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I’m vacationing in Ireland this week, and at the top of my must-do list, after visiting Newgrange and the Cliffs of Moher, was riding. Thanks to some wonderful advice from the staff of Mallmore Country House, where we stayed in Clifden, I went on a two hour ride out of The Point Pony Trekking in Ballyconnelly. It was just myself and Sean the guide, so I mounted my adorable Connemara pony, Black Jack, and we headed out to the beaches.

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I couldn’t believe how tropical the beaches looked, or that we had them all to ourselves! We did a lot of cantering and trotting, the whole way around the bay to Horse Island.

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Then we hacked back in to go through the fields a bit, including the one they use for races in the summer, where we had a pretty good hand gallop.

Then we came back to the big beach, and while Black Jack had been kick along quiet before, he obviously knew what was coming, because we hit the sand and he was off like a shot! Not as fast as Cally, obviously, and with a whole lot less neck in front of me to balance, but such a blast! Galloping a Connemara Pony down a Connemara beach should be on every horseman’s bucket list! It’s one of the most fun things I’ve done in 20 years of riding.

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