Mount Juliet Hack, October 2012

The Side Saddle Association of Ireland met for their bi-annual trail ride at Mount Juliet, Co; Kilkenny on Saturday the 20th of October. It was a tremendous success, the sun must always shine there because we had a fabulous day again!

The first ride consisted of Ann Shouldice, Sarah Furney, Emily Meredith and Annemarie Walsh all on their own horses, then on the hire horses we had Rosemary English, Karen Gibney and her sister Hannah Gibney, Evelyn Glynn, Rachel Lawlor, Maura Mansfield, and Claire Madden (who was FANTASTIC on the hire pony Grey Harry!).

The riders who were assembling for the advanced ride very kindly lent their habits and saddles so all of the beginners were suitably attired and looked very smart indeed. Claire started out with her daddy Flor leading her, after about five minutes progressed to Susan leading her alongside her own mount, and then took off on her own. Claire is a rider to watch for the future and is now aiming to be out at the Duhallow children’s meet side saddle!

Sarah and Emily jumped most of the cross country course in great style to get ready for the hunting season. It goes without saying that Susan Oakes was the ringleader in the XC and she got nearly all over the beginners going over banks and uprights.

The second ride was made up of Ciara O’Connell, Sarah Furney again, Susan Oakes, Rachel Blayney Woods, Esther O’Kane, Iseult O’Cleary, Kalindi Lawrence, Thalia Smithwick O’Brien, Verity O’Mahony and Lynne Hincks. Everyone went in all four gears and also jumped the cross country. A flask of port was passed around and relished by all. We all went home very tired but happy! We would like to say a huge thank you to Jenny and her team from Mount Juliet Equestrian Centre who supplied such wonderful horses and such a fantastic experience for us all, and also to the livery owners from Mount Juliet who made their horses available for the hack too.

I also have a bit of news! I was two months pregnant when these photos were taken 🙂 This was the last time I rode before giving Tex away to a friend for the remainder of my pregnancy 😦 as I was so afraid of falling off and something going wrong! I knew Rachel would look after her well and have lots of fun on her too!

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Claire Madden was the youngest recruit on the day, here she is at the start being led by her dad Flor. Before long, Susan was leading her alongside, ImageImage

and by the end was jumping the cross country fences!

we took a couple of hip flask breaks… although I couldn’t indulge! Whatever concoction Emily Meredith had in it, gave everyone wings!

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I was being careful due to the little life inside me! Image

With a heavy heart I handed Tex over to my friend the next day, I had had an absolutely amazing, side saddle filled year in 2012 but now it was time to concentrate on my bump!

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