Visiting my friend Nicola is always a highlight of trips back home. Nicola and I have been friends since we were 16 years old. We met at our first international track meet competing for Ireland and all these years later, despite the physical distance, we remained good friends. The boys also love Nicola, because Nicola has horses and every time we visit, she spends a couple of hours teaching them how interact, care for and ride the horses. She’s amazing and the boys look forward to this experience every year.

The heatwave was still in full effect. So a nice sunny afternoon to ride some horses. But first we took a walk across the fields to round them up.

There they are the gorgeous creatures.

The one in front is Henry, he’s the one the boys will be riding.

First things first, Henry needs a brush down.

Protective gear on and Cullen is ready to rock.

Looking good.

Leading the way into the arena, Keane.

Nicola, talking Cullen through a few drills and instructions.

Happy boy.

Next up, Keane.

More drills.

The little girl helping Keane and Cullen is Aishling. She takes riding lessons from Nicola and also helps her with the younger kids .

No idea what Cullen’s up to here. I’m guessing the ground feels good??

Riding done for the day. But there’s jobs to be done. Bridals to be put away.

Horses to feed.

A yard to tidy.

Always making friends.

Bright and early the next morning and the rain had moved in. But there were still jobs to be done.

Henry needed to be fed.

Morning Henry!

Prepping to ride.

Henry is fed and ready and so is Cullen.

Considering the big jumps.

Foundation work for jumping.

Look! Its me. Cullen trotting for the first time, so momma is providing some additional support.

Keane’s turn and he is joined by James and his horse Diesel.

Keane in awe of James and Diesel.

Best buddies.

And I’m back, for Keane’s trotting this time.

Another fun morning of riding.

Lovely to watching Aishling during her lesson. She’s only been ridge a couple of months.

Hey, hey, finished out the day with me tsking Diesel for a walk.

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