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Noooooooooooooooo!
NOOOOOO
Not the temperature, because sure, why wouldn’t it be borderline freezing in August in Ireland? And not really complaining about that so much as regards Connell, who is happier in the cooler weather and less sticky.

I am sad because every day, the sunset occurs a couple of minutes sooner, so that means: no more Wednesday night ride outs. Read the rest of this entry »

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01 KITCHEN WINDOW
That is Three Rock Mountain, as seen, with zoom, from my kitchen window. Located in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Co Dublin, and accessed through Tick Nock Forest, the summit is 444 metres/1,457 feet high. I rode it up once, and was preparing to ride up it again. Given my dread of hacking, the first time had been a big thing — somewhere in the back of my mind at least.

Exactly in the back of my mind, in fact, in my hippocampus, where all the data to be assessed for flight-or-fight resides. It was in there, that info, but from the moment I said ‘Yes!’ to the ride out, it just sat there, and didn’t interfere.

And fair play to it, because it has now been joined by a new memory, one of exhiliration, ease, and pure awesome sitting-on-a-horse, going-up-a-frickin’-mountain joy.

When we decided to go out again, the conditions were not those as reflected in the above photograph. Read the rest of this entry »

I have been many places in the sunshine, and there is really no better place on earth than Ireland when the sky is clear, blue, and cloud-free. And there is no better thing to be doing than racketing around the fields, up in the hills, on horseback.

If you’re not me. I have had an enormous fear of the fields from day one, and in the past, there has been nothing worse than a ride out. But then, we went out a month or so ago, and it was okay. We didn’t canter or anything, and Connell was pretty annoyed by that, he started throwing his head and snorting when it became apparent that we were heading back to the barn after a desultory amble over hill and dale {what’s a dale, anyway?}*

So that was pretty good. I remember chatting to Con afterwards, about remember how nervous I was that one time we went out last year? Ha!

This Saturday was even pretty good-er, because, I don’t know, I just got up there, and we trotted down the road, then trotted back up the road and the lane, and we went into a field, and we jumped a log, and then went into another field, and had a canter round the place, and then had another canter in another field, and then went up to the tippy top field and cantered there, too.

It was fun! Like, cinematically enjoyable: sunshine, eight horses pelting up the side of a hill, Dublin Bay stretched out before us, in all its glory.

Why wasn’t I afraid? I have no idea. Cumulative experience? General sense of well-being? It may be because I felt like I was completely balanced in my light seat. Also, after Connell bunched, and then went into the gallop {it really was a gallop-y canter}, the first six strides were like running for the roses, and then I think he went Hey, wait a second, this is tiring and then he started to slow down. To the degree that during the last few runs I was egging him on: Go, Connell, go!

I can’t tell you how great that was.

I can’t tell you how crap the jumping was on Sunday. Read the rest of this entry »

FIGURES OF EIGHT

Ten years on from my first ever riding lesson, these posts are still wandering round and round, a figure of eight starting with today, probably, and yesterday, definitely. It's the antithesis of how I usually do things, but... that's horses for ya.

TACK ROOM

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