Riding high through history

Gail Wishart takes a donkey on a sponsored ride in the Pentland Hills in June 1970
Gail Wishart takes a donkey on a sponsored ride in the Pentland Hills in June 1970
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NO doubt it was a highlight of their summer – a leisurely pony ride along Portobello beach with the sun beating on their backs.

Holding on tightly to the reins of Shetland ponies these youngsters look thrilled to have the occasion caught on camera back in July 1981.

The Queen visits the Trefoil centre for disabled children at Gogarbank in July 1981. One of the ponies tries to eat the Queen's flower

The Queen visits the Trefoil centre for disabled children at Gogarbank in July 1981. One of the ponies tries to eat the Queen's flower

Tomorrow, thousands of people will treasure many more equestrian-related memories as a 270-strong cavalcade arrives in town for the Edinburgh Riding of the Marches.

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ­outbreak of the First World War, ­riders will inspect the city’s ­boundaries before making their way to the Royal Mile, raising funds for Poppy­scotland along the way.

Organisers anticipate representatives from 30 towns will be present at the event, from as far afield as Shetland and Annan, with an estimated 15,000 people attending.

There certainly were not as many people present for the arrival of the Queen in 1981 when she visited the Trefoil centre for disabled children at Gogarbank.

Donkey rides for kids from the Meadow Pony'Association

Donkey rides for kids from the Meadow Pony'Association

One of the horseslooks more than happy to see her however – or at least her bouquet, from which he is keen to take a bite.

Sweety the Pony brought a huge smile to the face of ­little Brian Cavellini at Edinburgh Zoo in April 1966. The ­youngster got the chance to sit on her back – his mother holding him tightly. There is no doubt the photo will have instantly become a treasured family snap.

Edinburgh has a long and much-loved equestrian ­history, shown brilliantly here with this picture from December 1955 of children at the Meadow Pony association, preparing for donkey rides.

Brian Cavellini gets a ride on Sweety the pony at Edinburgh Zoo in April 1966

Brian Cavellini gets a ride on Sweety the pony at Edinburgh Zoo in April 1966