By Jenny Richardson BHSAI
Based as I am in rural County Monaghan, Ireland, I find spring a wonderful time of year. Our springs are sometimes cooler and wetter than the UK mainland, due to the Atlantic influence, however we have the same anticipation of the impending horse trials season. While the UK looks forward to Badminton, we celebrate Ballindenisk and Punchestown! We have some wonderful international riders based in Ireland and our horse trials are world-class.
Spring is certainly a beautiful time to work outside. Castle Leslie Estate, where I am based, blooms in this season – our expansive woodlands are bursting with Alder, Hazel, Scots pine, Willow and Yew, as the trees regain their leaves and density. Blossom is a sure sign that spring has arrived – we enjoy boughs of cherry and blackthorn, as well as newly-blooming crocuses and glorious daffodil flowers.
In nearby Rossmore Forest Park and Lough Muckno Forest Park, similar joyful changes are taking place, thanks to mother nature. Nature lovers visiting the area in spring can enjoy lovely birdsong and insect-life, such as bees and butterflies – Peacock, Red Admiral and Common Blue varieties of butterflies can all be spotted here. Meanwhile, squirrels are becoming more active and are easier to spot, scampering around the trees! The Integrated wetlands at the Estate boast over 26 species of flora and fauna, while the Rookery is home to 26k rooks, and our three magnificent lakes look extra-special in the spring sunlight.
Riding through the aforementioned woodlands is a wonderful way to see nature from a different viewpoint. It is especially relaxing and rejuvenating if you don’t get the chance to ride off-road at home, or at all. There’s nothing better than meandering through a woodland path or splashing through the lake on horseback! Wherever you enjoy your riding this spring we hope you enjoy this special time of year, as we do.