Tuesday, 25 January 2011

A Tour of the Burns Country

I took a notion for a wee drive in the country, so hot-footed on the M77 to Ayrshire for a bit of a riding related tour with two things in mind: the first was that I could well benefit from a little local promotion of my art; the second that I am on a quest to find some good hacking within easy reach of the south side of Glasgow. City (and suburban) riding stables offering hacking  can be few and far between and even in those that do it can be seasonal with a lot of road work really limiting the opportunities to get out safely.

And so, my grand tour of Burns Country started at Kilmarnock  and took in Cumnock, Prestwick and Dundonald  enjoying the rolling countryside, which can look a bit bleak on some days, but in the sunshine, quite lovely.

I had all manner of Sat Nav related near disasters along the way, such as being routed through a river with depth sign basically reading 'cross at your peril' - seriously, it did, and I didn't. I wished I had taken a picture but I was too shocked at the road running into the water and how I was going to get out of that pickle. I found it on Google Maps, Street View (my those people have been everywhere) and I have to ask, would anyone in their right mind drive through this?

Link to road though a river on Google

I had a good 15 minutes reversing up a narrow single track road, but I didn't let it spoil my fun!

I got some good recommendations for where to go for a hack from the lovely folk I met along the way, with Craigengillan and the Shanter in Maidens but getting recommendations.

I even had an offer from a lovely lady called Laura that I could come and hack her horse if I liked.  He was a gorgeous boy, an eventer and one of her three horses, so it is a bit of a logistical for her hacking them all  - she probably detected a hint or nervousness in my reaction as I had a momentary flashback to my broken arm brought about by taking on a horse a little beyond me some years back!

All around a nice day, and some yards were kind enough to say they would pop my flyer in their tack room, which was pleasing. That said, as social as it was I don't think that was the 'greenest' approach to promoting my artistic ventures, so with regret I will turn to good old Royal Mail.

Came home and read a bit Tam O Shanter to my boy before bed....all Ayshire and horses all round then.


  1. You've had a very busy day and I am glad that you managed to get out of the pickle you were in.

    Sounds like you had a busy day and I hope it will turn out to be fruitful in the way of more commisions for you.

    Another good portrait of Monty, who's next?

  2. I can't quite say for sure...I have a beautiful photo of a clydesdale which I came by through a facebook friend, so might be that!