During our time in Ireland, two areas really stood out as our favorites, Doolin and Dingle.  While in Dingle we were able to drive The Slea Head Drive and Connors Pass, go kayaking and fit in a horseback ride.

We went horseback riding with Dingle Horseback Riding.  They have several excursions to choose from for both beginner and advanced riders.  Advanced riders can go for beach rides lasting around 4 hours that includes a good amount of cantering.   

Upon arriving at the stables, we put on boots and helmets and met our horses, which they had already picked out for us based on our size.  I rode on Heather and Michelle was on Surf.

For two hours, we rode at a fairly leisurely pace with some trotting mixed in to keep things interesting.  We made our way to the hills behind the stables and started making our way up, leading us to amazing views of the entire harbor, Michael Skellig (where the last scene of episode 7 of Star Wars was filmed) and the hills and fields for miles.  Along the way, we passed several sheep who were also making the trek up the hills and made the journey that much even more enjoyable.

We really lucked out with weather.  It was about 52 degrees, partly cloudy outside with wind expected. It ended up being fairly sunny and the wind was minimal.  We had planned for the worst (and we recommend dressing in layers) but ended up taking our jackets and scarves off since it was less windy than expected.

After making it to the top of the hill, we made our decent.  The views were so amazing and seemed too good to be true like somehow, I wasn’t really there. Instead it seemed like we were looking at a puzzle, magazine photo or one of those amazing default computer wallpapers. The views are what really made it worth the ride.

Along the trail, we learned quite a bit about the stables.  First, the horses only go on one ride a day as not to wear them out.  The horses are sent off on holiday in Cork for 4 months out of the year to rest and do as they wish.  They have fields away from the stables for the horses, giving them plenty of space to stretch out and live a happy life.  The owner has a true love for animals and has shown it by rescuing several animals including a horse and a few sheep we saw.

If you enjoy horseback riding and make your way to Dingle, we highly recommend Dingle Horseback Riding, especially if you are a bit more advanced and can handle the longer beach runs that a lot of places don’t seem to offer as much.