Find me horseriding in
Imagine feeling the splash of salty water as it flies though the air combined with the feeling of a horse’s smooth shoulder moving beneath you like a steam piston across the wet sands. Beach riding truly is exhilarating!
And where better to try it than on one of Ireland’s largest and most dramatically scenic islands – Achill, in Co Mayo. Located just off the coast and attached to the mainland by bridge, this island is one of Ireland’s most accessible islands.
Framed by both its impressive shoreline and the majestic outcrops of cliffs and mountains, Achill Island is the ideal place to take in all that nature has to offer. The cliffs of Croaghaun on the western end of the island are some of the highest in Europe and as you embark on your trek it will be difficult for you not to notice the imposing Slievemore, rising dramatically in the north.
Galloping on Keel Beach, Achill Island
Calvey’s pony trekking and equestrian centre is located under the nose of this commanding mountain near the pretty village of Keel. Here they specialise in horse riding activities for all abilities and provide daily pony treks. You can ride across Keel beach, scamper up the Sandybanks area or visit the Deserted Villlage, an abandoned settlement that dates to the Great Famine (1845-1849).
Catering for different rider levels – from the nervous novice to the more experienced horse rider who likes a thundering pace across the strand – Calvey’s has tailored their trekking routes with various abilities in mind. With over 35,000 acres of commonage to roam over, with sandy shorelines and old bog roads busting with outstanding beauty and wildlife, it’s the perfect place for equestrian activity.
Speaking of wildlife, did you know that Achill Island is home to Ireland’s only native lizard? Though present in other parts of the country, the Irish common lizard (lacerta viviparta) is a frequent sight on Achill’s bogs and sand dunes, or sunning themselves on its dry-stone walls.