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Riding tourism recs in Northern Ireland?

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  • Riding tourism recs in Northern Ireland?

    Heading to Northern Ireland in a month for NYE and some sightseeing. Anyone have recommendations of equestrian centers I should use to plan a hack? Would like to do a bit more than walk but nothing crazy. Bonus points if on the beach. Can’t do much because am traveling with my non-equestrian DH for our anniversary... his patience only extends so far. But I’ve never been and I can’t stand the idea of going there and not even sitting on a horse! Also taking endorsements for the best outerwear bc 🥶

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Might help to know where in Northern Ireland you're planning to go. I believe another poster here went to a place called Sheans? My recommendation would be to contact a place when you're there to set up a ride as the weather there is quite unpredictable and at this time of year plenty of places will offer a few hour hack, beach rides might depend on the equestrian centre's proximity to the coast, and again may be weather dependent. Most hotels can also recommend riding facilities. I'd also plan to take my own helmet but then I have a small head so most borrowed helmets wouldn't fit me.

    Also keep in mind that if you;re going over Christmas some places may be closed for a few days.

    As far as jackets - waterproof and windproof - NOT water resistant. The classic Barbour is quite popular over there, I have a couple of Outback Trading jackets that are similar to Barbour but 1/2 the price.Any of the waterproof/windproof jackets from one of the tack stores (online or otherwise) is good. Mountain Horse I know has good water/wind proof coats.

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    • #3
      Sheans horse farm was great! Walk/trot/galloped. Up hills, through creeks. I see their website even offers cross country jumps but that’s not my cup of tea.

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      • #4
        If you look at the British Horse Society (BHS) webpage, there is a list of approved riding centres across the UK, including NI. That will give you a baseline to work from since it means the stables cares enough to go through the approval process and maintain it annually.

        NI doesn't have the network of bridleway found in England and Wales or the open access found in Scotland so check if they can offer interesting hacking before you book.

        The locals are lovely and offer a wonderful welcome to any visitors. It is a surprisingly varied landscape in a small area and beautiful. Weather wise, good advice above about waterproof rather than water resistant. However, as a maritime climate it will not get too cold.
        "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thank you all! I had found Shean’s on the internet and it’s lovely to have a recommendation. I’ll start there!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Willesdon View Post
            If you look at the British Horse Society (BHS) webpage, there is a list of approved riding centres across the UK, including NI. That will give you a baseline to work from since it means the stables cares enough to go through the approval process and maintain it annually.

            NI doesn't have the network of bridleway found in England and Wales or the open access found in Scotland so check if they can offer interesting hacking before you book.

            The locals are lovely and offer a wonderful welcome to any visitors. It is a surprisingly varied landscape in a small area and beautiful. Weather wise, good advice above about waterproof rather than water resistant. However, as a maritime climate it will not get too cold.
            I've been to Ireland plenty of times and lets just say, there's a reason they drink Hot Whiskeys LOL. while it doesn't get bitterly cold its that dampness that can give you a good chill - hence the hot whiskeys haha.

            Layering is key to comfort and always be prepared as weather can change within minutes.

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