FRIENDS have paid tribute to a woman who died in a road accident while riding.
Linda Harding, known to her friends as Lindy, died as a result of her injuries after her Highland pony bolted into the road from a bridleway and collided with a car.
The 59-year-old had been taking the pony, named Flump, for a ride from the stables where it was kept in Little Abshot Road, Titchfield Common.
She had travelled along the path, which emerges at Fleet End Road in Warsash, when the horse ran into the road and hit the car.
Police are now appealing for witnesses to the accident, which happened on Tuesday at 4.12pm.
When not caring for her 93-year-old father, the retired teacher, from Titchfield Common, would often be found tending to her horses or taking her dogs for walks.
She is pictured on the front page on her horse Bluebelle, which died last year.
Speaking on behalf of a group of Lindy’s friends, Lesley Carter, who runs the farm where Flump was kept, said: ‘She went out for a ride on a lovely day, and it was the sort of thing she enjoyed doing. She died doing what she loved. Horses were her whole life. She was very safety-conscious and she would always have all the gear on.
‘We have got a very close- knit riding community and she was a big part of that.
‘We’re all devastated – we’re like a big family. She touched a lot of people’s lives through her work. She was very kind-hearted, a very sympathetic person, and very community-minded as well. She was always very concerned about everyone else and wanted to make sure they were OK.’
Although she was the main carer for her father, Norman James, they did not live together. Mrs Carter added: ‘Her dad said he took her for her first riding lesson when she was five. He told me that before she went off for the ride on Tuesday she had a big smile on her face and he wants to remember her that way.’
It is not known what caused Lindy’s pony to run into the road. Mrs Carter added: ‘Highland ponies are known for their quiet, sensible temperaments, and Flumpy was just like that.
‘That’s why she got him.’
Lindy started a bridleway action group that eventually became the Solent Riding Club, and she spent many years as the club’s chairwoman.
Current chairwoman Kate Bartlett said: ‘She was a lovely, bubbly, friendly woman. She was just enjoying her new little horse and was bringing him to lessons at the club.
‘This is all just so shocking – she will be hugely missed by everyone.’
The club is likely to create its own tribute to Lindy, but has not yet decided what form it will take.