A family run establishment with a wide range of horses to provide the ideal mount for you to improve your cross country technique, showjumping and dressage. As well as 380 acres of farmland with varied jumps to tackle there are also full size indoor and outdoor schools to perfect your skills.

The vast majority of riders do not aspire to compete at very high levels but nevertheless enjoy jumping cross-country. There are lots of small logs and simple jumps for those who want to just have some fun. There are also some jumps that are of intermediate horse trial standard. Often people spend all their time training in an arena to showjump, however the cross-country course is an ideal way to do lots of diverse jumping and have plenty of fun and learn some new ideas along the way.

If you're not interested in jumping and dressage why not simply trek around the farm and country lanes at leisure. Trail ride through the beautiful Slieve Bloom mountains here in Ireland and end the day with a meal in the dining room, followed by a drink at the fire.
All ages are welcome on the riding holiday and the centre caters for every range of horse riding ability. Whether you're a complete novice and have never ridden a horse before or a seasoned horseman looking for something more challenging, you will find the experience here both rewarding and highly enjoyable.

Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.

Review received from AW of Edinburgh on 22/06/2019

Ride Summary

What was your overall impression of the holiday
A fantastic holiday if you are looking to stretch you riding or just relax. I needed a confidence boost and that what I got.
Unicorn Trails sales staff
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Friendliness     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Speed of response     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Efficiency     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Knowledge     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Other(please specify) All done over email     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (X) Fair     (   ) Poor
Riding tour leader
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Horsemanship     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Pacing of Ride     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern for Safety     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Leadership     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Friendliness/availability     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Culture     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Flora/Fauna     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern with Environment     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Language skills     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Additional Comments
Lovely warm manners and a welcome feel to the stables and the house.
Horses and Tack
Condition of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Condition of Tack     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Performance of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Additional Comments
Lovely horses something for everyone as they have lots of choice. The three I ride were all different, a big grey gentleman for flatwork, a lovely sporty TB cross for jumping cross country etc and a big hairy cob for a hack.
Meals
Meal Quantity     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Quality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Punctuality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Accommodation
Camping Equipment     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hotels/Lodges/Inns     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hygiene standards     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Miscellaneous
Transfer arrangements     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other office staff     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other ride staff     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Weather     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
Yes but last minute and it was booked half board so when I got there it was arranged I would be full board and that worked out easily.
Was there anything you should have known and were not told?     (X) NO     (   ) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:

What could we do to improve this ride?

How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
0
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
It is tailored to you. I jumped over cross country much higher than I thought I would and had particularly helpful dressage lesson so felt it moved my riding confidence forward greatly after a recent fall.
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
Always very helpful.
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Any other comments:
This was the best tuition holiday I have done. I have been on a few of this type of holiday over the years and this was the best experience.
Unicorn comments:

This is a suggested daily program. All programs can be tailor-made.

Breakfast - 9.00am
During this meal the day's activities will be discussed as well as which horse you wish to ride and what discipline you want to concentrate on for your lessons.

10.00-10.30am
Out to the yard to discover which stable your horse is in, get your tack, brushes, etc. and prepare your mount for the 11.00am ride. There is always help available if you have problems, so don't be afraid to say you are having difficulty with getting your horse ready, or are unsure of what you are doing.

11.00am
Lesson in the indoor or outdoor arenas depending on the weather.

12.45am
Lunch back in the house and a well earned rest after the morning's activities. Lunch is a light meal, usually quiche, toasted sandwiches, or maybe homemade soup and brown bread.

2.00-2.30pm
Back to the yard for more brushing and tacking up. The ride out is at 2.30pm, when all leave for the fields, for schooling over the huge variety of cross-country fences, or show jumps or practise some dressage, or just a good amble around the farm for the more casual rider. We try not to put anyone under undue pressure, so do what you are comfortable with, and leave the large fences to those who wish to take them on.

4.30pm
Horses are untacked and put away for a rest, leaving you time to relax before your evening meal, walk the farm walks, take a trip to Tullamore town, only 6 minutes away by car, or just sit back and read a book from the large selection available in the house.

6.30pm-7.00pm
Dinner is served in the dining room, when all sit around and chat about the day's happenings, what War Paint did, or what Dougal didn't do!

Evenings usually end early, as everyone is tired and ready for a good night's sleep, in preparation for another challenging day tomorrow!

 

Riders who booked this ride also considered:

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Situated in a peaceful, picturesque valley in the heart of Tuscany, guests really appreciate the quality of the tuition here on this riding holiday and often comment on the good results they have with their own horses when back at home after a week of lessons. 

Reading List
We're avid readers here at Unicorn Trails and have selected several books connected to this ride. If you're interested in reading more about the area before you travel, or want to get into the cultural background, here are some suggestions that may inspire you. Click on the links for more information.

Round Ireland With A Fridge - Tony Hawks
Culture Shock! Ireland - Patricia Levy
Bushmills Irish Pub Guide - Sybil Taylor
The Dubliners - J.Joyce
Mother Ireland - Edna O’ Brien
Barrytown Trilogy - R. Doyle
Woodbrook - David Thomson

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

With 18 Irish bred horses and 12 ponies available for riders there is plenty of choice of suitable mounts. The tuition (cross-country, show jumping and dressage) is intensive and the 3 hours a day is the maximum recommended by the hosts. For beginners, general riding tuition is available from the well qualified instructors. The horses vary from 12.2 to 17hh, all are well schooled and willing.


Hard hats and body protectors can be borrowed.

Rider requirements

From total beginners to intermediate level eventers, all levels can be catered for on suitable horses and ponies with qualified instruction.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 15st /210 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

En-suite accommodation is available in the farmhouse for all riders; there are 3 family rooms and 4 twin or double rooms (all en-suite). The meals are all freshly prepared using local produce where possible, ensuring the best of Irish food every day of your stay. Please note there are no evening meals on Sunday nights.

Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.

General information:

Visa are not required for U.K. or other European nationals. In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on travel insurance, passport and visas, health and vaccinations, legal issues and emergency issues. They can be reached on 0207 008 0232/0233 or at www.fco.gov.uk.

The British Embassy in Ireland is at 29 Merrion Road, Dublin 4. Tel: +353 (01) 2053700. Email: management.dubli@fco.gov.uk.

The Embassy of Ireland in the U.K can be found at 17 Grosvenor Place, London SW1X 7HR. Telephone: (020) 7235 2171.

Climate Summary

Spring, summer and early autumn is generally a good time to visit and the days are sunny and warm. Be aware that it can rain at any time!

Climate Chart

Health

No special health precautions are required for visits to Ireland, for further details please see your local doctor.

For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org

Health (ride specific)

There are no specific health requirements for Ireland

Electricity

Voltage and plugs are the same as the UK.

Packing List

Light summer clothing is needed on summer departure dates, also waterproofs! You need a riding helmet or broad rimmed hat which must stay on firmly and sunglasses with string. A body protector is also required if you're participating in any jumping. Two pairs of riding trousers, half chaps are recommended, riding gloves, jersey, warm jacket (Spring and Autumn), shorts, long sleeve shirts, T-shirts, waterproofs, sun block, camera on a shoulder strap with a pouch which can be secured to your belt, binoculars lightweight riding boots. Don’t forget waterproofs!

Hard hats and body protectors can be borrowed.

Saddlebags are provided but typically only suited to carrying the following items, due to space:
- rain coat and waterproof over pants
- water-bottle
- extra sweater
- camera
- small bag with personal items

Hairdryers are supplied in the bedrooms.

Programmes

Any day start during the season - 8d/7n or 4d/3n, can be tailor-made on request, with approximately 2hr tuition daily.

Departure Dates

Weekly from March to the end of September (please note that full board option is only available in June, July, August)

Pricing
No single supplement payable if willing to share with someone of same sex. Should you wish to book a single room, please see supplement price below.

Extra nights available. Please contact your travel consultant.

No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
2019 8d/7n Half Board8d/7n6double pp865
2019 8d/7n Half Board8d/7n6single supplement119
2019 4d/3n Half Board4d/3n2double pp469
2019 4d/3n Half Board4d/3n2single supplement52
2019 5d/4n Half Board5d/4n3double pp489
2019 5d/4n Half Board5d/4n3single supplement70
2019 8d/7n Full Board (June, July, August only)8d/7n6double pp1,039
2019 8d/7n Full Board (June, July, August only)8d/7n6single supplement119
2019 4d/3n Full Board (June, July, August only)4d/3n2double pp555
2019 4d/3n Full Board (June, July, August only)4d/3n2single supplement52
2019 5d/4n Full Board (June, July, August only)5d/4n3double pp579
2019 5d/4n Full Board (June, July, August only)5d/4n3single supplement70
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2019 8d/7n Half Board8d/7n6double pp939
2019 8d/7n Half Board8d/7n6single supplement135
2019 4d/3n Half Board4d/3n2double pp509
2019 4d/3n Half Board4d/3n2single supplement57
2019 5d/4n Half Board5d/4n3double pp535
2019 5d/4n Half Board5d/4n3single supplement75
2019 8d/7n Full Board (June, July, August only)8d/7n6double pp1,125
2019 8d/7n Full Board (June, July, August only)8d/7n6single supplement135
2019 4d/3n Full Board (June, July, August only)4d/3n2double pp599
2019 4d/3n Full Board (June, July, August only)4d/3n2single supplement57
2019 5d/4n Full Board (June, July, August only)5d/4n3double pp625
2019 5d/4n Full Board (June, July, August only)5d/4n3single supplement75
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
2019 8d/7n Half Board8d/7n6double pp1,115
2019 8d/7n Half Board8d/7n6single supplement155
2019 4d/3n Half Board4d/3n2double pp605
2019 4d/3n Half Board4d/3n2single supplement67
2019 5d/4n Half Board5d/4n3double pp635
2019 5d/4n Half Board5d/4n3single supplement90
2019 8d/7n Full Board (June, July, August only)8d/7n6double pp1,339
2019 8d/7n Full Board (June, July, August only)8d/7n6single supplement155
2019 4d/3n Full Board (June, July, August only)4d/3n2double pp715
2019 4d/3n Full Board (June, July, August only)4d/3n2single supplement67
2019 5d/4n Full Board (June, July, August only)5d/4n3double pp745
2019 5d/4n Full Board (June, July, August only)5d/4n3single supplement90
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2019 8d/7n Half Board8d/7n6double pp10,069
2019 8d/7n Half Board8d/7n6single supplement1,409
2019 4d/3n Half Board4d/3n2double pp5,439
2019 4d/3n Half Board4d/3n2single supplement605
2019 5d/4n Half Board5d/4n3double pp5,709
2019 5d/4n Half Board5d/4n3single supplement805
2019 8d/7n Full Board (June, July, August only)8d/7n6double pp12,085
2019 8d/7n Full Board (June, July, August only)8d/7n6single supplement1,409
2019 4d/3n Full Board (June, July, August only)4d/3n2double pp6,445
2019 4d/3n Full Board (June, July, August only)4d/3n2single supplement605
2019 5d/4n Full Board (June, July, August only)5d/4n3double pp6,715
2019 5d/4n Full Board (June, July, August only)5d/4n3single supplement805
Recommended Reading

‘Around Ireland with a Fridge’ – Pete McCarthy; ‘Culture Shock! Ireland’ –Patricia Levy; ‘Irish Pub Guide’, ‘Dubliners’-J.Joyce; ‘Mother Ireland’ – Edna O’ Brien; ‘Barrytown Triology’- R. Doyle and ‘Woodbrook’ –D. Thomson. For the equestrian traveller who would like to see what is possible on horseback visit www.thelongridersguild.com also a fantastic place to acquire your equestrian travel books is www.horsetravelbooks.com

Other Activities

Fresh water or coarse fishing nearby; golf, walking.
It is also possible to book some time at nearby Kinnitty Castle where one of the only two falconry centres in Ireland is based and you can take the opportunity to photograph or be photographed with these amazing wild birds or even handle them and take one hunting for half or whole day.

Wildlife

Clara Bog offers the naturalist a wealth of information during the two and a half hour guided tour over the eskers and through the bog, giving a glimpse of times past, which have helped shape the present. Annaharvey Farm offers a peaceful walking route which can be enjoyed at leisure.
Riding around the farm (and into the mountains) gives you chance to see lots of wildlife and birds.

Other Country Information

Ireland is a land of almost mythical beauty, often wild and windswept it is said there are fifty shades of green in the landscape but none of them are jaded. The Irish seem to have been put on the earth to restore faith in humanity, their charm and delight in spinning a good tale will entertain you for hours.

The pub culture in Ireland is part of the national identity. The folk music traditional has been unhindered here and live, spontaneous music is actively encouraged- you will often stumble across a raucous singalong fired by Guiness and whiskey. The ban on smoking in public places is now in force in Ireland and, with fines of up to €3,000 for ignoring it, a lively sub-culture can now be found on the pavements outside Irelands plentiful watering holes huddled against the often biting wind.

They are famed for their love and skill with horses, in racing Irish trainers and jockeys are among the best in the world, and the wild ponies of the Connemara in Galway crop up in many myths and legends in Irish folklore. In some areas you will often see kids messing around on horses with nothing but a headcollar and a handful of mane.

Ireland is on GMT and they use imperial weights and measures, so inches, feet, pounds and stones. The international dialling code is +353.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Kilbeggan bus station
Transfer:
Included from Kilbeggan Bus Station. (An hour and a half from Dublin)
Flight Guide:
Aer Arran London - Galway or Dublin from £75 return
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