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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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,
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
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