Horseback Riding Vacation in County Kerry, Ireland
What better place to go for a horseback riding vacation than in County Kerry, Ireland? The beauty of the countryside – the mountains of McGillicuddy’s Reeks, along with the gorgeous shoreline, set the scene for an extraordinary horseback riding vacation experience.
We recently had the chance for a lovely beach ride in Caherdaniel, Co Kerry, with Eagle Rock Equestrian Centre. Ably run by Caroline Donnelly for many years, Eagle Rock has 14 horses for riders of all abilities. Caherdaniel is located on the Ring of Kerry, and is one of the more scenic areas we saw during our two weeks in Ireland.
Horseback Riding Vacation for All Equestrian Levels
We haven’t had much experience with horses lately, and our eight-year old daughter had almost none. She was tethered and led by Caroline, who chose an extremely friendly horse for her. Horses are matched to riders according to experience, and so we all had horses that fit our abilities. Caroline’s small dog, Peg, was an entertaining companion on our horseback riding vacation. There were just the three of us on the ride, with Caroline. In the summer, reservations are necessary as the Center is fully booked days in advance. On our visit, in the ‘shoulder season,’ we could arrange our ride the day before.
Horseback Riding Vacation on Derrynane Beach
We rode down a small paved lane, replete with wild fuchsia bushes 14 feet tall and blackberries ripe for the picking. The horses knew the trail, as we crossed the lane, and went down to the beach. We rose across the inland beach at low tide, splashing through tidal pools and then up a great meadow, near to Derrynane House (home of the “Liberator,” Daniel O’Connell). We then headed down to the beach, where we rode across the length of gorgeous Derrynane Beach. The sounds of the waves and gulls were a perfect accompaniment to our journey. We then headed back across the hill and meadow, tidal flats, and down the lane back to the stone barn.
Horses with Personality on this Horseback Riding Vacation
The horses each showed their own personality. My horse, Susie, being one to chart her own course while staying with the group. Lillie’s horse was quite content with being led, and Ed’s horse was also a perfect fit for him, with his equestrian experiences at ranch camp growing up. Each horse was well-behaved and knew the trail well, but was able to walk alone and responded to each of us. With a glorious sunny day and clear skies (for the moment), our horseback riding vacation was a highlight of our trip to Ireland.
The colors, sounds, and sights of this part of Ireland – the expansive beach, blue skies, mountains in the background, waves, bees buzzing amidst the fuchsia, old stone walls, and the clopping of the horses’ hooves on the lane all conspired to make this a horseback riding vacation we won’t forget.
Horseback Riding Details:
Prices are €30 per person per hour, family rate 3 or more €25/hour. Longer rides are priced accordingly. The horseback rides are mostly beach rides, with a short trail ride to get to the beach.
Included in this price is equestrian gear (riding boots, helmet), horses, and the guide.
Saddles are English style, and the horses are unique to Ireland and England. We rode for an hour and a half, but rides can be longer. Eagle Rock Equestrian Centre is open year round.
We took the beginner ride, but there are longer and more arduous trails available for accomplished equestrians.
What are your favorite things to do in Ireland?
If You Go:
Eagle Rock Equestrian Centre +353-66-9475145
Caherdanial, County Kerry, Ireland
This guest post was submitted by Jessie Voigts of Wandering Educators. You may also follow Wandering Educators on Twitter and RidingHorseback on Twitter.