Outdoor charity cowgirl Claire Alldritt is galloping the extra mile Leave a comment


What she does is fairly unusual in the horse world and her adventures make an inspiring story.

As volunteer chairwoman of a charity that helps others to realise the life-changing benefits of just getting outside more, paramedic Claire Aldritt, 46, goes the extra few hundred miles.

In true John Wayne western movie -style, she saddles up her horses Swift and Yogi and the intrepid trio trot off into the mountainous landscape.

And for two to three weeks at a time its baked-beans and camp fires under the stars, midges rather than Appache Indians their waiting enemy.

Stopping for a break during her trek from Fort William to Keith, she tells the Press and Journal how things are going.

She says: “This year, I was really keen to see how much of the Moray Coastal Trail  was possible by horse.  My journey started on Friday in Fort William and uses the coastal trail from Forres to Cullen to get me back home to where I live near Keith.

In line with the charity’s objectives

“I pass by the home of my favourite charity – Outfit Moray – on the 22nd as I ride through Lossiemouth, and I will be calling for a large slice of carrot cake and a big cup of tea.  Swift and Yogi are hoping for a carrot.”

One of Claire’s spectacular viewpoints: Fort William, Loch Linnhe with the village of Caol and then Loch Eil in the distance.  Picture by Sandy McCook.

“I’ve been involved with Outfit Moray for more than 15 years and strongly support the aims and objectives.

“We strive to provide affordable and accessible outdoor learning and adventure to all young people of Moray.

“We especially strive to help those who would not otherwise be able to have these experiences.

“I know how important the outdoors has been for me in my life and want to pass on the same opportunities to others.”

Every good cowgirl needs two horses

Claire needs two horses to make the journey possible – one to carry her and the other to carry all the camping gear and a portable gates to keep the horses enclosed to guarantee a restful night.

She adds: “It’s a bit of an unusual hobby, I know that. I’ve been doing this now for about 10 years, taking various routes across Scotland and around the Cairngorms.

“I’ve travelled The Speyside Way in section as well as in its entirety plus the East Highland Way, The Dava Way, and The Great Glen Way.

“I have also made up many routes of my own following old drovers routes, old military roads,and other historical trails.

” I’ve ridden right round the Cairngorms twice in a two-week circular covering 250 miles each time and have even been on the top of a Munro or two with my equine companions.”

Claire’s book of her adventures From East to West by Saddle is Best.

 

 





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