Ireland is well known for its relationship with horses. In the days before mechanisation, horses were an essential part of farming in Ireland. For example, in 1939, it was estimated that over 350,000 horses worked on Irish farms. Like tourism and whiskey, bloodstock breeding is one of Ireland’s most important industries. This vital economic resource centres on three breeds: the Connemara pony, the Irish draught, and the thoroughbred.
Today, horses are kept for breeding or for pleasure, or usually a combination of both. There are three main sectors to the horse industry on Ireland’s farms – racing, breeding and equestrian sports.
Our riding holidays centre around three very different areas of Ireland - County Westmeath, County Kerry and County Mayo.
Kerry and Mayo are on the West Atlantic Coast and Westmeath only an hour inland from Dublin.
The Irish climate is similar to the UK – however as with any UK holiday make sure you pack wet weather gear!
This is an area once famous for its whiskey, distilled from the waters of the local rivers! Westmeath is a county full of lakes and rivers and typically Irish agricultural plains. This centre for our horse riding holidays in Ireland is only 50 miles from Dublin where low cost flights are available from Ryan Air and Aer Lingus. Collection can be arranged from the airport or hire cars - although the most economical option is to hop on the airport bus service which stops in the local town and you will be collected from here.
Irish pubs are a must visit!
This horse riding holiday gives you the opportunity to explore the famous Ring of Kerry in the south western tip of Ireland. The Ring of Kerry is a tourist trail and part of the mystical & unspoilt region of Ireland that has attracted visitors for hundreds of years and is part of the Wild Atlantic Way. Due to its location facing the mighty Atlantic Ocean, the Ring of Kerry also has some of the Europe's finest beaches that provide beautiful sandy strands and all the facilities for a traditional seaside holiday. Featuring stunning beaches, river, coastal and forest - all scenery that changes as the light dances to the tune of the incoming Atlantic weather. Kerry also provides an amazing insight into the ancient heritage of Ireland - see the Iron Age Forts, Ogham Stones, Old Monasteries and a landscape carved out of rock by the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago.
Transfers can be arranged from Cork, Shannon and Kerry Airport. Additionally, for guests arriving in Dublin there is a regular train service to Killarney where collection can be arranged.
Ring of Kerry
Our trail ride in County Mayo is located close to Westport, a bustling georgian town overlooking Clew Bay. According to tradition Clew Bay has 365 Islands (one for every day of the year). Most are uninhabited but you can visit the biggest, Clare Island for a day trip to remember. Located about 1hr 30 mins from Galway, this remote area of Ireland retains its rugged beauty. There's plenty to see and do around Westport including the Great Western Greenway, Achill Island, Westport House and Ireland Holiest Mountain, Croagh Patrick. The wild and rugged beach-laden coastline is the envy of mainland Europe, the Clew Bay islands are more numerous than any exotic archipelago, and the seas are home to countless wildlife wonders, from basking sharks to humpback whales. The surrounding area provide an amazing insight into the ancient heritage of Ireland.
To start your trail ride in Clew Bay make your way to Westport, if you can find flights to these regional airports fly to Galway or Knock, otherwise Dublin or Shannon is always an option and car hire is very reasonablly priced. Westport is also serviced by both Irish Rail and Bus Eireann. Services run 7 days a week, with Irish Rail links and Bus Eireann routes running to many locations throughout Ireland throughout the day.
From Knock Airport: 63km (39 miles) – 50 minutes
From Galway: 80km (49 miles) – an hour and a half
From Sligo: 104km (65 miles) – an hour and a half
From Shannon Airport (102) - two hours
From Dublin: 252km (156 miles) – three and a half hours
From Belfast: 305km (190 miles) – 4 hours 15 minutes
Kerry has beautiful beaches
Westport Co Mayo