About The O’Connor Family & Our Riding Stables

 

The farm is run by 3 generations of the O’Connor family.

Our stables are situated in the scenic North West of Ireland overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Donegal Bay on The Wild Atlantic Way. Originally from O Connors Island, the family settled in the present mainland homestead in the 1950s. In 1994 the horse breeding and riding stables were added to the cattle farm.

Today there are over 35 horses and ponies that enjoy a life close to nature in the vast fields between Benbulben Mountain and the sea. The nearest beach is only a few minutes ride from the stables.

You can enjoy a fresh canter, a leisurely stroll or a splash in the sea. We offer you the unique opportunity to explore our private island on horseback.

Island View is a small family farm that has grown into an equestrian centre with “old world charm”.

Bantam hens, runner ducks, rabbits and kittens roam the farm and provide hours of enchantment for our young visitors.

Meet Duchess the pug and Rossi the miniature stallion!

Duchess the Pug Bantam Hens Pug Little Rossi Pony at Island View Riding Stables Collie dog at Island View Riding Stables

The Island View Riding Crew

Ursula Schweiger at Island View Riding Stables

Ursula Schweiger O Connor (Uschi)

Born in Bavaria (Germany), Ursula fell in love with the place, married Raymond and settled here. “Center” of all things Island View, be it riders, holiday guests, children, horses, hens, students…. and is in charge of running the yard and office.

She looks after the training of horses and riders. Whatever it is you need, Uschi will make it happen for you – with a smile….

Ursula holds BET (British Equestrian Tourism) Ride Leader, Centered Riding® Level 2, EFI (Equestrian Federation of Ireland) Level 1 Coach, British Horse Society Road Safety Trainer, Safeguarding 1 and 2, British Driving Society Preliminary, Road Safety and Intermediate Certificate and First Aid Responder Certificates.

Uschi is the Covid and Child Protection Officer in the yard. She is also Failte Ireland’s Regional Ambassador for The Wild Atlantic Way

Raymond

Raymond O Connor

Little big boss and island farmer, Raymond makes sure the farm runs smoothly. He tries to keep jeeps and tractors running, looks after the hay saving and feeding.

His real passion is the breeding of the Irish Draught and Irish Sport Horse.

Raymond holds the BET (British Equestrian Tourism) Ride Leader, First Aid at Work, British Driving Society Preliminary and Road Safety certificates.

Elisa O Connor

Elisa

Elisa started riding in nappies and impresses with a supple seat and confidence. She is our rising star in the horse sport arena.

Ambitious young rider who loves show jumping on the national and occassionally international circuit. She spends hours polishing her horses to achieve “that glitzy” finish. She is also in charge of producing and marketing the home bred sport horses. She has a keen interest in the breeding of performance horses and ponies and has started to build up her own breeding program to ensure the continued production of top class horses at Island View.

Elisa holds the Pony Club B+ exam and has joined the rank of instructor in the yard as well as for pony club. She also holds safeguarding 1.

Outside of the Stables, Elisa is completing her final year of Global Commerce at NUI Galway and hopes to combine both her passion for horses and knowledge of the business world in the future.

John Alfred O Connor

John Alfred

Silent but deadly, this young man doesn’t speak much but can be seen working hard on the farm. Be it rounding up cattle and sheep, occasionally horses as well, or fixing tractors, John-Alfred always manages to keep busy.  An accomplished rider himself he nonetheless prefers 90 New Holland  horsepower to 1 home bred Irish one. 

John-Alfred has a real “feel for machinery” and after completing his Leaving certificate, hopes to branch into a career in the mechanical sector, perhaps with the equines on the side.  

He is also in charge of the poultry, collecting eggs and hatching chicks.

Svenga with cob

Svenja

Our yard manager is not only a recent equine science graduate but also a huge fan of Ireland and everything this little country has to offer (especially coloured cobs). Originally from Berlin, during a short internship with us some years ago she fell in love with our lovely horses, the scenery and a few other things along the way. She knows the horses inside out and is a real hit with all our working pupils. A very welcoming and friendly face you will be more than happy to see greet you at the yard. Her background is in personal training. Svenja will look after you to the highest standard and ensure you enjoy your spin on the beach.

Pugs

Duchess & Bruce

The cute, wrinkly and always comical welcoming committee. Mother and son team of pugs. They can be found either snoring and lounging on the couch or jumping around the reception area, looking for children who will rub them.

Margo from Island View Riding Stables on horse

Margo

Margo originally from the golden vales of North Cork has been involved with horses since childhood and is a member of the local riding club. Since moving to Sligo she has also been involved in the vibrant local music scene and enjoys a good session and the craic. Warm and hearty Margo is an excellent guide and holds the HSI level 1 coaching and has over 400 hours hatha yoga teacher training under her belt. Margo also holds first aid responder and safeguarding 1.

Girl riding on Trawalua Strand, Grange, Co Sligo

Working Students

Our current working students come from Germany, England  and Austria. Each with  their own skill set and assigned  project pony, they have gelled into a hard working and fun loving team.

We take on live-in internship students to work with the horses and to help with  looking after customers. First Aid Training, experience in working with horses and riders is essential. Minimum stay is 8 weeks . If you are a pony size rider and not afraid of outdoor work, please feel free to apply.  A detailed job description can be found here, please fill in our job interview form if interested.

Granny Liz at Island View Riding Stables with Ryan Tubridy

Granny Liz

Behind the scenes is Granny Liz. Baker of divine apple tarts and brown bread that even skinny talk show hosts can’t resist! She knows the local history and folklore. Liz is the friendly receptionist and the First Lady at the heart of the family enterprise.

I’ve ridden in some spectacular places but cantering along the sand with the Atlantic on one side and the Benbulben Mountain on the other takes some beating. As we rode back across slippery rocks, watching Ursula’s cows on her own private island amble down to the beach, the sun broke through the clouds. It was a magical moment.” Linsey McNeill in “A green oasis for all the family.

The Observer

Ursula (Uschi) from Island View Riding Stables
Elisa & Ursula O Connor
Elisa O Connor
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