Monday, November 18, 2013

Horse trek in Ireland (on the Wicklow Mountains Day Tour)

Timmy and I enjoyed our second day tour in Ireland (of the Wicklow Mountains) much better than the first. The Wicklow tour only had about 12 people which made the tour much more personal. The first part of the tour involved an activity; each member of the tour could choose from a guided walk, cycling, or a horse trek. About half our group, including Timmy and I, choose the horse trek.

The horse trek was at Killegar Stables. I had only rode once before in my adult life (in the United States), and it was quite different. When I rode previously, it was a lot easier (and therefore, less intimating) than it was at Killegar for several reasons:
  • Our Killegar horses were taller, and/or the block to get on the horses was shorter.
  • American saddles have horns to hold onto (which made it easier to get on/off, and made me feel more secure when I was on the horse).
  • In the US, we only had the horses walk but at Killegar, we had to have them trot.
  • We had to do posting trots, and I have no coordination.
  • In Ireland we were on steep blacktop roads most of the time, instead of a dirt trail.

I just came across this interesting article on Western riding; it says Western riding developed because of a cowboy's need to control a horse with only one hand; American horses are generally trained to need less rein control than European horses.

All that said, the people at Killegar were wonderfully helpful, patient, and friendly. Unfortunately we did not get any photos during the ride, because my camera strap malfunctioned, and we had to leave it at the stables.

The van ride up the mountain to the stables was a little scary.

Timmy on his horse.

Me awkwardly getting on my horse.

After our horse trek.

Gorgeous view from the stables.


  1. Holy shit. Number 1) I LOVE that horseback riding is inherently more hardcore in Ireland (Not that I take pleasure in your struggle. I would definitely have fallen down and whimpered immediately.) And Number 2) That is one amazing bell-bottomed, Budweiser Christmas Commercial clydesdale! Ireland truly is a magical place.

    1. Haha, I totally did fall getting off the horse. And Timmy fell getting on the horse. We were the only people to do that, so, clearly we are a coordinated couple, hah.

      I thought that too as soon as I saw him; you can't see that kind of horse and not think Budweiser.


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