Meet the riders hacking 650km to the Arctic Circle on rescue horses

We've got a new blogger joining the Your Horse team - meet Ailsa who, with the help of three friends, is planning a 650km trek through northern Sweden to the Arctic Circle with a set of barefoot, rescued and rehomed horses. Here she introduces her challenge and explains why she decided to embark on her trek. 

The idea for the ride came about while I was going through treatment for breast cancer.

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It became a dream and a goal at once - a reason to keep treading water and a hope of spending time with my horses, since time had recently become so much more precious.

I'll be doing the trek in the company of three other women who have also had their own physical and emotional challenges.

Joining us for the trek will be horses from the rescue and therapy centre I ran for 12 years in rural Wales. These horses have had their own health and emotional challenges too.

We prepare together, battered by life but not broken - readying ourselves for the ride of our lives! 

We're riding for three charities as part of the trek. One of the charities we're supporting through our ride is ASHA animals, a small but effective charity that serves all animals but particularly horses in the sub-Asian continent.

Their work with horses is one of rescue, veterinary care and advice and teaching.

My horse Ayesha 

I met my beautiful horse Ayesha the day after she was born and fell in love with a little, lanky wobbly deer.

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I have the great fortune that she grew up into a beautiful black mare with a tough disposition and I look forward to the honour of spending day after day in the company of my little sister, as I call her.

I long for the freedom her feet offer me; ballerina-like she floats across ground in a way I can only dream of. If I sound like a woman in love, that would be a good description.

But I’m not just enamored of a little Arabian, but also of the company and kindness of horses as a species.

That something so wild should willingly allow omnivores like us upon their backs day after day, partnering our kind in work, war and leisure seems to me a fact of wonder and awe.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be introducing the rest of team in this blog and the challenges we face. So join us as we trek from Sweden to the arctic circle! 

Support the ride here