Posted on July 21, 2017 by Customer Service | 0 comments
Our Brand Ambassador Kippy McLiverty headed to Ireland for a post-graduation riding adventure. Below is an excerpt from her longer blog on her journey across the green countryside. You can read more about Kippy’s adventure in her blog!
"Day one on horseback"
We start the day with a delicious breakfast in our hotel, all you can eat, which is fine with Felicia and I. Felicia and I are buzzing with excitement as we fantasize about the day we have ahead of us. When 10 rolls by, Mrs. O'Sullivan picks us up and we are off for our first ride. We travel down many winding roads bringing us further and further from Killarney until we finally pull off at the base of a mountain. Our horses were there waiting, all tacked up and ready to go. As we get ready to start our day, we are offered a bottle of whiskey to swig from, as the woman running the show claims that's the best way to wake up. Accepting the fact that we are in Ireland, and must drink as the Irish do, Felicia and I both take a swig laughing and then proceed to clammer onto our horses backs as only two Americans who never get on from the ground can.
We start by following our guides, two German girls who are here to work for the summer, further up the steep mountain side road through the mist and rain. As we settle into the trot my mind drifts to home with the idea that riding up the side if a mountain road in the rain at a trot would never be heard of. As we go I take in all the beautiful scenery that surrounds us thinking how none of it looks real, even in the rain. We change back and forth between trotting and walking for about an hour as we climb further into the mountain. The girls with us are very sweet and very friendly, so conversation flows naturally between the four of us. As we reach a fairly flat part of our ride, we break into the canter for the first time down a fairly straight and slightly rocky road. As I laugh from the realization that I'm cantering along the side of a cliff in the middle of an Irish rainstorm, something that I would never have had the courage to do a few years ago. We canter and trot along the winding country roads for another 30 min or so gawking at the country side that is too beautiful for words.
The rain and clouds finally parted, and for the next few hours we were lucky brought to have heat and sunshine casting down on us for our ride. When we reach a steep and rocky pasture we enter and proceed to climb the side of the mountain for the next 3 min or so until we reach the top. At the top we are hit with an instant strong, cold breeze that is passing briskly through the gap lying ahead, which we were informed was aptly named the windy gap. As we ride through the gap and down the other side of the steep winding mountain, we see the beautiful ocean and beaches lying ahead of us. The tour guides inform us that tomorrow those are the beaches that we will be galloping across. With the ocean in front of us, and windy gap at our back, we made our way down to the bottom of the mountain where we stop and allow the horses to rest as we eat our lunches.
Following lunch, we work our way through more countryside roads, losing our way a bit but eventually finding the right path that brings us to a field occupied with two donkeys that were not too pleased with the intrusion. We all laughed at their mewing as we cantered across their field, through a giant puddle and out to the other side of their enclosure. As we rode for the last hour to the waiting trailers, the sunshine subsided and in true Irish fashion the mist settled back in. After a long hard ride through the mountains, Felicia and I were exhausted and when we reached the hotel, we promptly showered to wake ourselves up a bit. Following our showers, we proceeded to wander the surrounding area of our new town, followed by dinner at the pub located in the hotel. Another short walk after dinner, and we were ready to turn in for the night, thoroughly exhausted and ready for a good night’s sleep to prepare us for whatever tomorrow brings!
About our guest blogger: Kippy McLiverty is a Carousel Horse Brand Ambassador. She is a recent Slippery Rock University grad, where she was captain of their IHSA team.
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