“Understated, surreal and therapeutic – those are the three words I would use to describe the 3+ hours spent in the company of Susan, Debbie, Sophie, Blondy (my first horse!) and the 6 beautiful dogs that make sure you feel supremely welcome to this unanticipated joyride.
Let us start with what you sign up for aka horse riding. Expect to be greeted by one (or more) of Susan’s furry friends right at the entrance to Dingle Horse Riding. As you navigate into the farm, more farm animals greet you such as ducks, pretty roosters and of course, the horses. Before the ride, Susan ensures you have the correct equipment and are set up for success (even if that means borrowing the right pair of socks!). I was amazed by the thoughtfulness put into the selection of the right horse to meet the unique needs of each rider, hence please mention what you are looking for. The quality of instruction provided by Sophie and Susan for novices like myself was also top-notch, providing me with the confidence to command a horse myself which is a complete win in itself. Pleasantly, I received a lot more than a ride through the beautiful landscape of the Dingle peninsula.
The second unexpected (and surreal) part of this experience was Susan’s home which is an architectural delight! As I sat in the living room, prepping for the ride, two things stood out for me – the blurred boundary lines between the nature outside and the house inside along with the beautiful pieces of art that make you feel as if you are in a wonderfully curated art gallery. I was introduced to the works of renowned Irish artists such as Liam O’Neill, Margo Banks, Patsy Farr, Michael Flaherty and Tomas O’Ciobhain – names that stayed with me as I admired landscapes and animals on canvas. It was not a surprise that Susan owns the Greenlane Gallery, and is an artist herself, hence make sure you ask about paintings she created.
The cherry on the top of the whole experience was the warmth, care and sincere hospitality provided by Debbie throughout my time at the farm. Her homemade scones, accompanied with tea and great conversation would make you feel right at home. Taxi (one of the 6 beloved furry friends) would compete with you for the baked treats, hence make sure you dole out extra love and attention to him as you continue gorging.
To summarize, it was not just a stupendous horse-riding experience. I left with confidence to pursue a new passion, a repertoire of new artists, ideas for what I want in my dream-house and hopefully, a memory to cherish and build on.”