Greetings from the Emerald Isle! Week one is coming to an end and while it hasn’t involved much horse activity, clearly we didn’t forget about horses all together. So, let me try to piece together a blog about horses, while letting you know beginning Monday, it will be all horses all the time.
We left Dublin on Thursday and decided to visit the Irish National Stud on our way west. The INS is a facility that is government run and houses 8-10 TB stallions for breeding. They vary in age and breed fees. One of the horses is $100,000 Euro to breed to! Woah. I liked a horse named Elusive Pimpernel. His stud fee was only $1000 Euro, but he was obviously a pimp, and I could name his offspring Pumpernickel, which would make me happy.
They also housed retired racehorses which was cool. Each paddock had a large sign with the horses name and information. They varied in age from 12-22 years and some were flat racers and some had done steeplechase.
All in all it was a neat facility and incredibly beautiful.
After visiting the Cliffs of Moher the following day I asked Sarah if we could drive through the town of Kilkee. Kilkee was my first horse as an adult eventer and I named her after a town I had never been to. There was no way I could come to Ireland and not see the town! Let’s just say, the horse was way better than the town. But it was still totally worth the visit.
One of my favorite things to do when travelling abroad is to visit local tack shops. In Germany I found a saddle pad that is my stadium jumping show pad, and I absolutely love it. We found a tack shop about an hour from where we are staying and knew it was a no brainer that we had to visit it.
It was called Olympic Saddlery and was opened by two friends who moved back to western Ireland to open the shop. It’s clear how much they love the shop and horses in general! While they both have a background in show jumping, their inventory was broad and had quite a bit of everything!
I was really hoping to find a new dressage saddle pad, but they all seemed to be too short and too wide. Perhaps that’s the Irish way of doing things, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy one. While I was momentarily VERY sad about this, I quickly moved on to finding something else.
I need a new dandy brush for Georgie, but instead fell in love with a massaging type brush.
The middle where the knobs are is very elastic. Personally I may just use it on myself if she doesn’t think it is the best thing ever!!
Secondly I purchased a new leather halter. My current show halter is from the horse my family had growing up. Yup. It’s like 30 years old. But it has a nameplate I can’t part with. This past spring, Georgie pulled back in the halter and broke it. So, I need a new halter.
And, it looks like I found one, and can transfer the nameplate over to this new beauty.
I did also purchase some socks for the ten year old girl who is lunging Georgie for me while I’m away and some horse treats for other petsitters, but they didn’t seem photo worthy.
This afternoon we took a bike ride around the property we’re staying on and I forced Sarah to stop so I could take pictures of horses grazing. IRISH horses. Sarah has definitely made fun of how excited I get every time I see a horse. I’m like a little kid.
Tomorrow we head north to Galway and Monday we begin our riding adventure. I meet my equine partner (fingers crossed for an ISH) and hopefully we’ll get along great. Can’t wait to post pics of me on an Irish horse and so excited for the adventure to come!