Monday, 29 July 2013

Stories in the Land: Pony Adventures in the Highlands

Shela Ryan’s enthusiasm for horses is incredible – she has five! - that’s probably why the DofE Co-ordinator at Caol Youth Centre in Fort William has taken up the reins on a DofE project with both hands.

Shela is helping Bronze and Silver DofE groups to take part in an expedition on horseback, but the excitement doesn’t stop there. She’s working with the Royal Scottish Geographical Society as part of the Stories in the Land Project. The aim of the project is to get local people collecting, telling and creating stories inspired by the epic journeys of the Scottish drovers. Shela realised that this could be a creative expedition aim for her group and so the groups have jumped in to take on the challenge of a pony expedition that followed in the tracks of the Highland Drovers.

The group are doing their expedition with the help of Abernethy Ardgour - Shela said, “we took these horses completely out of their comfort zone but with the expert help from the 'technical advisor' Claire Cameron of Ardgour Riding Centre, we have spent many months getting them ready for the expeditions.” It seems like it’s not just a learning experience for the participants – the horses are learning from this partnership as well!
As part of the Stories in the Land project, the Caol Groups will be hosting a Meet the Drovers Event on 1st August - come down and see them, or check out their blog to follow their progress and get more information about events.
Shela’s happy to provide other groups with more information about doing pony expeditions. Just give her a call at 01397 700 113, or email her at