All our horses are Irish-bred. A lot of them have been born, reared and trained on the farm. We see our horses as lifelong partners. Riding school animals get selected primarily on the basis of their good temperament. Our training of the horses is based on our vast experience. All horses get solid foundation training, based on a combination of natural horsemanship and the German training scale. We incorporate elements of the philosophy of ease (école de légèreté) into our schooling.
We regularly sell horses and ponies which are bred and trained on the farm here.
We believe in natural horsemanship and all our horses lead a life as close to nature’s way as possible. The riding school horses live in a herd on 100 acres of summer pasture. Therefore they know each other well and are familiar with their place in the pecking order, which makes them even safer and easier to ride. After the day’s work, the horses go out to the fields and can be horses, have a roll in the mud, have a bit of horseplay and a social life with their friends.
Horses have to prove they are safe in traffic, sound, dependable and trustworthy before they can be ridden by customers.
All horses are seen regularly by the horse dentist and chiropractor if needed. Saddles are checked and fitted every year by a master saddler.
Our school horses and ponies come in all shapes and sizes. There are plenty of animals to choose from ranging from a patient easy-going cob to a challenging sport horse. So no matter whether you are a beginner or advanced rider, child or adult, you can get the time of your life on horseback.
Make a new equine friend! Have a look at the variety we have got lined up for you:
Island View Horses & Ponies:
Welsh Mountain Ponies
The mini stars in our riding school are our Section A Welsh Mountain part-breds. Their smooth gaits and convenient size make them ideal ponies for small children learning to ride and on the lead rein.
They are active, responsive and fun!
Popular characters here include Leprechaun the patient lungeing pony, Minnie Mouse, who is a delight to ride in dressage and jumping, and Pebbles who specialises in the 30 minutes lead rein ride.
They are just so adorable!
This native pony originates from Ireland’s Connemara region. Rock speckled hills, fields and bog land have produced a pony breed of outstanding hardiness and surefootedness.
Connemara Ponies have a natural ability for jumping coupled with active paces and an extremely willing temperament.
Thoroughbred lines, and some Arab/Spanish blood introduced into the breed, have given the Connemara Pony’s athleticism and stamina and its characteristic “Spanish” looks.
Our Connemara Ponies and Connemara Crosses range in size from 130 cm to 150 cm. Examples here at Island View Riding Stables are Flapjack, Jasper, Soti, Jaffa and Blue, Elisa’s show-jumping pony.
Also called “Tinker Horse” (Mainland Europe) or “Gypsy Vanner” (in the USA). The origin of this breed is only known to the Travelling Community in Ireland. Traditionally, they had to pull bow top wagons and lived grazing “the long acre”, very much part of the family. It is fair to say that a dash of Clydesdale blood has given this breed its characteristics.
They are weight carriers, forgiving, with a docile temperament and love people. Some of them are surprisingly agile and good jumpers – all of them are really trustworthy. The “moustachioed” cobs are said to be “care-takers” who look after their rider.
Examples of the Irish Cobs working here include Gippy, the quiet weight carrier, Mo, the versatile gentleman, Tom, the friendly minder and Molly, the pretty skewbald mare. Our “fleet” of Irish Cobs vary in size from 145 cm to 165 cm. They come as piebalds, skewbalds and in solid colours with feathered fetlocks. We value them as ideal trekking and riding school horses.
Irish Draught Horses
In comparison to continental Draught Horse breeds, the Irish Draught is a very agile and athletic riding horse. A real all-rounder, on the farm it was used to plough the fields, bring the family to mass on a Sunday and take the farmer for a good day’s fox hunting on St. Stephens Day.
With the advent of tractors in the 1950s the Irish Draught Horse became very scarce and by the 1970s very few brood mares were left. With the purchase of Oilean Oir (Amber) in 1988 the O’Connor family started their involvement in maintaining the core breed.
Irish Draught horses come in all solid colours, but are predominantly grey and chestnut. Presently some of our Irish Draught horses include Oilean Glas, Wanda, Murphy or Oilean Svalla.
Irish Sport Horses
In the past also called “Irish Hunter” the traditionally bred Irish Sport Horse combines Irish Draught and Thoroughbred blood.
A tall, solid, athletic and brave horse with a scopey jump and a superb temperament. In recent years, foreign (warmblood) lines have been introduced into the breed.
We at Island View favour the traditionally bred Irish Sport Horse as a dependable horse that can think on its feet and will mind himself and the rider, be it for eventing, show jumping, hunting or leisure riding.
Island View Riding Stables breed Irish Sport Horses for sale and competition – examples are showjumpers Oilean Uno and Oilean Dunlop.
Our Irish Sport Horses working in the riding school include Hillie, Gypsum, Anna and Jacqueline, who look after our VIP customers (like TV presenter Ryan Tubridy!).