Riding my two horses 600 miles across Ireland unsupported... and all on roads!!! WTH?!?!?!

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equestrianadventuresses

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I am currently in Ireland over halfway through my journey from the north to the south of Ireland with my two horses. I am riding them with my husband completely unsupported. We are filming and documenting our travels and equipment and I would love it if you would Subscribe to our youtube channel and watch the show! Feel free to join the Equestrian Adventuresses facebook group for more horse travel fun! Here is my channel where you can watch the first two episodes of our "Riding Across Ireland" series! Enjoy! In this video (episode 2) i address the crazy problem here in Ireland that there are NO TRAILS to ride on!!! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTwquRYNy_gOoxZJDkglZqw
 

Cortrasna

Grumpy old nag
Aug 5, 2009
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Surely to God you checked out if you had access to riding trails before you even set out to ride across Ireland? A quick post on here would have told you all you needed to know about that little stumbling block, let alone a quick look at any decent OS map? :)
 
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equestrianadventuresses

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Surely to God you checked out if you had access to riding trails before you even set out to ride across Ireland? A quick post on here would have told you all you needed to know about that little stumbling block, let alone a quick look at any decent OS map? :)
Hello, of course we knew before coming to Ireland that there are NO bridleways in this country. We knew we would be riding 100% on roads. That still doesn't take away from the fact that this "horse country" 25 years ago was much easier to access by horses and that in such a short amount of time it has been completely taken over by cars! Its a terrible thing to see the beautiful scenery here from between the ears and to have to be on a road to do so. No trotting or cantering here even if you didn't have packs on! Our Youtube episode 2 talks about the lack of bridleways more and also shares the story of a woman who is trying to help change that! Enjoy!
 

Cortrasna

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Aug 5, 2009
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Well I have to tell you this 'horse country' was no easier to access by horse 25 years ago at all. Lack of bridleways has nothing to do with todays cars but far more to do with hundreds of years of rule from England with British landlords who could ride exactly where and when ever they liked as they owned Ireland virtually lock stock and barrel and could ride over any land that took their fancy. Why would they need a bridleway to cross land when the enslaved Irish tenants could do sod all about it to stop them?? You might find a little history will help you understand why the silly old Irish hang onto their land with gritted teeth and rarely allow ANY person to cross it these days.

The only marked rights of way you will find are old mass paths - so called because they are the paths used by Catholics to get to mass. but you wont find any of those you can ride on. Strange you cant even find anywhere to trot or canter - I do so every ride out despite not having a bridleway within 3oo miles of me.

It does make you wonder why such a huge number of riders from the Uk, Europe and America even bother to come here for a riding holiday if you can only walk on roads doesn't it? I wont take you up on the offer to watch Youtube thanks all the same but I did take a quick peek at your website, not something that would be of interest to me but as you say - Enjoy!
 
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equestrianadventuresses

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Funny, I've been in Ireland nearly two months now on this adventure. Have stayed each night with so many friendly and amazing Irish people and have learned LOADS about the history, culture and traditions (and horsie culture as well!). I haven't met very many unfriendly or unhelpful but I guess your name on this account is "Grumpy Old Nag" so I guess it's expected!

That's fine if my website about women empowerment and cool women's stories about awesome travels doesn't interest you! I personally really enjoyed reading about a woman traveling 1000 miles across South America with her TODDLERS, a woman in Yemen who dreams every day of travel and riding horses, a woman who lived in Papua New Guinea and rode horses at the only riding club in the country and countless others. To be honest I don't think I could choose a favorite story if I tried!

Cheers!
 
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Cortrasna

Grumpy old nag
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Yep thats me Grumpy by name and grumpy by nature ;) ......enjoy your visit, just such a pity you don't appear to have soaked up any relevant history to back up your extremely negative and factually incorrect reporting on horse riding in Ireland.
 
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Trewsers

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Yep thats me Grumpy by name and grumpy by nature ;) ......enjoy your visit, just such a pity you don't appear to have soaked up any relevant history to back up your extremely negative and factually incorrect reporting on horse riding in Ireland.

You are never grumpy................... :p :p :p :p :D
 
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equestrianadventuresses

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You are never grumpy................... :p :p :p :p :D
What have I said that is “factually incorrect?” I’m pretty sure the only information this thread is about is the very REAL issue that Ireland is predominantly roads and there are not many places for people to ride on trails! This isn’t inaccurate and in fact the opposite. Prior to coming and since covering more than 400 miles across this country myself on my own horses I can pretty accurately say that myself and many many many many riders here are frustrated with the lack of bridleways!

I don’t think you being a grumpy bully online is something to be proud of. Maybe you should consider supporting your fellow riders in the community and those in this forum. Especially if your fellow comrades are trying to raise awareness to an issue which others have thanked them for addressing!

So once again I say to you, for the last time, Cheers! Adios! Ciao!
 

Cortrasna

Grumpy old nag
Aug 5, 2009
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If I had the time or inclination I could spend some time picking apart every statement you are making and its gross inaccuracy and in particular your total ignorance and arrogance that you can possibly know of exactly what I do here in Ireland to promote all areas of horse riding and horse welfare including attempting to get more horse bridleways opened up for our use here in Ireland.

But to do that I would quite simply be helping you to promote your BUSINESS and encouraging people to buy your grossly overpriced merchandise to help pay for your own horseback jaunt here in Ireland.

For your information this trail ride has been done over and over by others, almost all raising 100 percent for charity and they have indeed been well respected and made VERY welcome....it is now becoming widely realized over here that yours is purely a business venture and the very small 5 per cent of your earnings you claim goes to charitable causes does not have any follow up anywhere on your website. thank you for your comments and enjoy the rest of your visit
 
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Donkey Kong

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Hello, of course we knew before coming to Ireland that there are NO bridleways in this country. We knew we would be riding 100% on roads. That still doesn't take away from the fact that this "horse country" 25 years ago was much easier to access by horses and that in such a short amount of time it has been completely taken over by cars! Its a terrible thing to see the beautiful scenery here from between the ears and to have to be on a road to do so. No trotting or cantering here even if you didn't have packs on! Our Youtube episode 2 talks about the lack of bridleways more and also shares the story of a woman who is trying to help change that! Enjoy!
I always use forestry land for off road hacking in Ireland. You're supposed to get a permit but I don't know anyone who does. It's much more enjoyable than hacking on the roads. I do really envy riders in the UK, I'd love to have bridle paths.
 

newforest

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I always use forestry land for off road hacking in Ireland. You're supposed to get a permit but I don't know anyone who does. It's much more enjoyable than hacking on the roads. I do really envy riders in the UK, I'd love to have bridle paths.
That depends on where you are though.
Our officially marked bridleway is stony, rocky, unlevel and very slippery when wet.
I am the only one to my knowledge who uses it with a horse and then I get off and lead.
 

Bodshi

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Apr 23, 2009
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That depends on where you are though.
Our officially marked bridleway is stony, rocky, unlevel and very slippery when wet.
I am the only one to my knowledge who uses it with a horse and then I get off and lead.

Agreed. We have one bridleway, it's a farmer's track through fields so it is rideable, but it's the only one in the area and you can only access it by road.

Some areas seem to have lots of bridleways. Leeds City Council are much better at providing bridleways and supporting horse riders than our council, despite us being in a rural area. For instance, when a section of the A1 was upgraded to a motorway, the Leeds council made space for a track to run alongside (obviously separated with verges/hedges etc, not on the hard shoulder!) for cyclists and horse riders. I mean, it's not the same as riding through forests or on the beach and it's mainly on a surface (although there are some wide verges that you can canter on) but it's accessible, off road, designated road crossings etc. It would be lovely if more authorities made provision for riders (and other outdoor hobbyists) when planning new developments.
 

newforest

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Most of our beaches are now permit holders only. Give are the carefree days when I used to just ride to the beach.

I can ride on one at certain times of the year/ certain times oh and that's tidal dependant.
Then you share it with kite surfers and such like.
Though I think some people would do better to look up what the word share means!
 
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Huggy

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Oh my - I'm going to slap my own face if I ever complain about the forest. Familiarity really does breed contempt. I forget how lucky I am to have the New Forest as a bridle path. I really don't appreciate it enough.
 
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