Castle Leslie side saddle hack 23rd March 2013

Following on from two successful side saddle hacks at Mount Juliet the previous year, Kalindi organised a hack on behalf of the SSA Ireland at Castle Leslie in Co. Monaghan. Unfortunately the weather was not great (snow!) and therefore numbers dropped a bit, but we still had a lovely time! We were hoping that some of the ladies from Northern Ireland would join in but unfortunately the roads were so icy that it would have been dangerous for them to attempt joining us. In the end, only one person brought their own horse and the rest ended up hiring horses from the lovely equestrian centre on site.

Kalindi had organised lots of saddles so we brought them into the mews cottage where we were staying and had a good look at all of them, we tried some of them out on the arm of the couch!

Next morning dawned cold and frosty, we went up to the stable yard where we met the horses that had been allocated to the SSAI hack and fitted them for their saddles. The staff were busy mucking out and haying so I started plaiting up and grooming immediately,

Before long our riders started to arrive so we kitted them out in all the habits that we had brought

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Before long everyone was mounting up!

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And led by Michelle Clancy on Twotone, the riders headed off around the huge estate, popping many of the cross country fences on the way!

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Michelle had even organised that hot port would be served at Castle Leslie so feeling like ladies of the manor every one lined up for a group shot while they sipped their drink

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At this stage I was 7 months pregnant! And absolutely missed my horse riding so much 😦 I loved being there to witness the elegance and splendour of the ladies riding out, it was like a scene from a hundred years ago. Well done to Kalindi for organising a fabulous weekend, she made a great video of it too which is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lWGSG0bBVE

The battery went in my camera so unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of the second ride out. We should definitely go back there again!

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