English style beach riding in Rosscarbery

Well today has been quite another adventure!

I took the bus to Rosscarbery, the secenery was just grand. Maybe too grand for me- I wanted to shed a tear (ah, women can be sooo emotional sometimes!) I was going riding at an English style riding centre- I had selected it based on its level of riding- at the moment I was an intermediate rider so I wanted to make sure I was not riding around at turtle pace with beginners, which is fine, but not what I wanted. I arrived a bit late- thank goodness the bus driver let me ring the riding centre and let them know so they wouldnt think I wasnt coming. When I arrived finally at 11:15, I couldn’t figure out how to ring them from the town.

Luckily, I was spotted by Annie from the riding centre and I was driven off to start my date with my horse. I arrived and everyone was mounted and waiting, so nice of them to wait for me. We start our ride, and I am thinking ok, I want to get to the beach part of the ride, and then we took off for the forest, lovely secenry again, it was really beautiful, I was part of a rather large group and we trek down some roads, then through the forest, and then walaaaaa the BEACH!! What a fantastic beach, when we got down there the guide advised us that the horses like to gallop much faster than normal there because they get excited…well she warned us eh? No shit we took off like it was the Kentucky Derby or something and I needed to get first place.

All i could see was the ocean to my left and sand coming up in my face, thank god I remembered to close my mouth, and remembering what my riding instructor from Canada told me, arms in heels down, we were flying. We finally stopped when we saw one lone horse among our pack, seems like a gentleman lost his stirrup and took a dive into the sand, but he was ok. Then I guess the horses weren’t done because they took off again, and by then I was sweating too! Talk about having to be an experienced rider for this trip.

I did not want to ride all the way back down the beach at breakneck speed which the guide advised us would happen so we kept turning the horses in circles to keep them from taking off again, by then it was almost 1pm and my bus back to cork was at 1:40 so I told my guide and she kindly rang the centre and they sent Annie about 1:15 to take me back to the bus stop, I barely had time to get some tea and biscuits before the bus showed up and bam off I went again.

Back to the hostel to collect my pack and eat before my eyes crossed. Got on the 5:30 train back to dublin and now I am back here, smellling like horse and very hungry, the backpackers diet is…well, consisting of lots of sandwiches and oranges and bannanas. Denifently going to loose weight walking around these steep hill streets. I am going to meet up with Steve, who is ¬†from Dublin to eat and then crash so I can wake up early to catch the bus back to the airport- next stop Liverpool, London!

Some shots from today: