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“Pleasant ride through castle property”

Ashford Equestrian Centre
Ranked #1 of 1 Fun & Games in Cong
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Ashford Outdoors designs and leads active and cultural experiences in the most spectacular of settings with panoramic views of lake, forest and Mountain. We specialise in outdoor activities that range from archery and mountain biking to horse drawn carriage rides and many other things besides. We have something to suit everyone. Ashford Outdoors has been offering activity and equestrian experiences in the West of Ireland for over 25 years. Our facilities include an archery range, Ireland's tallest tree climb as well as a large indoor arena. We are open to the general public and offer outdoor adventure and equestrian activities to holiday makers and groups 7 days a week. We provide corporate team building and bonding days as well as catering for youths and sports teams. We can also accommodate Hen and Stag parties and we offer bespoke activity packages for relaxation before or on the morning of your wedding day or special occasion! Our activities include archery, clay pigeon shooting, biking and mountain biking, tree climbing and abseiling, kayaking and guided archaeological and ecological tours. Our location is on the Ashford Castle Estate, next to the island village of Cong on the Galway/Mayo border in Western Ireland. Nestled between the great lakes of Lough Corrib and Lough Mask, Cong is the natural gateway to Connemara. We are only 45 minutes drive north of Galway city and a 45 minute drive south of Westport, Co. Mayo. Ireland West Airport Knock is less than an hour's drive away.
Reviewed March 22, 2014

I was provided with basic instruction and a lovely ride through the woods around the castle. Very enjoyable experience.

Thank seadweller80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 - 68 of 106 reviews

Reviewed November 18, 2013

I had always wanted to ride in ireland and finally had the opportunity at Ashford Castle. I went first thing in he morning and could tell is was going to be drizzley at best on the trails. The first horse I was given would not let me mount form the mounting block, which as not very high so I needed to get a food in the stirrup. There was no problem with the next horse and after a few turns around the large indoor arena--walk, trot, canter--we were off (the we being me and a young French girl who knew the trails). The trails are through a dense forest with high trees; many people were out walking their dogs. It was rainy, but we had a number of good trots and canters. I hadn't been on a horse for two years and hadn't ridden English for way longer, but I felt very comfortable and the horse was extremely responsive to my leg. Definitely for the experienced rider and for him/her a real treat. Boots and helmets are provided. Well worth the $45 fee.

1  Thank donster13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2013

My daughter is an experienced cross country rider and had a thoroughly wonderful ride across the countryside on a lovely, spirited Connemara. This was not a walky-walky trail ride, but a fun and fast riding experience. Not much in the way of jumps, but a lovely outing all the same.

1  Thank Suzanne U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2013

Beautiful old setting, would have loved to have had more time for a riding session. Also loved the Quiet man house along the way.

1  Thank sue w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2013

I booked a 1hr hack as a treat for my 11yr old daughter and I, which cost €70.00. We found the owner a little aloof. As we are very down to earth people, I got the impression he found us not worthy of Ashford Estate!
We are both experienced riders. I was given a huge RID to ride and my daughter a small pony, even though we had explained she was used to a bigger horse. The horses were not as disciplined as I had anticipated.
We were taken through the grounds of Ashford by a lovely girl. The grounds were beautiful and made the ride, unfortunately the guide did not speak English, so said very little to us throughout the journey. We were only able to trot 3 times during the hack, and the pace was very slow for the remainder, no opportunity for a canter, so it was a bit boring.
I don't think we would go back again.

3  Thank sunseasandplease
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AshfordEquestrian, Owner at Ashford Equestrian Centre, responded to this reviewResponded October 22, 2013

Hi. I am sorry that you have not taken up my offer of a return visit free of charge since you live in the area you would have been most welcome.

I feel your review is slightly misleading and I want to address some of the points you made.
1. That I was aloof and felt you were not worthy of the Ashford Estate. I am sorry if you got that impression and I got no negative feed back as you left. My role is to assess the riders and match them to their mounts and after seeing them ride in the arena decide what is safe for them to do.
2. The “small” pony that your daughter was given is ridden by my 11 yr old Grandson in all the pony club competitions in the Galway area and is the envy of many. The huge RID you were given is actually Apollo 16.2 hh and appropriate for a person of your size and weight.
3. The lovely girl who you said did not speak English is a French Equestrian Student and has been offered a job in next years World Equestrian games held in France as an English/French translater.
4. We were only able to trot during the ride. Those were my instructions to the guide. You say you were both experienced riders. Your daughter had only ever ridden in an arena before and is a good little rider. You may have been an experienced rider at one time but your level of fitness and ability as displayed on Apollo in the pre ride assessment was such that I felt it would be unsafe to ask you to canter.
5. The grounds are beautiful and made the ride. That is true. We offer quiet gentle private rides in beautiful surroundings. There is no problem with clients cantering provided they are able to do so with some proficiency in the arena before they leave. Most people are visitors and we only get to see them once or twice so lessons for them are not an option.

Perhaps you could take a look at your review again given the passage of some time. Better still come and visit us again, the autumn colours are lovely.

Best regards

Tim

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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