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“Marvellous experience not to be missed”

Flowerhill Equestrian Centre
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Attraction details
Owner description: Welcome to our TripAdvisor page. I am Oliver Walsh and for the past 15 years I have welcomed visitors from all over the world to Flowerhill Equestrian Centre in Co Galway, Ireland. Visitors come for the hospitality, willing and fit horses, extensive cross country horseback riding facilities and relaxed and happy atmosphere. Flowerhill is based in 250 acres of beautiful east Galway country side. We are surrounded by the best possible cross country horse riding land - green fields, woods, the Kilcrow river, and wonderful wildlife. You can gallop across open fields, swim through the lake and splash in the Kilcrow river, scaring away the fish as you go. Our fences are a mixture of natural logs, stone walls, ditches and a variety of man made obstacles, including giant bananas! Most of the 150 fences include 2 or more options, so whether you are a nervous novice or confident competitor, we will cater for your needs. The riding standard varies from novice cross sountry, through intermediate, right up to advanced open. All riders need to be confident at walk trot and canter, therefore Flowerhil is not for the absolute beginner.Ride with us by the hour, a full day of 2 or 3 rides per day, or stay with us and chill out for a week or more. Rides usually go out daily at 10.00am and 1.30pm, and we change the rides to suit our customers needs. Horse riding variations include show jumping and dressage tuition, cross country workshops, exercising the hounds and hacking down to the local pub, where there are stabling facilities while we enjoy a pint and toasted sandwich. Private cross country or show jumping clinics for an individual rider can also be arranged. Over the years many of customers return again and again to enjoy the fun.
Munich, Germany
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Marvellous experience not to be missed”
Reviewed July 19, 2013

Simply fantastic! I can highly recommend the Flowerhill equestrian experience. It has been a long time since I was on a horse and with Oliver’s excellent trainer expertise and quality of the horse, I quickly regained the confidence needed. The landscape and surroundings added to the magic.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank WeazyLu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Terrific Cross Country Riding in Ireland”
Reviewed July 7, 2013

Flowerhill was recommended to me by a riding instructor. If you are interested in riding in Ireland there are lots of places to choose from and it can be very hard to know where to go. The recommendation to ride at Flowerhill turned out to be a great one.

I had done very little cross country jumping before, and I am not really a very well balanced rider - certainly not balanced enough to expect to have the kind of experience I had at Flowerhill. But because of the excellent horses and the fine guidance from Oliver Walsh and his staff, I had a great time, and stayed on the horses nearly all the time!

Oliver takes pride that the riding is challenging and technical at Flowerhill. I was there with a friend who is a much more experienced and capable rider than I am. We found from the outset that we could ride together (most of the time you are riding in small groups of 5 or 6 to 8 riders) a yet there were options for bigger or smaller jumps next to each other, so we were both getting what we wanted and what was appropriate for us. Oliver takes care in matching riders to a horse that works for you, and he generally makes really good decisions on this! He or his helpers are always along with the group (unless you bring your own horses, then you are able to ride out on your own) providing guidance and instruction - this is exactly what I needed. By the end of six days of riding I had jumped things I never imagined I would jump at the beginning of the week.

The general drill is that there is a group that goes at at 10 am to jump for an hour or so. At 11:30 many (but not all) mornings we'd go out for a hack for about 30 minutes or so, that always included a big gallop somewhere on the grounds. After a lunch break at 1:30 we'd go out for another hour or more or jumping. You could always opt out of ay ride, but my friend and I wanted to get in every bit we could. You are generally changing horses three times a day - so the horses stay fresh and safe.

I just can't say enough about how much we enjoyed ourselves. I felt that I learned a lot and made big strides forward in confidence. The horses are sturdy and sure-footed, and know the terrain and the jumps (though Oliver does change the jump configurations). You figure out that you are going to be OK if you do the things you are supposed to do: keep your leg on, give the horse its head, stay balanced in the saddle. There is an emphasis on dropping down, often into water, which was also really helpful, since doing anything in a downward direction scared me before this trip! Additionally, Oliver's staff, helpers, hangers-on, and regulars were all friendly and easy to be with. Oliver himself is a true character, and a guy that you feel fortunate to have met and learned from. I asked him for advice at the conclusion of our trip (should I give up riding?) and he told me that his only advice was that I should come back and go fox hunting with him - a suggestion I would very much like to take him up on!

We stayed at the Oak Lodge in Portumna, with Mary Lynch, who is terrific, and provides excellent hospitality, clean comfy beds and baths, at a fantastic price; all walking distance from pubs and restaurants in town. Also, you cannot believe how reasonable the cost of riding at Flowerhill is - I'm not sure how it compares to other places, but I'd say it was extremely high value for the money.

Go to Flowerhill; you will not regret it!

Visited June 2013
6 Thank Sean M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Will definitely be coming back”
Reviewed May 29, 2013

This is the best riding holiday I have been to. Not only have I enjoyed myself immensley but I have also learned so much about how to improve my cross country riding. Before this trip, I was a nervous cross country rider, having only done 5 times and not always having had the best of experience. I can't believe how only after 4 days at Flowerhill, I can geniuenely say I will miss cross country and cannot wait until I can come back and do it all again! Everyone I met at Flowerhill have been so friendly and welcoming and the horses are absolutely brilliant.

If you are a nervous jumper and want to improve, this is the place to come. The horses know their job and they really give you the confidence you need to go over jumps you otherwsie would never attempt. For the advance riders who want a challenge, there are bigger fences and Oliver can always think of trickier lines to keep you and your equine partner on your toes / hooves.

Visited May 2013
2 Thank Alison L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Not to be found anywhere else”
Reviewed April 25, 2013

I just had the most fantastic riding holidays ever. I spent a week at Flowerhill, doing a lot of cross country riding and improving on it more than I could have dreamt before. Greatly recommended! I really enjoyed Oliver`s advice and his wonderful horses - I felt very confident during each ride. As a single traveller, I had a lot of fun with the other riders - I even had a chance to accompany them to Blackfort Hunter Trial. Will come back for a hunt sometime!

Visited April 2013
Thank maerzmaedchen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Made the trip perfect”
Reviewed April 4, 2013 via mobile

My husband, two young teenagers and I had a cross country lesson here a few days ago- it was superb! The horses are really well-schooled and know their job. Oliver is a great teacher- gave some great tips but he is actually quite cautious so there was no danger of any nasty falls. I got huge confidence from it and wanted to go again! Just hope I can keep some of the confidence with me...and the weather was fab which helped.all in all, really good value- you can't put a value on the confidence you'll get from riding here.

Visited April 2013
Thank User0407
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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