pelting rain had worked its way under my waxed jacket
and I was soaked to the skin, so I really didn't fancy
plunging through the icy surf of the Atlantic Ocean on
a giant gelding named Apache.
that I had much choice. Apache was galloping behind Judd,
the equine equivalent of a Mack truck. Every time Judd's
saucer-sized hooves hit the beach they spewed sand into
a glob hit my right eye; then another struck my left.
A blob lodged in my ear and another landed in my gaping
mouth. Suddenly, everything was a blur and my life was
in the care of Apache. Fortunately, he knew the drill.
been galloping over the same stretch of beach for years.
I balanced myself on his wide, comfy back, threw caution
to the wind and waited for eternity to pass as we slowed
to a trot. The rest of the posse, except me, was rallying
to ride again. But it was raining hard and I was secretly
hoping we'd rein our horses over to the nearest pub instead.
rains a lot in Ireland, especially in October, when I
was there. Temperatures were mild, even balmy some days.
And, in this land of jigs and jocularity, the rain just
adds to the delirium. The Irish even have invented all
sorts of quaint expressions to avoid saying the "r" word,
especially in front of tourists. A "soft day" is anything
short of a downpour.
the moment, we were being blasted by the worst storm of
the year and our guide, cherub-faced Donie O'Sullivan,
wisely decided we should visit that pub for a lunch of
salmon and brown bread and a steaming pot of tea.
Killarney Riding Stables,