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Riding in Ireland

For the lady looking at riding vacations, I booked through Cross Country
International last year and went to Ireland. Everyone thought I was nuts
when I went alone, but hubby is not a horsey type and he was fishing and
none of my friends ride. Alone to ride with other horse people who are as
nuts as we are is actually very fun. 

The first week was at the Cloneshire Equestrian Center in Adare.  The Center
was wonderful and the local hotel was first class.  I went alone and made
instant friends with others who were at the Center. We did arena jumping in
the morning and cross country in the afternoon. I took one look at those 4'
solid walls on the cross country course and about fainted.  I had never
jumped anything bigger than a ditch on the ranch. They assured me that "the
horses will get you across just fine" and they did.  By the end of the week,
I could jump the course (and had only ended up on the ground twice--in the
mud of course). 

The second week was at Kinnity Castle. It was designed as a trail riding
week. The Castle was fascinating but the riding was a bit tame.  Riding
through made made forests is a bit disappointing after our wonderful western
mountain and desert trails.  So, I started sightseeing instead.  The young
man who ran the riding stable took me to look at Connemara ponies and Irish
Hunters.  He knew all the gypsies and all the good horse deals.  I
discovered that I was leaving Ireland one day ahead of the world famous
Dublin Horse Show.  Changing plans was not an option so we agreed that
anytime I could come back for the show, he would take me to look for hunters. 

Everyone was very friendly and I never felt concerned at all if I was
traveling alone on outings.  I hit a curb and blew a left front tire.  (They
identify the Americans as the drivers of the new cars with no front left
hubcaps). Immediately a teenage boy and his grandfather came out of their
home and insisted on fixing it for me.  They not only wouldn't let my pay
them, Grandma insisted that I could not leave without having tea first.

It was one of the best trips I have ever taken!

Joane and the Herd
Price, Utah

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