Ireland: Land of the Horse
Horses have always played an important role in the literature and folklore of this Celtic island. From the legend of the great warrior Oisín who disappears beneath the waves astride a beautiful white steed to be with his true love Niamh in Tír na nÓg, the Land of Eternal Youth, to the story of the great Cúchulainn and his mighty chariot horses Grey Macha and Black Seanglan there is a kind of magical legacy. Many old tales portray the horse as a spiritual protector from the forces of evil, and the powerful relationship between man and horse is a recurring theme.
If you feel like stepping out of the rat race and dream of galloping along a deserted sandy beach with the taste of sea-spray rousing your senses, or wonder what it would be like to slow it all down, to get in touch with yourself again, to allow your instincts to guide you and to recall how to laugh, and sing, and celebrate life remember that, even in today’s fastmoving world, there is still a place where all this is possible... Ireland and her horses await you...
Horse Riding in Ireland
For those who would like to experience Irish horses at closer quarters there are a wide range of options available from Equestrian Holidays Ireland's sixteen riding centres. Whether it is an afternoon trek, some intensive training or a trail ride that will take you through the most breathtaking scenery , the choice is all yours. All beginners can rely on qualified instructors to help them quickly establish balance and confidence on a horse that has been specially selected for them, taking into account the rider’s weight, height, courage and fitness. For the thrill-seekers, a gallop across a specially-built cross-country course is an unforgettable experience. Horses truly love a cross-country run, and as you and your equine partner set off in canter and become airborne over the first fence you will feel an adrenalin rush like no other. Mounts range from bomb-proof cobs to flying machines – matching your level of skill and, at all times, safety is a priority for both horse and rider.
Showjumping is a hugely popular sport in Ireland and showjumping tuition is available at all good equestrian centres. If you are looking for something a little different then trail-riding may be the answer. Hacking or trekking takes you around farmland and on roads and tracks, but trail-riding expands your horizons in every sense of the word. You can travel on horseback through miles of open country, accessing some of the most spectacular scenery in Ireland – majestic mountains, exquisite landscapes or long, empty beaches. And at the end of the day, after some fine food and a refreshing drink, you will climb exhausted into your bed with memories of heather-strewn hills, monastic ruins, lapping waves or the rustle of wind through trees lulling you into a restful sleep.
Ireland and the Horse Gallery
Irish Horses in Action Gallery