Take your horse on holiday
Some B&Bs in the Brecon Beacons National Park cater to equine guests as well as the usual human kind. And that makes the scenic Three Rivers Ride an easy getaway for you both, says Haydn Jones of Tregoyd Mountain Riders.
Wye Valley from above by Martin Jones
The Three Rivers Ride starts in Worcestershire and ends near Brecon in the National Park Visitor Centre at Libanus. It’s normally a four-day ride and it starts off on bridlepaths through low-level farmland then gets more interesting when it moves into the Black Mountains at the Powys border. The Black Mountains are better than the Beacons for riding – they’re more rolling, not quite as high and rugged.
“There’s a real progression of scenery on the ride, the view is always changing. We’re very fortunate here with that contrast. The mountains in Mid Wales are just as good for riding, but in the Usk Valley and Wye in particular – two of the three rivers of the Three Rivers Ride – we also have this beautiful patchwork of farmland.
A B&B for horses
Brecon Beacons National Park by Mid Wales My Way
“So, the Welsh part of the ride is two or three days [38 miles]. That’s a great break with your own horse but requires that you stop somewhere overnight. We provide grass turn-out or a stable, and provide the hard feed, bedding and hay and grooming kits. It’s B&B for horses, basically. Then the riders stay with us and get bed and breakfast and an evening meal.
“People love it – they can come away with their horse and don’t need to bring anything else. Not many other riding centres offer this sort of thing – there’s always the worry of disease coming in from strange horses – but other farms on the route and in the Brecon Beacons provide B&B for riders and have a field to turn out. The riding is best in summer months, when the horses want to be eating grass not hard feed anyway.
“When I did the Three Rivers Ride we’d organised beforehand for the catering manager at the National Park Visitor Centre Tea Rooms at the end to provide us with some refreshments. They brought a few carrots for the horses to have a munch on and some buckets of water. We let them loose on the lawn afterwards and they were quite happy eating grass.
Carry on exploring
Llyn Clywedog, Mid Wales
“The Three Rivers Ride is self-guided and well-known because it links to routes north like the Glyndŵr's Way, part of the new Great Dragon Ride. But it’s only one of the longer rides around here. There’s also the Brecon Beacons & Radnor Loop Ride, which is a four-day trail. Actually, many people ride the Three Rivers then return with their horse later just to explore this area. With the changes brought by the weather and seasons, you can never tire of the views.”