10 Gadget Free Activities to do in Loose Reins Country!
Here at Loose Reins, we’re all about discovering some wind down time and leaving the daily grind well and truly to the rear. We believe that one of the best ways to do this is to unplug, forget about those emails and find that Loose Reins feeling…
1. Head out onto the trail on one of our beautifully trained American Quarter Horses
Whether you’re a beginner, returning rider or regular wrangler, prepare to be swept off your feet (although hopefully not out of the saddle…) by the stunning landscapes and sense of freedom, tranquillity and discovery that you will find when exploring our neck of the woods.
2. Kid around with the pygmy goats or go egg hunting in the chicken coop
Butch and Sundance our resident pygmy goats are always up for a bit of fun and love to be fussed over. You’ll usually find them curled up in their very own mini cabin or skipping round with Lottie the Shetland pony in their paddock. Not to forget our hens, the proud producers of the Loose Reins eggs that need regular collection!
3. Kick back and enjoy the simple things in life on your private deck
Why not take a few minutes (or hours!) to curl up in an arm chair with a good book and glass of wine whilst taking in the spectacular views over the Blackmore Vale or of the Loose Reins herd grazing in their fields below…
4. Take a trip to the arena for a Western riding or Horsemanship lesson
You can learn everything you need to know about Western riding and horsemanship at Loose Reins, all with a stunning and peaceful backdrop. Improve your technique, learn new skills or simply have a bit of fun trying something new. We teach private and group lessons for all abilities from complete novice to returning riders.
5. Walk on top of the world
This is amazing walking country with views to match. Enjoy the sunshine and see as far as Salisbury Plain from the top of Hambledon or Hod Hill, iron age hillforts full of history. Loose Reins is at the foot of the Wessex Ridgeway, perfect for a hike, with fresh air and blue skies. Set out for our favourite local pub; The Ibberton, and enjoy a wonderful meal before returning through ancient Ringmoor Common.
Take one of our bespoke walking maps and discover your trail. You don’t have to climb hills to walk at Loose Reins. Take to the village trail in Shillingstone, stopping at the Railway Project for a cream tea or, if you’d prefer, the village pub for a local beer. Take to the trailway or pick your way along the footpaths and bridleways that radiate across the fields on our lane.
6. Hire bikes and do some freewheeling
Whether you want to shoot down the hill at Okeford Bike park next door or fancy something a little more level and gentle, let us know what you’d like and we’ll arrange the wheels. Our local village, Shillingstone, is home to the North Dorset Trailway, a cycle and walking path that runs along a dismantled railway line from Stalbridge to Spetisbury. The trailway runs close to the river Stour, so it’s a lovely route for a picnic and a spot of messing about on the river. You can also ride on the forest footpaths and bridleway around Loose Reins.
7. Come and meet Lottie, our Shetland pony for a pony pampering session
Head down to the barn to meet Lottie, our resident Shetland pony and give her a groom and a cuddle – she’ll love you forever! Learn all about grooming and try out your wackiest and best hairstyles in her mane and tail!
8. Rediscover an old favourite board game
We’ve got Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders, Ludo, Scrabble and a pack of cards. Snapchat might be great, but you can’t beat the feeling of Dad landing on Mayfair when you’ve just put up that hotel… If you’d prefer something slightly more adventurous, we’ve also got ‘Horseshoes’ and a plastic bull for you to practice your best lassoing on!
9. Down by the riverside
The river Stour meanders gently through the Dorset Downs, running close by Loose Reins in the village of Shillingstone. Get some real peace and quiet on the river bank. Listen to nothing but the water. Drop in a line for a fish or two or take a dip. Why not grab a gold panning kit from our honesty shop and really find your inner pioneer…
10. Grab some marshmallows and kick back by the fire bowl
Memories are built around the campfire; toast some marshmallows as the sun goes down and share stories of your Loose Reins adventures with friends old and new…