Horseback Riding Vacations at the Horse Holiday Farm

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The Riders-ABC 
N and O and Pand R and S

Listen carefully: It may sound cheerful, plaintive, imploring. The neighing tells you what is the matter with your horse. It goes without saying that the neighing is not addressed to you as the rider, but to the other horses, its own herd or animals of the same species as you go on your way.

Soft as they are they invite you to fondle and stroke. You should not forget that they are a vital organ. Discharge, phlegm and sneezing are real alarm signals, which should be discussed with the stable staff.

An ointment should be part of the standard equipment of every trail group before and after every ride, pressure marks wounds and unidentified lumps are to be treated with ointment after cleaning with alcohol. Where possible, the ointment should be slightly massaged in. The horses seldom feel this as pleasant and try to defend themselves.

Mullaghmore, a small seaside resort with its adjacent peninsula is one of the nicest destinations for a day's excursion on horseback from the farm. Horses can use the Cliff Drive, a distance of about four kilometres. The view stretches out over the dark blue sea, falling on impressive cliffs where the powerful waves produce fountains of spray. Before or afterwards you can always drop into a pub.

An aid to get into dry boots. Indispensable for tight rubber boots. Personal tips in case of damp boots; a few strips of plastic make it easier to get into them.

Rabbit warrens
The warrens of these long-eared rodents are mostly found in the dunes. Complete settlements, real cities seem to exist underground. Real stumbling traps and for the horses actually rather dangerous. Also, the fields and pastures behind the
dunes, which invite you to gallop, are criss-crossed with a widely branched tunnel system constructed by these adorable animals. When you gallop across these inviting fields you must expect numerous really dangerous traps.

Everybody who does not know Ireland claims that there is far too much of it. The weather in Ireland is frequently like the typical April weather. It changes quickly so that sometimes you hardly find time to change your clothes. The climate is moderate and mild. This makes the rain less bothersome and annoying even if it rains more frequently and is more sustained than at home.

The term rein refers to control and has nothing to do with pulling ……." And pulling on the reins is the cause of all disasters in riding". [So the experts say] Giving or slightly taking is the recommendation at Horse Holiday Farm as far as the use of the reins is concerned which many riders unfortunately confuse with a mechanical brake or stopping rope. Tight reins suggest to the horse; attention, we will soon be off, or the rider is frightened and needlessly applies the brakes all the time. Because of this the horse gets excited and in the end it actually becomes faster and more forceful. This is a fateful vicious circle; the horse becomes unsettled and forceful because the reins are pulled too much. The rider becomes frightened and pulls even more on the reins. The horse builds up even more tension inside because it expects danger ahead. It is easy to foresee who is going to win this game in the end.

Rest day
At the farm the horses and the stable staff are given a well-earned rest day once a week. On Wednesday the stables are closed. Guests suffering from the inevitable muscular soreness are usually highly pleased about this change and can allow
themselves a little rest, laze about all day, go for walks or explore the area. Numerous destinations call, in the near or far surrounding area. If you travel in your own car or in a rented car, you can use your own maps. Sligo, for instance, can also be reached by bus.

If your four-legged friend starts to rub against you with obvious enjoyment and shows a friendly tendency to cling to you, this is by no means a declaration of love but just the opposite. It is a kind of game and trial of strength which your horse
Uses to test whether you or itself are higher in the order of rank. So: Attention! Do not let your horse get away with this behaviour which only looks like a declaration of love, but clearly and firmly push its head to the side. Admittedly, this sounds hard-hearted but it is necessary for the communication between you and your horse. "Everyone to his/her own opinion".

Not an armchair, but a place to sit. It takes time to get used to all of them. They should be taken care of, brushed and wiped with saddle soap whenever possible, after all it is in your best interest and that of your posterior!

Saddle area
Stressed part of the horse's back. After the ride the greatest attention is to be paid to this part of the body. It is to be well cleaned. If the horse is sweating, the saddle area is to be cleaned with sponge and water and then scraped with a sweat scraper. The latter is particularly important, if the horse is washed down with a hose. After this, all pressure marks and wounds should be treated.

Not much room in them, this is what the inexperienced trail rider thinks. But you usually get by with it. Underwear, socks for changing, a sweater, a pair of trainers. If you wash a few things by hand every now and again you can find it quite adequate. There is never an opportunity anyway to wear fine evening clothes. It is important to pack the bags as evenly as possible so that they do not move about in all directions.
Saddlebags are not absolutely watertight. Tip: pack two or three items together in a plastic bag or bin liner. Even in heavy downpours the clothes will then remain dry.

Saddle girth
This is used to tie the saddle round the horse's belly. It should always be kept clean. Wash and brush it after every ride.
It is important to check that it has been correctly tightened. It must not be too loose or be fastened too far to the rear. If you are not sure ask someone else for advice. Retightening is a must! Before you set off you should tighten it by one or two holes. Important! Retightening is necessary after about half an hour's ride. Note: a slipping saddle is frequently the
cause of involuntary contact with the ground. Therefore, it is better to check one more time rather than stick one's head in the sand.
On the way home you are welcome to loosen the girth by one or two holes. This helps the horse to relax.

Saddle sore
Incorrect saddling, excessive strain and tight girthing may lead to saddle sore. This means a sore area; similar to the blisters we get on our feet after a long hike. The treatment is lengthy. Disinfecting and ointment are the most important remedies.

The water is wonderful refreshment also for the horses. Wherever the opportunity arises you should take your horse into the water for a little while - just in the fashion of a Kneipp cure - but only at walk. Trotting and galloping are forbidden in the water. There is actually a great risk of accident. Horses normally have a completely casual attitude to water and this is even more pronounced the more appropriately they are kept with their activities. During a ride through the sea the rider should, therefore, be prepared for the fact that his horse might want to go for a swim. Quite a few horses are said to have turned into a sea horse in a flash ………'

Capital of Sligo County and a rapidly developing business centre in the Northwest of Ireland. Population about 20,000. If you enter the Republic by plane, you can, in principle, continue the flight from Dublin to Sligo. But the connections are not always good. The small expanding airport, eight kilometres from the town provides access to the north-western counties of Ireland: Sligo, Donegal, Leitrim, Fermanagh, North Mayo. A taxi transfer from the airport [Dublin, Shannon or Sligo] to the farm is offered upon request. It is recommended that you enquire at a travel agency or directly at the farm and book the transfer, if necessary.
At the airport it is also possible to rent cars. Previous booking is advised, especially in the high season. The different rental firms are Johnston & Perrot, Murays, Hertz, Westward and Avis.
The Sligo trail leads around Sligo along the most beautiful mountain paths, valleys and also along moorland paths past the picturesque lakes of the county. You will be surprised by this country with a proven history dating at least 6,000 years back. To this day there are still areas which have hardly been discovered by tourism. The town of Sligo itself is not touched by the trail. The city is taboo for the riders of the farm when they travel on horseback. The third liability insurance has expressly excluded liability in Sligo.
As a destination for the rest day Sligo is very interesting. It can be reached via bus, expensive taxi or hitchhiking. Sligo is a small, well set out shopping place. In O'Connell Street, the main shopping street, you will find good shops with good and inexpensive needlework, and the famous Donegal tweed. Sights are limited. Among them are the ruins of the Dominican Monastery, Sligo Abbey in Abbey Street, which dates back to the l3th and l7th century with a well preserved cloister. In the museum in Stephen Street, there is a section worth seeing about the poet of the region: W.B. Yeats. Some original manuscripts, letters and portraits of him can be seen here. Also, a medal is exhibited which was awarded to him in 1923 on the occasion of the Nobel Prise award. Furthermore, the collection includes some interesting pieces of the art scene of the last few years. Worth mentioning Cinema and Restaurants, some widely known Singing Pubs, amongst them TDs where interesting concerts frequently take place on Fridays and Wednesdays. The dates of the musical performances can be obtained via the local press. Some of the best pub musicians are well-known to the farm's staff.
Further places to see: The holiday beaches of Rosses Point and Strandhill, Knocknarea with the grave of Queen Maeve on Top, Lissadell House and, and, and.

A laborious challenge for your horse. If the slope almost requires climbing skills, the riders should make themselves, "lighter" in the saddle and bend forward a little in the direction of the horse's neck.

Sore bottom
A painful consequence of riding is often the rider's sore bottom. Not to be confused with muscular soreness. People who are out of practice often feel quite a bit of pain after only a few hours and they get the notorious sore bottom. Some people are said to be particularly predisposed to it and will never be able to avoid it completely. Some household remedies help to ease these painful consequences. In principle the rule is: what is good for the horse also helps the rider. So, if necessary, you can use a horse ointment which is usually a general healing ointment, just like the well-known "Sudo Cream" which works miracles, even on a sore baby bottom.

On the boots of a master they can be a useful aid. When used by anyone else they are a mere martial punishing instrument. You can leave the spurs at home. They are neither needed nor allowed at the farm during trail rides. Most of the horses are sufficiently willing and eager to move so those draconian instruments are not necessary. This clearly distinguishes these horses from most school horses of conventional riding stables.

In the morning the stables are usually opened after breakfast and closed by the staff after dinner. Early birds who would like to gallop into the rising sun before breakfast can pick up a key from the keyboard next to the kitchen and open the stables themselves. It is, however, important to bring the key back to the keyboard.

The rider's step and mounting aid. In order to avoid gymnastic contortions, you can leave the leather a little longer on the left stirrup so as to ease mounting. The best thing is to look for a suitable stone, a little wall or something similar. Anyone who grins as he is watching does not understand. If you use a stone for mounting you can prevent yourself falling onto the horses back like a bag. Do not think that this is pleasant for the horse. The stirrup leathers can be shortened a little for rides on the beach or on the Cross Country Course. This gives you a safer hold at gallop and for jumping.

Stones on the way and rocky ground are rarely a serious problem for the Irish Hunters at Horse Holiday Farm. If they are given long reins, they will make their own way, carefully and tread-safe. The horses without any effort master even passages, which appear to be impassable to riders experienced only with school horses. Also, you need not lead your horse on the halter to cross the stones on the beach and on the right and left at the foot of Horse Holiday Farm. The animals would find this strange and disconcerting. Therefore, stay in your seat and let the horse make its way.

The Horse Holiday Farm is Bord Fáilte (Irish Tourist Board) approved and
a member of A.I.R.E., the Association of Irish Riding Establishments.

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