Photos

Fiddler on the Hoof: Around Ireland on Horseback with a Violin




In the summer of 2018 fiddle player and adventurer Cathleen Leonard embarked on her second major long distance journey on horseback. This time Cathleen was accompanied by her partner, Vlad - who had never ridden a horse before - along with her faithful wolfdog, Spirit, her rescued French draught horse, Oisín, and her nervous, inexperienced young horse, Dakota, who had an irrational fear of drains and people.


The unlikely fellowship set off from Cornwall, travelled through the South West of England and across South Wales, then crossed the sea to Ireland where they rode from Mizen to Malin. Half way across Ireland they were joined by a small but opinionated one-eyed mule, who added even more colour to the adventure. Irish history, mythology, and music are woven into Cathleen's account of spontaneous travel and the kindness of strangers. The open hospitality of the people they meet, and the beauty of the landscapes they travel through trump the myriad and often hilarious setbacks encountered along the way.