Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Travel Tails

Dreams and so much Faeriedust

I suppose, it could be said that for me, writing is like a dream. It’s rather funny and strange, as I began to write, because I had the most amazing dream. A dream that repeated each night. It would repeat over and over again, until it was written down, then it would continue. Full of horses and adventure, it kept my nights exciting and my days, full of writing. After a couple of years, I had the equivalent of three and a half novels written.
After a few more years passed by, It was about time that I went to where the ‘movie’ I watched in my dreams was set, Ireland and Scotland. I wanted to do as the book did, make no plans or reservations, and fly by the seat of my pants. I had to know if the places I saw in my dreams, were real. We watched for seat sales, and the minute we saw a good one, I booked our flights. Two days later, the girlchild, who was only sixteen at the time, and I were on a plane, headed to Ireland. We were going to explore, sample the food, experience the culture, and we were going to ride horses, every chance we got.
Our first ride was out of a stables in Kilkenny, Ireland. Sweetpea was matched with a lovely, perky horse. I giggled at mine. I mean, what could be more perfect, when horse trekking in Ireland for the very first time than being matched up with Lancelot? For some reason, it just felt perfect. As we settled into, and I say into, as the German made trekking saddles, were akin to sinking into clouds, sweetpea and I shared looks of amazement. Those saddles were simply amazing. Ever since that very first ride, we’ve both wanted a trekking saddle. Probably a faeriedust dream, but we all have things we dream of and wish for. Who knows, maybe it will happen someday.
It was a good thing, this was a casual, relaxed ride, as Lancelot had two gears, stop and slow. That gelding was about as completely relaxed, as completely chilled, as a horse could be. Nothing bothered him, and he wasn’t about to go any faster than required. I suppose, an appropriate descriptive word for him would be, casual. He was obedient enough, did what was asked of him … very slowly. I enjoy a perky horse, yet this slow-motion ride was still enjoyable. It seemed fitting and a continuation to a great exploration of an unfamiliar country. After all, our first night had been spent at a bed and breakfast, converted from a convent. Upon arrival, we had been treated to tea and fresh baked scones, served on a silver tea set. After that, it seemed fitting that our first ride, would be on gorgeous, Irish draughts.
Lancelot was truly gorgeous. A really big boy, he was splendid with his big mane and tail, along with lovely feathers and dark coat. He was the sort of horse that would take care of even the most inexperienced rider. He was the sort of horse that required very little, if any guidance. He knew his job very well.
After crossing the road from the stables into Kilkenny National park, we found ourselves on a lovely ride through a very pretty park. Nose to tail, we were free to enjoy the view and completely relax. Rain swept by in whispy curtains a few times, yet completely missed us. It’s not like we’re made of sugar, and would melt in a bit of rain, but vinegar dilutes as well. It’s always nice to stay dry and comfortable.
The park was, as I said, very pretty. Well used and enjoyed by the local population, it was very clean and orderly. I learned just how orderly, when I made a bit of a faux pas. The trail crossed a particularly rocky stretch, which the guide made no effort to avoid at all, even though there was a bit of a jog off to one side that was quite a bit better. I automatically reined an obliging Lancelot to the safer option, rather than negotiate the slippery, round rocks, where the lead horses were already slipping on the poor footing, as they made their way.
“Stay on the path,” one of the young guides immediately said, with obvious concern.
Completely taken by surprise, I reined Lancelot back to the original path. It seemed a bit odd, to insist upon sticking to a trail that’s hard on a horse’s feet, when there’s a much better choice, three feet over. Still, it was what was asked. Who was I to argue? The unasked question both sweetpea and I had was answered however. I suppose the guides noticed how surprised we were, and were quick to explain that they had special permission to bring rides through the park. Part of that agreement was, they would stick to designated paths, no deviations allowed. I understood, yet at the same time, didn’t. The two choices appeared to get about the same amount of use, and I have no idea how anyone would be able to tell, if a riding stable horse left a print, compared to that of a private steed. Still, it was what it was, and we had to give credit to those young guides, for taking the agreement so seriously. I doubt we would do such a sedate ride again, yet it was still enjoyable and a lovely start, to a month of new experiences.

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About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
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 Oakbank, MB