A long time ago in a land far away, my True Love and I had a big adventure.  It was on our European backpacking tour of ’91.  While we were in Ireland, we decided we would lash out (spend up big) and take an organised day tour of Killarney National Park.  Our mode of transport was horse and cart, and then dinghy for the return across Loch Léin to Ross Castle (I hope I’ve got that right.  It was such a long time ago).  For the more intrepid traveler, there was the option of riding a horse.  Now I’m not that intrepid but I used to be a good rider, so I chose to ride.  My True Love wisely chose to travel by cart.

I’ve taken photos of my photos so I apologise for the poor picture quality, but in this case, imagination is probably better.  My True Love thinks I was one of two riders on the day.  He recalls my horse being the most “determined” of the two.

the trailoutside Killarney

It was an unusually hot day for Ireland.  At first I thought my pony was badly affected by the heat as it plodded reluctantly up the hillside.  It was oblivious to my heel-digging and pleas of “giddy-up”.  I fell far behind my traveling companions.

Meanwhile my True Love was having a lovely time in the cart, enjoying the view and the company of two young, attractive Swedish women.  He claims he doesn’t remember that part.  Like I said, he enjoyed the view.  The young ladies, of course, were very interested in the devilishly handsome (in my opinion) young Australian and wanted to hear all about koalas and other Aussie icons.  Although very introverted, judging by the snippets of the conversation he relayed to me later, I believe my True Love became quite loquacious.  I do like the word, loquacious, don’t you?  Must be because it rhymes with delicious.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a pony trek, ladies and gentlemen?  If you have, you’ll know that many of the trekking ponies are stubborn little beasties.  By sheer force of will, I got that pony to maintain a donkey’s pace.  There may have been the odd occasion when it just refused to budge, whereupon I squeezed my legs (as experienced riders do) or flapped them against its sturdy pony flanks.  Neither technique seemed to work.  I wanted to yell “help” but that would not have looked cool for an experienced rider such as myself.  Finally, as we approached the crest of that long winding hill, and due to a great deal of skill on my part, the pony began to quicken its pace.  Hang on, I thought, the race is on, as the pony tossed its head and jangled the reins.  It walked as if floating, and momentarily broke into a trot before suddenly taking flight, leaving all in its wake.

I am sure the views from the top of the pass must have been brilliant, but I really didn’t have time to admire them.  My pony had only one thing on its mind — the chaff bag at the end of the trail.  I managed to slow the pony as we approached a fork in the trail.  Oh fuck gosh, I thought, where to now?  At this point I thought I was going to lose my shit seat, as the little pony shilly-shallied from left to right to left again at quite some considerable speed.  To avoid certain disaster, I eased the reins and abandoned any sense of control.  The pony chose its course and plunged ahead with added enthusiasm, before finally coming to a stop further along the trail.  It was at least 30 minutes, or perhaps even an hour, maybe two, before the rest of the party caught up.

I guess I don’t look too happy in the photo below.  I might well have been exhausted and just a tiny bit hypoglycemic, my hypo lollies being with my True Love on the cart.  And of course, I had hat head (this matters when your True Love has been hanging out with blonde bombshells).

me and me hoss.jpg

the team.jpg
The driver and cart horse.

Wait.  There’s more.  After lunch, the dinghies were broken out for the trip home.   I fluttered my eyelashes none too subtly and maneuvered my Love into the second dinghy with the two older ladies.  The young ladies, being more nimble (I could barely walk), got the first boat and zoomed away.


It really was lovely — the view, the serenity, the water lapping.  Picture perfect to be sure, to be sure.

But hot.  Very hot.  So naturally the outboard motor of our dinghy ran out of petrol in an isolated part of the loch.  So we waited.  And sweated.  And waited and sweated, until eventually we attracted the attention of a passing boat.  And then we waited some more for petrol to be delivered.

Our other passenger doesn’t look too happy in the photo below.  We think she may have needed to do a wee wee.  Or maybe it was the storm brewing in the background?  This was the 90s, so no life-jackets.  As light faded, we finally arrived at Ross Castle and we all drank lemonade.


Oh wait …. I’ve thought of a smutty joke.  Are those my hypo lollies in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?

I dedicate this song to my True Love.  It is not very Irish, but no matter.

Kind Regards.

Response to the Ragtag Daily PromptHorses and Subtle.

Note for readers:
Tracy is a Type 1 diabetic and thus, should have known better to carry her hypo lollies in her own pocket.  But her jeans were a bit too tight.

This story is so epic, I may write a bush poem about it one day.




48 thoughts on “Horse Tales

  1. Those ponies and horses end up with hard mouths don’t they, poor you from snails pace to a gallop 😦 I had one ride where the horse kept running me under low branches and prickly buses! That poor ladies looks like she’s just managing to hold one and I’m sure your delicious one was pleased to see you ;O

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Jenny. I think my delicious man was having a bit of a panic attack. This was probably why neither of us seemed to mind too much about being stranded on the loch.

      They do end up with hard mouths! I don’t think I’ve ever been on a truly relaxing organised trail ride. Sounds like your horse knew exactly what it was doing. Little blighter.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh my gosh! Too funny. I had a similar experience on a trail ride. My usual horse, Diablo, a gentle soul was unavailable. They put me on this huge horse, that had no interest on another trail ride that day. She reluctantly moved ahead falling behind the others. We got past the corn patch into the woods when the trail leader kept yelling at me to give it a kick. Well, this horse had enough, promptly turned itself around, bolted, leading itself, fortunately it knew where to make the sharp turns, I thought it was going to jump a few downed trees. I was holding on for dear life while the trail leader is yelling from behind, pull on the reigns..ya right..like I haven’t tried that. We zoomed past the corn field got into the pasture near the barns when it promptly stopped and threw me off! The trail leader told me to get back on the horse. I said to hell with that and have never ridden again, not even poor sweet Diablo. The horse happily got what it wanted a rest back in the corral! I memory that has long been buried. Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh dear, Heather. You must have been terrified. You must have had some momentum once that mare slammed on the brakes. I hope the grass in the paddock was long and you weren’t hurt badly. You might want to forget that story again, although it is a good story to tell the children. I am sure your students would enjoy a story like that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Only my pride was hurt! I never thought about using that story for a modelled write! It would be a good one, since a lot of the schools I go to are full of little cowboys and cowgirls! Thanks for the suggestion!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. On my one and only trip to Ireland, I did indeed ride horses! But my trip was nothing like yours, thank goodness. I’m so sorry you had to go through that, although I have to admit that I did smile a lot through this post…… Ponies really can be stubborn, and men really can be clueless!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That is interesting a horse with an energy saving mode. I know my pace quickens as the end comes into view. I’ve ridden on a ranch pony once and he had a mind of his own. I discovered muscles that had never protested before. You are intrepid riding up a mountain.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am usually so exhausted at the end of a walk that every step is a drag, so you are doing well.

      Intrepid is not quite the word I would have chosen. 🙂 Yep, there is nothing like riding a horse to work those inner thigh muscles. Come to think of it though, I find bike riding not that comfortable either.


  5. I love your humour Tracy!

    I once shared the back of a pickup truck with a Swedish lady as our boss drove like a maniac in circles round a badly surfaced car park deliberately. Good thing we were already friends as the resulting untangling of limbs could have been very awkward…

    She thought it hilarious. Me, not so much!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Darren. That’s so funny. In hindsight. Nice English lad like you needs his personal space. While the lady may have been used to more intimate surroundings of saunas, etc. But I realise your Canadian adventures are bringing out the more extrovert side of you. 🙂


  6. Hehe! You’re so funny, Tracy! I was giggling throughout reading your story. 😄 And to my shame I have to admit that I’m somewhat relieved that this happened to an experienced rider too – I’ve been on horseback only twice in my life and both times my ponies were just as stubborn and devilish! 😂 So this city girl promised herself that should she ever get on a horse again to befriend the beast with some apples and sugar cubes. 😉

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