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Ireland Short Horse Riding Holiday

This listing has one of the 10 most popular offers available in Ireland

The Clew Bay Trail Ride takes small groups of experienced riders along Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way through new and ever-changing landscapes of small villages, breathtaking sandy beaches, sea, and off-shore islands, country lanes, mountain tracks, and local heritage sites, stopping for a picnic along the way.

Key information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 200 pounds / 90 kilograms
  • Horse Height Range: 13.2 to 16.2 hands
  • Tack Type: English tack
  • Horse Breed: Connemara Ponies, Irish Sport Horses, Irish Draughts, or Irish Cobs

Meet the instructors

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  • 3 days of trail riding
  • Approximate daily riding time: 4 hours
  • Ride through river, many villages, and terrains
  • Explore a round tower, monastic site, and bog peat harvest
  • Enjoy a Carrowniskey beach ride
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast

Skill level

  • Intermediate


3 days with instruction
Group size: 2-8 participants
Airport transfer available:
Dublin Airport (US$856 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Ireland West Airport Knock (US$187 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Shannon Airport (US$636 per person)
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The guest house accommodation for the trail has been carefully chosen and is located either in or close to Westport Town. They are approved by the Irish Tourist Board and provide a quality personal service. The bedrooms, which are en-suite, are both comfortable and relaxing.


Daily itinerary


On arrival to Westport, check in to your accommodation which is where you will be staying for the trail.


Transfer to Drummindoo Stud to meet your host Padraic Foy, your horse, and the other riders. After an assessment ride in the indoor arena, riders and horses are transferred to the village of Aughagower for the Aughagower Ride. This takes you through the villages of Curvey, Lankill, and Knappagh Beg where you will picnic on the shores of Knappagh Lake, then on to Drumhill before returning to Aughagower via Peggy's Boreen. After riding, there is a chance for riders to visit the round tower and monastic site which dates back to the seventh century.


Today, you will start at the village of Culeen for the Culeen Ride. This ride takes you to the west of Croagh Patrick, through quiet country lanes at Kilsallagh and Kinnock, and then to bog roads at Dereen where you will have some long canters. You picnic on the bog and get to see the harvesting of the bog peat at close hand. You then return via a river crossing at Bellakip to finish the day at Culeen.


Today, you start at Formoyle for the Feenone Ride. This takes you over a mountain pass, close to a megalithic burial site (one of many in the area), through the Carrowniskey River, and on to the bog roads at Feenone. Clare Island (Grainne Uaile, Ireland’s famous Pirate Queen resided there in the 1500s and controlled all the waters of Clew Bay) and Inishturk Island can clearly be seen. You then head for Carrowniskey beach where you can canter and gallop before returning to base.


Depart after breakfast with fond memories of your equestrian adventure.

Please note that the Itinerary of the Clew Bay trail ride may change slightly due to circumstances beyond their control such as bad weather, tidal variations, etc. and they reserve the right to change this without prior notice.


Ireland is known as "The Land Of The Horse". A temperate climate and good soil conditions make it an ideal place to raise horses. An ability to cross any country has ensured that the Irish Horse is surefooted and looks after its rider. The Irish people have a natural affinity with the horse and this is evident in the horses they have. The majority of trail horses have competition experience and have been started by Clew Bay Trail Ride. Clew Bay Trail Ride normally has at least 10 horses available for the trail.

  • Suitability: Good temperaments and stamina make the horses ideal for the trail

Riding ability

You need not be an expert to ride the trail as Clew Bay Trail Ride takes great care to ensure that each rider is matched with a suitable horse, however, you should be able to ride securely and confidently at a walk, trot, and canter in open country.

  • Fitness level: Participants should be reasonably fit and Clew Bay Trail Ride suggests you go riding a couple of times a week before coming on the trail.
  • Pace: This is a progressive ride with the pace varying from slow to fast depending on terrain and weather conditions.

For groups of four or more, there is an accompanying backup guide. Children 12 years and over are welcome if accompanied by an adult.


Padraic Foy


The holiday will take place in Westport, County Mayo, Ireland. Clew Bay is a natural ocean bay situated on the Wild Atlantic Way in County Mayo. It contains many islands, some say there is one for every day of the year. The bay is overlooked by Croagh Patrick, Ireland's Holy Mountain where Saint Patrick spent the 40 days of Lent in 441 AD in prayer and fasting for the people of Ireland, and as tradition relates, cast a spell repeatedly down its slopes to drive out the snakes and other repellent creatures from Ireland forever.

Lying just offshore, at the mouth of Clew Bay, is the magnificent Clare Island, the stronghold and headquarters of Grainne Uaile (Grace O'Malley), the legendary Irish Pirate queen who terrorized English, Spanish, and husbands alike along the west coast of Ireland in the 1500s. Located at the southwest corner of Clew Bay is the award-winning town of Westport which has won the 'Irish Tidy Towns Competition' three times in 2001, 2006, and 2008. In 2013, it was deemed the 'Best Place To Live In Ireland' and the 'Best Large Town' by The Irish Times.

It has a gracious town center in the Georgian architectural style and is one of the few planned towns in Ireland. The planning of the town by James Wyatt in 1780 was commissioned by Lord Sligo of the stately home Westport House, as a place for his workers and tenants to live. Among the picturesque features of the town are its tree-lined, flower-decorated promenade (The Mall) and several stone bridges over the Carrowbeg River.


  • Ireland West Airport Knock (NOC), 55 kilometers/40 miles - 50 minutes by car
  • Shannon Airport (SNN), 201 kilometers/125 miles, 2 hours by car
  • Dublin Airport (DUB), 267 kilometers/165 miles - 3 hours and 35 minutes by car
  • Belfast International Airport (BFS), 306 kilometers/190 miles - 4 hours by car


Various breakfast options are available including full Irish and continental. Special dietary requirements can be catered for. As the accommodation is on a bed and breakfast basis, this gives you the opportunity to choose from the many fine award-winning restaurants in Westport for your evening meal. Picnic lunches on the trail consist of sandwiches, fruit, snacks, drinks, etc., and can be tailored to individual needs.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Clew Bay is a top-class activity hub and a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. There are also many places of historical interest in the area. For more information, please send Clew Bay Trail Ride an inquiry.

What's included

  • 3 days of trail riding (over 4 hours per day)
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast
  • 3 picnic lunches
  • Horse, tack, and guide
  • All transfers during the trail

What's not included

  • Daily evening meals
  • Arrival or departure transfers
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by train

​There is a train from Dublin (Heuston) direct to Westport. Kindly visit Irish Rail's website for more information. Clew Bay Trail Ride offers a free collection from Westport train station.

Arrival by bus

There are buses from Dublin, Shannon, and Knock. Clew Bay Trail Ride offers a free collection from the bus depot.

Airport: Dublin Airport Airport transfer available: Dublin Airport (US$856 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Ireland West Airport Knock Airport transfer available: Ireland West Airport Knock (US$187 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Shannon Airport Airport transfer available: Shannon Airport (US$636 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Quality of activity
5 days / 4 nights
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Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

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