of the Duke of Wellington’s estate, http://www.wellington-riding.co.uk/ looks idyllic: multiple indoor and outdoor arenas; miles of open countryside; plenty of stables and yards; and girls of all sizes and ages everywhere. 

We were a bit taken-aback when we were shown where Tilly would be sleeping.  Twelve sets of bunk beds for 24 pre-teenage girls in a room no bigger than our kitchen.  The cabin had certainly seen better days (in the 1950s).   Tilly did not seem to mind, let alone notice.  In my old age, I like a bit of marble in my bathroom; I’m not sure these even had any formica. 

Tilly quickly met some of her fellow inmates.  They seemed well-brought up, international and happy.  One girl had already been there for one week and was spending her second week at the school.  She was on a two-week half term holiday from her boarding school.  Her mother worked and travelled, so she left one boarding school for another.  Tilly chose a bottom bunk; our rule-loving daughter had noticed that the upper bunk had no safety rail.  I fear that in later life Tilly will be a Health & Safety Inspector. 

Anyway, Tilly came home yesterday evening.  What a time she had enjoyed.  A whole book of posh girls names were spurted from her mouth.  Her horse, Minstral, was so lazy, she had to buy a new whip.  Tilly showed me videos of her jumping – see YouTube link below where she almost had a clear round (if she hadn’t have got lost).  She also showed me some pictures (which I have also posted for those interested).


“You should have seen the showers, Dad.  They were disgusting.  I didn’t have a shower all week.”  I withdrew my embrace and pretended to have something to do at the other end of the kitchen.  “But it’s OK, I did put on deoderant every day.”

A clear round

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Allison on November 1, 2010 at 3:24 am

    I really enjoyed this excerpt from the day-to-day Bishop life. Gosh, I would have loved to have spent a whole week imersed in everything horsey when I was Tilly’s age. Love the photos from the clear round – Well done Tilly !


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