We have all met our horses and are settled in the routine. Since the horses spent Sunday night at the farm, we did not have to drive to meet them at a field. After a quick groom and a tack up (I managed to start a braid in Bulmers’ mane), we struck out for the day.
From here on out, each night until Friday, the horses would stay in a new field where we stopped each day for the nights. For the next two nights, we were driven to the farm to have dinner and sleep and all our lunches were on the trail.
We began in part of the magical forest around the farm we did not explore on foot.
I think I already mentioned how cool I think ferns are, but moss on rocks is also really cool! It is really soft too,
When we left the trees we came again to an open area with the heather. Most of the riding is on some kind of road, weather it is asphalt like this or just a well based two track road. The ground is so wet and rocky, striking out across the country side is not the best option in most cases. I believe it was right before we got to this open area that we did cross through a boggy area with a creek. I was very impressed with how the horses just methodically picked their way through the muck and the rocks. Some of the vegetation there was as tall as we were!
As you can see, we had lovely weather as well. I know I am going to sound like a loony broken record, but the heather is so pretty. If you ever go in person, you will be able to see for yourself. Pictures just do not grab it. Pretty good visibility here though, right!?
I thought this area was very pretty.
Bulmers very much liked to be at the front. He was not bad anywhere else in the group, but in the front his ears were always forward and he walked with a little more…zest.
I also found the power lines to be interesting. Not them themselves, but the fact that they are almost everywhere. I tried to take photos that cut them out, but it was almost impossible unless that was all I was doing. I guess it is a combination of the ground being so wet that they don’t have underground lines, everything being so close, and that we were mostly riding the roads. Here in Texas we do have some underground lines and some more spread out, open spaces where you can not see any lines for miles.
We stopped for lunch by this cute and well built ruin. You could see other evidences of civilization surrounding this structure.
I really wanted to go down this little used two track, but that was not the way we were going. You can tell by Bulmers’ ears!
More peat drying!
Upon returning to the farm, we cracked open a new beer to celebrate a great ride! All those Nora Roberts books based in Ireland sure gave me a lot of drink inspiration! I will say, there is something about having beers where they are made. They are better. We had some people in our group that did not really care for beer in general. They tried these local beers and really liked them. I was holding out to try a Guinness in a pub on draft.
The sun room in the farm house is really special. We always hung out in there if we were not outside. Especially for our early morning coffee and our after ride beers. It is surrounded on three whole sides by windows. It was magical to sit in there with the light Irish, glittering rain falling from the sky.
For dinner on this night, we had salmon in parchment with potatoes and peas for the main. I did not think I cared much for salmon in general, but I suppose that is not the case! I loved this. It was so, so good. I do not remember what we had for appetizer, but for dessert we had homemade buttermilk pie.
The following morning (Tuesday), we were again driven out to horses after breakfast.
A few of the horses were visited by the farrier, including Bulmers. He got a new set of fronts to get us through the rest of the week. They have a standing visit from the farrier every Saturday and Wednesday. Some needed to be seen before Wednesday, so he came on Tuesday morning before we rode out for the day. As you can see, Bulmers got done up with a handsome braid for the day. His forelock is done as well. At some point, I remember to bring an extra hair tie. This day was not that day however.
This day the riding and views really start to get good and just continue to get better. I think Wednesday and Thursday were my favorites, but Tuesday was great too. I will probably start contradicting myself soon.
Bulmers was a perfect gentleman for his pedicure. I offered to hold him, but Bertie insisted he do it. The owners really do love and care for all their horses and it shows. They payed special attention to every detail. I actually missed a very special moment with my camera between Bertie and Bulmers when they were head to head and Berite was talking to him.
We rode through so many of these pretty trees.
Bulmers having a little snack by this sunken road and looking handsome by the heather.
We stopped here by this ruin to have a little history lesson on the potato famine and the work houses.
If you read and look at nothing else, watch this video to enjoy a canter with Bulmers. I took many videos, but this is the best one. Fingers crossed my next post does not break wordpress with the media size!
Stone and hedge lined fields every where you look.
We stopped for lunch along this very scenic road.
Just the cutest waiting for his lunch grain.
I told you the moss is cool!
Blinding green views for lunch anyone?
Mares and foals enjoying field life.
After lunch we passed this cool house that had two barking orange and white English Setters inside and a barn in the back!
We were making our way to Lough Graney where we will need to cross the lake.
Pretty much every horse wanted to lay down in the sand before we got to the water!
Tuesday afternoon really felt like we were riding to the ambiance of Ireland.
Just look at the fuchsia! I mentioned all the flowers before, but there are also many berries everywhere. Lots of black, blue, and red berries in the hedges.
Don’t you just want to have a canter around that field?!
The only memory I had of this night’s dinner was that we had bruschetta for the appetizer, made on the homemade brown soda bread. This was of course pretty good. I think the main was a different kind of pork than we had the first night. I have good reason for maybe not remembering what was served because on this night we had to get our bags packed. The next two nights, we were staying in villages!
Walk in love, dear readers! There is one Ireland installment left (hopefully) and you will not want to miss those views!