Quite literally tucked away in hill folds and villages, nestled in the Angus countryside, lies Muirhead Stables; a humble yard, where at least fifty horses graze in fields and nicker softly in stables. Jump on the 57 or 59 stagecoach bus from the bus station, trundle along the Coupar Angus Road, all the way to Muirhead, and get off at the stop just before the post office. Head down Edward Place, walking down the hill as the stables roll out before you. Muirhead Stables is the ideal place to be if you are an avid rider, or simply wanting to give it a go. There are lessons, half an hour donders, hour long hacks, or rides that take you cantering through the fields and railway paths. Each horse has its own personality, and you will rapidly fall in love with whoever you end up with. Being a small, family owned yard, Muirhead is a tight-knit community and brimming with personality, right down to the cobblestones.
And it is surrounded by the most beautiful landscapes. The first thing that will catch your eye on arrival will be the Sidlaw Hills, arching off on the horizon and often washed with watercolour sunsets if seen at the right time. While in the winter the rides tend to stick to the Angus roads due to ice hazards, the frost crystallising on the countryside can still be enjoyed.
Templeton Woods is a ten minute clip-clop from the yard, and while appreciating the peace among the trees, or cantering along one of its many paths within the 150 acre forest, be on the look-out for red squirrels and roe deer when you peer off the track.
If you were to find yourself on one of the longer summertime rides, you may be taken up to Clatto Reservoir and Country Park. Home to an enormous reservoir and children’s playpark, it adjoins to Templeton and Baldragon Woods, and you can ride around the body of water, though never in, due to the ongoing battle against Blue Green Algae.
The Rosemill to Dronley Railway Path is what once was the Dundee to Newtyle track, now covered and converted into a beautiful wildlife walk. The entire path runs 4.25 miles in total, with four quarters to it, divided by the road to Auchterhouse. The rides will normally stick to the middle two sections of the railway, however if you are lucky enough to be on one of the hour and a half to two hour long rides in the summer, you may explore the remaining paths.
If you decide to book a hack or lesson at Muirhead, call 01382 580246 and the staff will be happy to help you choose what is right for you.