Hilary Bradt’s classic account of a journey through Ireland on horseback in the 1980s published for the first time in a single volume. In 1984, Hilary Bradt achieved an ambition from her pony-mad childhood to undertake a long-distance ride. This warm, funny and heart-wrenching account centres on the growing bond between the author and her Connemara ponies, Mollie and Peggy.
Using her experience of horsepacking in Peru with saddlebags imported from America, she and Mollie set forth with no decent maps, and only a vague idea of the route. The many challenges and obstacles they face include impassable rivers, bogs, stone walls, and the author’s own shyness. The book is also a portrait of a vanished rural Ireland before the Celtic Tiger era, built up from descriptions and conversations with local people.
The journey takes Bradt and her ponies a thousand miles south from county Mayo, around the peninsulas of Kerry and Cork, and inland towards Waterford. ‘I’ve never tried hitchhiking with a horse before,’ comments the author, faced with the challenge of getting across the River Shannon. ‘It’s not easy!’ Originally published in two separate volumes, Connemara Mollie and Dingle Peggy, this brand new edition brings the whole story together for the first time, with new photographs and material.