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Horse Riding in Ireland
Horse riding in ireland
The Irish love of horses is world renowned and nowhere is this more true than in the west of Ireland, home of the legendary Connemara Pony. If your interest is cross-country, trekking, hunting, showjumping or merely a wish to see the Irish horse, Ireland can offer you all this and more. From riding on the sandy beaches and galloping through the Atlantic waves as they come to shore, to the rugged terrain of Connemara or to the trails in Killarney, the Irish are on hand to bring to you the delights of the Irish horse, and it will be an unforgettable experience.


Trail Riding Connemara Horse Riding Holidays in Connemara - Horseback Vacations in Ireland

Riding is readily available from April to October.

Horse riding in IrelandThe country is renowned for its exceptional atmosphere and strikingly rugged beauty, particularly around Connemara, with its ancient stone-walled fields, golden beaches and breathtaking vistas. Connemara, the very western tip of Ireland is a paradise for riders, who will be inspired by the wild beauty and tranquillity that is to be found here. It is a timeless and dramatic landscape of rugged, boggy mountains, rocky outcrops adorned with shimmering silver lakes and fast flowing streams beneath the mysterious and beautiful light of an enormous sky. Lunch is eaten on the trail.

RIDER REQUIREMENTS Participants must be able to:
  • gather, catch, tack and untack the horses
  • mount and dismount unassisted
  • ride comfortably at a walk, long trots, canters and short gallops
  • ride up and down rocky hills ride for 5-6 hours a day
  • ride comfortably in a large group of riders
  • be flexible; the outfitter does not run on a strict schedule
  • be independent; there is little direction or instruction given while on the ride
Please note that there can be novice riders.


HORSES AND TACK Your host maintains approximately 200 horses, each very fit, willing to walk out and well suited for the terrain. These Irish Hunters and Connemara ponies of varying sizes are known the world over for their fantastic jumping ability, gentleness, intelligence and stamina. There is a horse to suit every rider’s needs whether a beginner or a rider with years of experience. The outfitter knows his horses well and is adept at matching horse and rider. English tack is utilized. There are no saddle bags available, but there are D-Rings on the front of the saddle providing loops that a rain jacket or sweater can be tied to with leather thongs or string. Water is not provided on the trail and it is suggested that a waist pouch with a water bottle be worn. The horses are not groomed as they live outside during the summer. However, riders are welcome to bring a small brush if they wish to groom before riding.

One week horse riding vacationThe Connemara and Coast Trails bring riders right into the hidden heart of this landscape. Your adventure through Connemara will be guided by Willie Leahy, quintessential Irish horsemen. Willie is the largest breeder of Connemara ponies in the world and is also the Field Master of the famous Galway Blazers Hunt. For over 30 years the Leahy family have enjoyed introducing visitors to this very special part of Ireland. Their friendly care ensures that every rider goes home with special memories of a wonderful vacation.

Includes: Six days or more of exciting and relaxing holidays, where, after you spending a day on horseback, you are accommodated in luxurious hotels or guesthouses while the horses graze freely in a nearby field.. Your luggage is brought by car from accommodation to accommodation, while the catering problems are taken care of by the Connemara Trail's dynamic team.

horse riding vacation Ireland Connemara Trail - May to October: Willie Leahy guides the trail ride through Connemara to the Atlantic Ocean. The Connemara Trail began over 33 years ago. It is the oldest trail ride in the world. .The trail crosses the most wild and beautiful scenery that Ireland has to offer. Experienced or novice riders alike can enjoy this guided Trail Ride.


Monday Meet at 10.00am in Galway at the Meyrick Hotel and drive to the starting point of the long and impressive ride to Maam Cross. After meeting your horse or Connemara pony we mount up and begin the ride on country lanes, passing stone wall fences where sheep and cattle graze, enjoying the rolling green hills in the distance before reaching the mountains. The scenery changes dramatically as the horses climb into the hills. Watch for hidden stone houses of the "Ferocious O’Flahertys" while riding. These are the houses where they lived after being banished from Aughanure Castle as they were at constant odds with the forces of Galway. A long trot on a graveled road brings you to the edge of Oughterard where riders follow the river out of town for a rest and picnic lunch. After lunch ascend a long hill to reach the edge of the bog that appears to be only a grassy meadow. After crossing the soggy bogland, the route continues across the rocky hills with great views of the colorful valleys and pristine lakes below. Riding out of the hills, onto the abandoned Galway-Clifden railway line where there may be the opportunity for a canter. Turn the horses loose by a beautiful lake near Maam Cross and return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

Horseriding in IrelandTuesday Today is a beautiful seven hours' ride from Maam Cross to Ballynafad, a few miles from Ballynahinch. The ride begins by crossing the bogland, on a small road that Willie had built. In the middle of the bog is a small crop of limestone rock where a small copse of hazel trees grow. Hidden amongst the trees is an old limekiln, where the stone would have once been burnt to produce lime for whitewash and fertilizer. Enjoy a picnic lunch on a small village green before riding through beautiful forests and a mountain with the most glorious views over the Twelve Bens and mountain lakes. Late in the afternoon stop for a refreshing cup of tea before a canter along the old railway line. Leave the horses grazing in Ballynafad and drive to Clifden for the night.


Ireland horse ridingWednesdayToday’s six-hour ride offers great variety in beautiful scenery. The morning begins by crossing a winding stream and passing small fields filled with sheep and one of the oldest cemeteries in Connemara. Ride through the grounds of Ballynahinch Castle built in the 15th century, ancestral home of Humanity Dick; a local landlord, MP and one of the chief forces behind the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. After long trots and canters on the old railway line, stop for a picnic lunch near a small cottage. In the afternoon, ride through Roundstone bog, where Alcock and Brown landed on the first flight in a by-plane across the Atlantic. Pass extensive peat bogs and the harvested piles of the dried peat that are stacked by the roadside awaiting collection. In the early evening riders reach Ballyconneely and the sea. Turn the horses loose for the evening and drive to Clifden for dinner and overnight.

ThursdayToday is a full day on the fantastic Mannin Beach. The day is free to canter along the wide white sand beaches and swim with the horses if the conditions are right. Keep an eye out for the seals that are usually found in these sheltered waters. Mannin Bay is a regular hauling out and breeding site for common seals which can be seen with some difficulty lying almost motionless as they wait for the tide to lift them away. Leave the horses in a field nearby and drive back to Clifden for dinner and overnight.

FridayToday’s route follows the coast. Lunch is eaten in at the foot of Errisbeg, the mountain that we ride over in the afternoon. The horses graze loose close to where the riders eat lunch. After lunch the ride climbs over the mountains above the village of Roundstone. The views in the mountain are spectacular, overlooking the sea and the Connemara mountains. After leaving the horses, return to hotel for dinner and overnight.

OughterardSaturday Spend the day at Willie’s Dartfield Horse museum. Riders can trail ride around the museum, or test their skill on the cross country course. The event course has fences to suit all levels, from beginner to the advanced riders so everyone will have fun and the chance to improve their riding and jumping skills. Riders have the opportunity to look around the museum, which is dedicated to the Irish horse and pony breeds and is the only one of its kind in the world. Riders stay in Loughrea on last night and, if required, are returned to Galway City on Sunday Morning.. .

Sunday Departure after breakfast.

Connemara Trail
Price includes:

  • 6 days riding
  • Guide
  • All meals (full Irish breakfast, picnic lunch and superb evening dinner)
  • 6 nights accommodation (Mon-Sat. incl)
  • Transfers during trail.
    Connemara & Coast Trails: 2014 6-Day Hotel Package 6-Day Guesthouse Package
         
    May/June/September 2434 2210
    July/August: 2514 2290
    Single Supplement 380 285
    Pre and post accommodation, tours, etc. are also available.
  • Connemara & Coast Trails: 2015 6-Day Hotel Package 6-Day Guesthouse Package
    per person usd    
    May/June/September 2498 2269
    July/August: 2580 2351
    Single Supplement 390 293



    HORSES AND TACK The first day will take at least an hour to select horses and get organized due to the size of the group. After gathering the horses, riders are asked to select a bridle and spend a brief time speaking with the outfitter about the size, temperament and preferences for a mount. Once a horse is chosen for the rider, he is asked to lead the horse to the tack trailer, select a saddle, saddle the horse and check the stirrup length and girth tightness. At lunch stops, the horses are untacked and are released to graze. After lunch, the horses are caught and tacked up. In the mountains riders are advised to follow the guide rather their own path. The mountains can be quite boggy and rocky and the guide has years of experience in seeking a trail through them. The same applies on the beach, please stay behind the guide so that they can set the pace and route.

    CLIMATE Ireland is called the "Emerald Isle" for good reason; although it is never really cold or hot, it does rain frequently in all seasons. As the Irish say, "In the winter it is cool and damp and in the summer it is warm and damp". This should not be a discouragement! The Gulf Stream warms the island all year, resulting in a mild and pleasant temperature, and the rain is usually a light drizzle of short duration which does not interfere with your riding as long as you have raingear suitable for riding. Please note, however, to bring either rain jackets and trousers, or long duster coats - riding capes are not permitted

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Laundry facilities are available at some of the hotels. An average price is 8 Euro per load. There are many things in the area for non-riders to do. They include river fishing, deep-sea fishing, golf, cycling, mountain climbing, walking, and swimming. There are also many interesting castles and other sites to see in the area.

    FINAL DETAILS The following information will be provided when the reservation is confirmed: packing list contact information (names, addresses and telephone numbers of guide and accommodations) helpful travel hints information about documents and currency precise meeting time and location Please note that gratuities are not included in your booking fee. Guides, hotel staff etc. will very much appreciate being tipped.
    *THE ITINERARY IS FLEXIBLE. CHANGES MAY OCCUR DUE TO TIDE TIMES*

    Connemara Coast Trail - May to October:

    Trail Ride along the Connemara Coast from Clifden to the area near Galway. The Coast Trail began over 20 years ago to compliment the Connemara Trail. The trail rides through the most wild and beautiful scenery that Ireland has to offer. Enjoy the fresh salty breeze from the Atlantic Ocean as you trek through the contrasting landscape of the Connemara region of Ireland. Connemara is a wild and barren region west of the city of Galway. It is a stunning patchwork of bogs, lonely valleys, pale grey mountains and small lakes that shimmer when the sun shines. This ride explores the coast where the mountains meet the sea in a maze of rocky islands, inlets and sparkling white beaches.

    dates

    Horse riding Ireland Monday Meet at ten AM in Galway at the Meyrick Hotel (the old Great Southern). The ride begins again at Shannadonnell. The horses are rounded up off the mountain and saddled. This morning’s ride is across Willie’s mountain, Shannadonnell. Lunch is served beside a mountain lake while the horses are turned loose to graze. After lunch the horses are caught again and the ride continues into the village of Carna and onto Willie’s beach house. Leave the horses in a field near the beach house and drive back to accommodation.

    Tuesday Enjoy an unforgettable day riding on the beach. The day starts with a ride along the shore on Mweenish Beach. Keep an eye out for the seals that are usually found in these sheltered waters. Mweenish and Mannin Bays regular hauling out and breeding sites for common seals and can be seen with some difficulty lying almost motionless as they wait for the tide to lift them away. Break for lunch after swimming the horses in the sea, before riding along the beach on the other side of the island enjoying the fabulous view of the Aran Islands.

    Wednesday Today, tide permitting the trail goes through the wide strip of sea that separates Finish island from the mainland. Finish island can only be reached if the tide is low enough and at some times this may not be possible. Riding on the island is a magical experience. The island was once inhabited and the ruins of the houses still remain, along with stone walls that the riders can jump. We return to the mainland for lunch before heading up into the mountains for a relaxing afternoons ride in the rocky hills above Kikerrin where the views have to be seen to be believed. The horses spend the night in a pasture close to Kilkerrin.

    Horsering on beach in iIelandThursday The trail leaves the pasture and heads over mountain and bogland above the coastline. Riders can see small herds of Connemara ponies that graze on the mountain sides, past piles of turf stored for the winter. Lunch is eaten beside an old mill where corn was once milled for the village. After lunch the ride heads along the coastline past the awesome Gowla mountain range, which has spectacularly steep slopes. The ride ends at Derryrush where the horses are turned loose into a pasture before the riders return to their accommodation.

    Friday The horses are saddled in the morning and the trail follows the coastline for the first half of the day. Once past Screebe Lodge, a traditional hunting lodge now a luxurious hotel, the trail turns off into the mountains where lunch is eaten while the horses graze. After lunch the ride heads up into the mountains stopping for a look at a traditional farm cottage. The ride continues over the mountains, through bogs and past abandoned cottages, amidst spectacular scenery, before emerging into a forest at Shanafestin. There is then a short ride to the pasture where the horses spend the night, first fording the deep stream that borders the pasture. The riders then travel to Oughterard and to their accommodation.

    LoughreaSaturday The final day of the ride. After saddling the horses the riders head into the forest at Shanaphestin where they gallop along forest tracks. This is a completely different landscape from the rest of the week. Lunch is eaten in the forest before the horses are resaddled and then the ride continues along the forest tracks before emerging above Oughterard. The ride ends by crossing a short stretch of mountain above Oughterard before reaching the pasture where the horses are unsaddled before the riders head off for a well earned drink.

    Sunday Depart after breakfast. Trains to Dublin, and transfers to Shannon are available at added cost.

    Ask about: Aille Cross Cross-Country Trail:


    Add a day of riding to any self drive tour in Killarney:

    We offer daily rides in the Killarney National Park for 1, 2 or 3 hours. The trails go through the park alongside Lough Lein (the largest of the three lakes in Killarney) taking in views of Ross Castle and Ross Island, panoramic views of Innisfallen Island. The Kenmare Estate and the majestic mountains surrounding Killarney will all be appreciated. All rides are supervised by guides with special care taken of nervous or beginner riders, all levels of riding experience are catered for, riders are grouped according to their abilities. The stables can supply those who come unequipped with hard hats and rubber boots.
    Horse riding in Ireland by the hour. Trail rides at scheduled intervals.
1 hour $ 70
2 hours $120
3 hours $170
When in Ireland..Chips=French fries
When in Ireland..Crisps=Potato chips. Usually available in two flavors: cheese and onion or salt and vinegar.
 
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 Few spectator sports can rival the excitement and atmosphere of a day at the races, so what better way to spend your holidays in the UK or Ireland? The variety of horseracing on offer in the UK and Ireland is unsurpassed anywhere in the world, and all the racecourses, each with its own character and ambience, offer facilities to suit all tastes and pockets. With locations throughout the country, from Ayr, Perth, Kelso and Musselburgh in Scotland; York, Aintree and many, many more in England; Bangor-on-Dee and Chepstow in Wales; not forgetting the fabulous facilities on offer in Ireland like Leopardstown or The Curragh, every day's racing is a colorful spectacle with bustling activity. Horse racing isn’t just for the experts, pick out a horse by its name or color of the jockeys silks, who knows, you may even win a few dollars. There’s always someone willing to give advice or share a few tips for sure-fire winners!
Please Email Us For Information Call 1-800-221-2474 9AM - 6PM Mon-Fri Eastern Time

Call 1-800-221-2474 9AM - 6PM Mon-Fri Eastern Time or (516) 248-2042 outside USA/Canada
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