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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2008
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    32

    Default Traveling to Ireland

    I am traveling to Ireland and was wondering if anyone has any good advice. B&B -- riding -- etc.

    Thanks.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 18, 2003
    Location
    Davidsonville, MD
    Posts
    2,696

    Default

    We were just there for our honeymoon during the Dublin Horse Show and we both LOVED IT!!! We didn't actually do any riding though (well, Steuart rode one horse that was a potential purchase, but that's it). We rented a car in Dublin and drove to the west coast - County Galway. Spent several days driving around the Connemara region. It was beautiful and, though we saw more sheep than ponies, the ponies we did see were lovely. Our last day in Ireland was at the Irish National Stud - nice. We didn't book any rooms or anything, just stayed at B&B's along the way. Be prepared for sticker shock though. Hopefully the dollar will go up against the Euro before you go
    Erin
    Dodon Farm - Home of Salute The Truth, Thoroughbred Stallion and on Facebook
    The Retired Racehorse Training Project, a 501(c)3 Non profit organization.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2008
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Thanks. ANy good B&B you would recommend?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2005
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,763

    Default

    If you are looking for top notch cross country riding, this place can't be beat.

    http://flowerhill.net/welcomepage.htm



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2008
    Posts
    3,902

    Default

    there's a thread over on H/J where the person raved about riding w/ Willie Leahy - I would second that as well - as you will see from my post on that particular thread. I've booked my trips through www.horseridingvacations.com. the person there travels to Ireland frequently and knows the vacations very well and also gives hints on other places/things to do which I haven't found so much with some of the other outfits.

    I just saw somewhere that Aer Lingus is offering $199 winter fares (probably one way but still an amazing price !)



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2008
    Posts
    3,902

    Default

    I'd recommend Willie Leahy - he's great - I've booked some trips for him through www.horseridingvacations.com - very knowledgable about the vacations there. of course alot of it depends on what you want to do and see as well.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,655

    Default

    What part? We went to county Adare and it was amazing. We did the cross country international thing, which was awesome. Dont recall the hotel we stayed at though.

    Eat all the soda bread you can, because you really do miss it forever when you get home.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2003
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    1,333

    Default Can not go wrong at Clonshire

    I love Clonshire in Adare:

    http://www.clonshire.com/

    You can stay in Adare at:

    Adare Manor Hotel - Tel 061 396566 Fax 061 396124
    Dunraven Arms Hotel - Tel 061 396633 Fax 061 396541

    We always stayed at Dunraven, five star fun. If you go in the winter you can go foxhunting. The weather is better in the spring but the hunting is something one dreams of

    If you have time, drive down to Dingle (a little over two hours from Adare) and ride on the beach with these folks:

    http://www.burkesactivitycentre.ie/itinerary.htm

    Burkes is a small outfit but the beach ride is awesome.

    We can not wait to go back in 2010

    Have fun!!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,655

    Default

    Clonshire! Yep thats were we rode too. VERY nice horses. Great xc course too.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2008
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    32

    Default

    thanks, geographically - i have heard the it is beautiful in the south west -- i am about to get out my atlas and see where these places are.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2005
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,763

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobthehorse View Post
    Clonshire! Yep thats were we rode too. VERY nice horses. Great xc course too.

    I have to say, I'm suprised to hear you say this. We were very disappointed with Clonshire last summer. The horses were basic school horses of pretty poor quality, and were extremely overworked and sour, with most of them going 4 hours a day or more. And their x-c course was nothing special. Although the Adare area in general was fabulous, and the Adare Manor was spectacular.

    To the OP, if you are looking to pop over lots of little 2 foot jumps, then maybe Clonshire would be a fun place for you.

    But if you are looking for real x-c riding I would recommend Flower Hill instead. The x-c jumps (and there were hundreds of them!) range from 2 foot to two star level, and their horses are real x-c horses and foxhunters that are not overworked and really seemed to love their jobs.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2005
    Location
    Issaquah, WA
    Posts
    678

    Default

    I spent a year working in Ireland at Crossogue Stud in Co. Tipperary and have lovely things to say about it.

    Crossogue has a string of steeplechasers, so you can see the racehorses work in the mornings, a working jam factory on site, so you can eat all the jam you could ever want, and lovely, well cared for fences that challenge an intermediate rider fabulously.

    We went there initially as inside-of-the-arena-only hunter riders, and had a great time getting out, up, down, and over natural obstacles. The hunter horses were treasures and carried our hineys over fences when we screwed up and rewarded us with great efforts when we were spot-on. As a plus, the retired steeplechasers are often put into the XC program when they retire, so they can have attitude and interest. The instruction is BHS certified and very good. I can say from experience that the staff (who gets up in the AM to exercise race ponies) works a LONG, hard day to make your experience excellent.

    I have also been to Clonshire and Hillcrest, and of the two would recommend Clonshire if you are up for a great canter through a set course of 2'-2'9" fences. Perfect for us to start on, but not enough to challenge in the long run.

    Folder of photos of Clonshire:
    http://good-times.webshots.com/album/548356111eqULCq



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 12, 2001
    Location
    Dry Ridge, KY USA
    Posts
    3,105

    Default

    On October 21st, my husband and I are leaving for a week in Ireland. We are staying in B&B's, as per an Aer Lingus vacation. Thanks to all of you, who have given me some ideas of where to book.

    What equipment was provided and what did you bring with you? Did you bring your tall boots or boots and half chaps? Helmets? Saddles? Safety Vest?

    Can you describe the weather in October? My Irideon riding tights would pack lighter, but I do have heavier weight breeches, too.

    costco_muffins,

    I thought your photos of Clonshire were lovely. I didn't think that the horses looked sour or poor quality. When were you there? Could the quality have gone down, since you rode there?

    If anyone has any other suggestions that might help me know what to pack, then please bring them on!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 1999
    Posts
    1,682

    Default

    I went to Ireland 2 years ago in early October. We lucked out with the weather--low 60s and sunny every day. My husband, a native, told me that it was unusually good weather! I would bring a variety of clothing--T-shirts, some long sleeve shirts, layers, light weight rain jacket for riding, etc. I rode at Crossogue and learned a ton. I was the only one there when we went, so it was 2 days of private XC lessons. I brought my paddock boots and half chaps, helmet, and XC vests. Vests are mandatory for XC, so bring your own so you know it fits. If I were riding for longer, I would have brought my saddle. But for 2 days of riding it wasn't worth it.
    I would pack anything you might also be picky about--spurs, for example. I didn't bother packing a crop, just used one at the facility. Also, in retrospect I should have brought saddle-tite. The saddle I rode in felt big and slippery.
    Have a great time!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,655

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lstevenson View Post
    I have to say, I'm suprised to hear you say this. We were very disappointed with Clonshire last summer. The horses were basic school horses of pretty poor quality, and were extremely overworked and sour, with most of them going 4 hours a day or more. And their x-c course was nothing special. Although the Adare area in general was fabulous, and the Adare Manor was spectacular.

    To the OP, if you are looking to pop over lots of little 2 foot jumps, then maybe Clonshire would be a fun place for you.

    But if you are looking for real x-c riding I would recommend Flower Hill instead. The x-c jumps (and there were hundreds of them!) range from 2 foot to two star level, and their horses are real x-c horses and foxhunters that are not overworked and really seemed to love their jobs.
    Well, I was there about 10 years ago, so maybe its changed.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2001
    Location
    Hagerstown, MD
    Posts
    3,610

    Default

    My husband spent two weeks in October on our honeymoon and the weather was quite lovely. A couple of days of light rain, but for the most part it was temperate and sunny.

    I highly reccomend the Connemara reigon; amazing scenery and you can rent a horse and gallop on the Atlantic shore line .

    We rented a car and drove almost 1000 miles, staying in castles along the way. It was a blast and we can't wait to go back (three more years...).



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    557

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lstevenson View Post
    If you are looking for top notch cross country riding, this place can't be beat.

    http://flowerhill.net/welcomepage.htm
    How funny- we bought my ISH from them! I didn't actually get to go, but my parents absolutely loved it and came back with a couple of nice horses
    The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~ Arabian Proverb



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2008
    Location
    Eugene, OR
    Posts
    461

    Default

    My only advice is to take me with you!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
    Posts
    6,847

    Default

    Getting to Ireland is a bargain right now. I just booked Aer Lingus planefare for 2 of us from Dulles to Dublin non-stop for $517 a person for November over Thanksgiving. They've got even cheaper flights if you travel on Tuesdays ($475 or so).

    Now I just have to figure where to stay for 8 days...I hate B&Bs. Cars were cheap too! $220 US including everything but gas (which is it's own drama).



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2008
    Posts
    1,079

    Thumbs up Clonshire

    I just wanted to jump in with a more positive view of Clonshire. I went this spring (2008) and had a wonderful time. Having ridden at my fair share of riding schools here in the US I can say that the horses were significantly nicer, sounder, more willing and more talented than what you would have available to you in the US at a lesson program in a riding school. The horses do work more than we are used to in your better english riding schools in the states, but in every picture I have from the trip, the horse I'm riding has his/her ears pricked and looks pretty happy, especially as we're going over logs, etc. Was they as forward/hot as my instructor's thoroughbred cross? Perhaps not, but that could be breeding as much as anything as many of them are ISH.

    When I was looking for a trip to Ireland, I searched this board and read of someone's bad experience at Clonshire (not sure if it was lstevenson or not) but I read more from people who had a lovely time, and I'm glad I listened to them. There were a lot of 2' to 2'6" jumps but there were some that were larger and overall it was just a really fun experience. Perhaps some of the other places are better for training purposes, but I can vouch for Clonshire as being a lovely time and the horses as being quite nice, especially for a school program.



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