Horse Riding

Horse Riding in Ireland

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The magical charm of the Emerald Isle makes Ireland an ideal destination for horseback riding. Few countries revere the horse as much as the Irish and horseback riding is deeply woven into the culture, with Irish horse breeds like the Connemara being world famous and much sought after.

The land’s rural countryside, with its stone walls, green fields and rolling hills, is the ideal setting to explore trail riding with friends and some good horses, along with miles of open beach for you to enjoy a gallop along. Of course, Ireland’s rich history is everywhere to be seen, throwing glances back to the very early days of St. Patrick and before, when giants and fairies walked the land.

Horse riding opportunities in Ireland are diverse and varied, and cater for all levels of rider, from beginners to seasoned equestrians. There are many operators up and down the country, all offering tuition, guided trekking, or the facilities to let you ride out on your own and discover your own path.

Each region offers something different, Galway, Clare, and Kerry, in particular, are very popular for their excellent coastal and hill trail riding, as well as their abundance of mountain ranges, historic buildings and long sandy beaches. These regions are widely regarded as allowing some of the best horse riding vacation experiences in Europe, so here’s a quick rundown of where to go and what to expect.

When the weather is bad we would suggest taking a look at our indoor actitives , Spa Getaways , Museums and Galleries or any of our Driving Routes to keep dry and warm away from the widy Irish weather.

lakeside mountain view of Irish countryside

Co. Galway

The Connemara is a wild, barren region west of the Galway Ciy. It’s an awe-inspiring patchwork of bogs, valleys, grey mountains and small, sparkling lakes that spawn its own breed of horse; the Connemara pony. The ride will take you past small thatched cottages and through villages built around stately manors or castle ruins centuries ago. As you journey through the wild bog lands and rocky mountainside of the region, riding along the rivers, lakes, and the sea will provide an unspoiled and unforgettable experience.

For novice and experienced riders alike, conquering the Connemara trail is a most fulfilling way to enjoy Ireland on horseback.

Co. Clare

Riding along the never ending stone walls and historical famine roads of the Burren is a distinctly Irish experience. Trekking about 225 kilometers out from Co. Galway, heading west towards the rural areas of Co. Clare and into the Burren, the ride begins through the forests of the Slieve Aughty Mountains and their amazing views over Lough Derg and the River Shannon. The track passes old farm ruins and miles of stone walls, before heading for the hills and onto the sands of Lough Graney. Delightful wood tracks head further west, overlooking Glandaria, until they cross the boggy uplands. Co. Clare then appears in the distance, along with the rising hills of the famous Burren National Park.

Co. Kerry

Exploring the highlands of Kerry from horseback, taking in Ireland's highest mountain range, the majestic MacGillycuddy Reeks, this ride covers a wide variety of terrain. From country lanes, forests, mountain tracks, bogs and the beaches of Waterville, and finally the magnificent 6.4 kilometer stretch of golden sand at Rossbeigh. The Iveragh Peninsula stretches south-west from Killarney and has dozens of places of historic and archaeological interest along the world famous Ring of Kerry.

A particular highlight is Lake Caragh, reached by riding through a vibrant landscape as odd cloud formations pass overhead, bathing the hillside in irregular streams of sunlight and forming a beautiful halo effect over the valley.

Horseback riding on beach