General cross-country questions
I am a good rider. Will there be a suitable Horse for me? Yes. We have a variety of horses to cater for all levels of riding experience.
I need a confidence-giving horse - will there be one available for me? Absolutely!
How big are the groups? The groups vary depending on the time of year but ideally for cross-country the groups are small.
Will riders who have more cross-country/jumping experience have the chance to jump more challenging fences? The height and complexity of the fences will be decided each day by the instructor based on the ability of each individual rider. The weather and ground conditions are some of the factors that will also impact this decision.
Can I still come if I haven't done much jumping? Yes, you most certainly can. We can cater for all different levels of riding. It always helps if you can give us as much detail about your riding experience as possible before arriving so that we can make sure we have the right horse available for you.
Are the groups mixed abilities? Sometimes we do have different levels of riding in one group especially if they have come to Flowerhill as a group of friends or colleagues. However, that doesn't mean that it will hold more experience riders back in jumping more advanced fences or scare off the more novice riders. We can always split the groups to jump different fences but yet be able to ride out together as the one group. Most of our 150 cross-country fences include two or more options which allows us to facilitate this with ease.
Are there hats and body protectors that I can borrow? We recommend for everyone to bring their own fitted riding and appropriate safety equipment.
Will we do any show-jumping lessons in the arena? We don't normally show-jump in the arena on a day to day basis but this can always be arranged on request.
What happens if it rains? We normally will still ride out unless it is not safe to do so. We recommend packing a light rain jacket - this is Ireland after all!
Who will be teaching me? One of our qualified instructors will be teaching you. Oliver normally brings out most of the rides himself,with one or more riders helping to lead the rides.
About the packages
How can I get from the airport? Will you pick me up or arrange a taxi? Please see our "Location and Bookings" section for further information.
How can I get to and from the stables each day? We recommend for you to hire your own car to give you the so you are flexible to travel around and visit different locations. However, if you don't hire a car we can provide a pick-up and return to the local accommodations.
What meals are included? Where can I eat? Both of our local B&Bs will provide you with a lovely breakfast each morning before you arrive at Flowerhill. They will also provide you with a packed lunch for the day. Caroline's Guest House also as the option of full board. Otherwise there is always the option to go out for dinner in the local villages or book self-catering accommodation.
What else is there to do when I'm not riding? A lot of our clients enjoy a trip to Galway city, visiting the Cliffs of Moher or to tack shops in the area. There is lots of other things to do and see while in the area and the West of Ireland but we do recommend that you hire a car if you are planning on doing some travelling.
Do I have to share a room? When you are booking your accommodation you will be giving the option of a single room.
Is it ok to come by myself? Of course it is! We often have customers coming here by themselves and you will make plenty of new friends during your stay.
Do I always have to jump or is there a non-jumping option if I get stuck? Depending on your riding ability and what you wish to do there are several hunts to choose from. We always have at least one member of staff that goes along with our clients and brings a spare horse with them. They will look after both you and your horse well and you can always left them know if there is something you are not comfortable jumping.
What kind of terrain / obstacles will be encountered and how big are the jumps? This also depends on the hunt that you decide to go out with. The jumping includes an average height of 80/90 cms dry stone walls or hedges with little or no ditches. The countryside Drag Hunt especially has a lot of "man made jumps" with often an option to go beside or around each jump. The ground conditions will depend on the weather.
What do I need to wear? We recommend white or cream riding pants and a dark color coat (black or navy).A white shirt and stock is also recommended but not a must have.