Lios Lara Riding Stables

Here at Lios Lara we aim to offer safe, enjoyable equestrian activity all year round. With so many horses and ponies to choose from, Lios Lara Riding Stables can accommodate riders of all ages and abilities. Whether it be a family wanting to pass some time together or a small child having their first pony ride – we have something for everyone.

Who are we:

Born out of a young girl’s childhood passion for horses, Lios Lara Riding Stables is a family-run equestrian centre. Suitably qualified with a BA Hons in Equine Business, Annie O’Neill’s grá for horses, once a hobby, has now evolved into a thriving business. Supported by parents Julie and Mick and partner Tinso, also a keen and experienced horseman, Annie’s Coaching Cert, BHS Stage 2 Teach and BHS Stage 3 Horsemanship with Distinction guarantees her expertise in providing each and every customer with a unique experience with horses tailored to their individual level of riding ability.

What we do:

Lios Lara’s facilities cater for every equine enthusiast from the pleasure rider to the competitive. Providing either long or short term livery, Lios Lara provides riding lessons to both adults and children, in groups or individually, as well as a full trekking service amid the woodlands and hills of the beautiful Beara Peninsula which take in breathtaking views of the area. For younger riders Lios Lara hold pony camps, one day workshops, fun competitions and shows, mini-treks, children birthday parties, breaking and schooling service.

 

Mission Statement:

Lios Lara’s mission is to promote and encourage good Horsemanship in a safe and fun atmosphere, allowing students to work at their own pace while achieving individual goals. At Lios Lara we foster a caring and inclusive ethos where all who pass through our yard are respected and treated equally at all times. Annie’s qualifications include an Irish Pony Club B+ Test (Distinction), Occupational First aid, Safe guarding 1 and 2 and Garda vetting. All staff and volunteers over 18 are Garda vetted and hold Safe Guarding 1 as a minimum. Our stables are fully insured for all its activities.

 

Trek Beara’s woodland and hills while overlooking beautiful Bantry Bay, Bere Island and Ardnakinna Lighthouse.

Area

Lios Lara Riding Stables, located at Tir na Hilan, near Castletownbere, is tucked into the sides of the Slieve Miskish Mountains which sculpt the beautiful Beara Peninsula. We are situated at the starting point of the Beara Bridle Way and on the route of the famous Beara Way.

On route to Lios Lara, you will pass Derreenasagart stone circle which beholds one of Ireland’s most impressive views onto the harbour’s mouth at Berehaven as well as Tir na Hilan raised ring fort.

 

You will also enjoy stunning views onto one of Europe’s deepest harbours, Ard na Kinna lighthouse, Dunboy and its Puxley’s mansion.

After your visit to our stables why not ramble through Castletownbere where you can enjoy quality West Cork food in our quaint cafés, restaurants and bars; local seafood and chocolate brownies a must! Beara is home to many art galleries and craft shops; browse to your heart’s content and choose a special item to remind you of your visit to Beara.

Castletownbere is an international fishing port and you are likely to hear Spanish, Portuguese and a host of other languages being spoken in bars and shops mingling alongside the soft West Cork brogue of the locals.

Castletownbere Festival of the Sea occurs during the first week in August. The regatta takes place on the Bank Holiday, and there are many events held during the week, including live music in the town square each evening.

The Beara Arts Festival also takes place each August where art exhibitions, drawing, writing and music workshops, and performances take place.

Some local attractions:

  • Ferry over to Bere Island; steeped in military history the island was home to four Martello towers and a Signal tower as part of a chain of British coastal defence.
  • Play golf at the 9 hole Golf Club, Castletownbere.
  • Fish on land and on sea, or take sightseeing boat trips of the harbour.
  • Rib it out to the famous nautical landmark, the Bull Rock, from Garnish.
  • Swim in one of Beara’s many safe inlets or the beach at Ballydonegan, gorgeous Allihies.
  • Ride over water to Dursey Island on Ireland’s ONLY cable car, and only European cable car that goes over sea water. Visit Dursey Island, popular with bird watchers and nature enthusiasts.
  • Without disturbing the peace of the Buddhist monks who run the DZOGCHEN BEARA RETREAT CENTRE, have a look at the breathtaking views from their cliff top meditation room.
  • Kayak with seals in Adrigole.
  • Learn local history with Beara Baoi Tours.
    Ask at Lios Lara for more detailed information.

Riding Lessons

Here at Lios Lara we offer riding lessons for all ages and abilities in a large outdoor all-weather arena. Lessons are either one-to-one or in small group sessions.
A film of a recent after school lesson.

Private Lessons

Private lessons offered range from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Private lessons are great for beginners and newcomers just starting out. One-on-one time with the instructor focuses the rider on getting the basics before joining group lessons. We recommend new riders to get up to 3 private lessons before attending group lessons so we can help them achieve their standards for an appropriate group. Not only for beginners, private tuition can also be very beneficial for advanced riders and horse owners wanting to goal set and achieve higher levels.

We also accommodate semi-private lessons. Children and adults welcome.
Prices range from €15 to €30

Group Lessons


Group lessons vary in length; 2 hour group sessions for our mini-saddle clubbers and 3 hour group sessions for our intermediate and advanced horse clubbers. Our group lessons are designed to make riders feel part of our club. Riders learn to groom, tack up their own horse, care for their animal, stable management and yard duties. Group lessons have an important social aspect for our riders as the setting encourages the making of new friends and the strengthening of bond between horse and rider. Lessons generate an abundance of confidence and knowledge of horsemanship, invaluable for those that eventually decide to buy their own pony or horse. Children and adults welcome.
Prices range from €20 to €25

Therapeutic sessions

Connection between a horse and a rider can be very strong, horses proven to have a positive and calming effect on people. Within the positive atmosphere here at Lios Lara stables, we can help de-stress anyone after a tough day by arranging therapeutic pony sessions which cater for everyone’s needs, disabilities and requirements. It can involve brushing and grooming the pony, to taking the pony for walks or some basic riding. Children and adults welcome.
Prices range from €15 to €30

Stable management

Although group lessons include stable management, we also offer one-to-one or group sessions for practical or theory work. This is extremely beneficial for either the horse owner themselves or students preparing for exams in Pony club or BHS.
Prices range from €15 to €30

“ We make all our lessons a positive learning experience for horse and rider through a clear and positive teaching style “

If you would like to book any of these lessons, please contact us to make an appointment. Family discounts apply.

Click here to download our riders form.

Trekking

Experiencing the beautiful landscape and terrain of Beara is amazing on horseback. Its peace, tranquillity, beauty and serenity makes Tir na Hilan a perfect spot for a leisurely hack; choose quiet country laneways or more upbeat treks and canters up the bog or the forestry lane.

Riders with different levels of experience will be accompanied by at least two guides. This means the group can split up for some of the hack, allowing the experienced riders to go for a canter with one guide whilst the second guide stays with the less experienced party.

We ensure everyone feels comfortable with the pace of the ride. If necessary, small children or beginner riders can be taken on a lead rein. For the nervous or first timers, we take your safety seriously and will organise helpers and staff to personally lead you for the hour.

All riding activities take place outdoors. All rides are guided. We supply riding hats, hat liners and boots. Riders should wear sensible outdoor clothing and comfortable trousers.

Our treks are mainly 1 hour duration but we can accommodate those who want a longer 2 hour treks. €25. per person per hour,  with a discount on groups of 5+.

Looking for a more challenging experience? We offer both half day treks and full day treks over Ireland’s first ever Bridle Path. Please contact us at Lios Lara for further information.

Livery

Lios Lara Riding Stables offers a 5* livery service for its clients.

Here at Lios Lara Riding Stables we aim to provide the best possible care for your horse. We offer full livery at competitive prices, with packages tailored to meet both the individual client and their horse’s needs; this may include your horse being exercised or ridden by our team, or availing of our excellent tuition services.

Full livery includes:

  • Daily turnout
  • Grooming down after turnout
  • Rug changing when necessary
  • Hay feeding 4 times a day
  • Daily mucking out and bedding down
  • Feeding of the hard food.

As a responsible and well run yard, Lios Lara informs you when your horse needs shoeing, or teeth and back done. Our farrier comes to the yard regularly – fortnightly.

Availing of livery at Lios Lara yard gives you access to a:

  • Large outdoor flood light arena
  • Turnout pen
  • Turnout paddocks
  • Horse Walker
  • Quite lanes for hacking out
  • Easy access to Beara bridle paths

With on-site parking for horse boxes and cars, the yard is open to our liveries 7 days a week. Operating as a close knit family unit, here at the yard we always encourage everyone to ask our help or advice at anytime. Living on-site offers an added sense of security.

Currently full for the winter season, we aim to have more livery availability come spring. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about livery with differing packages and pricing.

Our Yard

We recently built a new yard of stables especially for our livery owners, in order for them to spend as much time as they want with their horse onsite without the disturbance of the riding school next door. This yard includes:

  • large alleyway for horses to access their stable
  • secure and private tack room
  • Private feed room
  • Private bathroom
  • Small kitchen appliances to boil water
  • Rug and bridle holders outside each stable.

Each stables consists of:

  • 12×12 area
  • Fully rubber matted
  • Tie up ring
  • Automatic water drinkers
  • Hay and hard food manager.

Other services

Breaking, training and schooling of the young horse can be done here at Lios Lara. Although a young woman, owner Annie has spent her life around horses and trained under the watchful eye of Pony Club instructor Christina, Senior Instructor at Lios Lara today. Annie has plenty knowledge in the training of young horses. Many of the horses and ponies at the school were in fact trained and schooled by Annie, some even bred by her.

For those moving onto the step of buying their own pony, Lios Lara would gladly help you in this process. One of Annie’s passions is to nab a good horse, school it and improve it for her clients! Many horses have been sought for former members of the riding school through Annie, who has a great eye for horses.

If you are interested in our training and schooling services, OR if you would like us to source your perfect horse – please contact us,

Covid 19 Updates

21st October:

Just a reminder, we remain open for school aged children, pods of 15 but only have between 4 and 8 in a lesson.

Anyone worried about coming out of their 5k radius to travel for horse riding, see photo attached, exceptions given to travel out side that radius to travel to non contact sporting

20th October:

Given the new government restrictions, we will remain to STAY OPEN FOR SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN, our adult lessons will stop until further notice

We will still be working the same routine as the past few weeks, outdoors only, our team will meet you at the main yard where you will:

*sanitise on arrival
*put on your gloves
*mount and go to the arena
*return horse to staff member after lesson
*sanitise your hands and leave straight away.

Please bring the correct amount of money for your lesson in and envelope at the start of the lesson. Please arrive in your equipment and ready to ride, if you need to borrow a helmet, please use the hairnet we provide, leave equipment on the bench outside the main entrance as it will be disinfected after.

Parents avoid gatherings on the car park while waiting for the lesson. Drop your child and go, or remain in your own car for the duration, feel free to have a walk along the quite lanes while lessons take place

All tack will be disinfected after every rider, and alll staff will be wearing gloves and masks.

Horse riding is a non contact sport so we are very lucky to remain open in these strange times

A final reminder: if you have been sick and showing in covid symptoms, have been in contact with someone with covid,  just don’t feel comfortable in our environment, DO NOT COME TO HORSE RIDING, we must all think about out health.

To all our clients and customers, stay safe, keep washing the hands, we will pull through this, once again thank you all for your support in such a difficult year

6Th October:

Update on what’s happening at the stables:

From the recent announcement regarding our positioning of level 3, I have decided to keep lessons going, however we will be not going ahead with our 2 hour saddle club and 3 hour club rally. We are offering only 1 hour riding lessons in the same group to help minimise contact and movement.

The following must be adhered to while at the yard:

* 1 hour riding lesson, I will meet the ride at the main entrance of the yard, I will be wearing a mask to mount the riders and any of my staff also. Mask will be taken off for teaching.
* please bring your lesson fee on arrival in an envelope.
*arrive 5 mins early and pick on time is vital.
*please sanitize your hands before mounting and dismounting.
* gloves must be worn
*if you need to borrow a hat, you must put a hairnet on.
*avoid touching and rubbing and hugging the horse where possible.
*all parents to stay in the car when dropping and collecting if possible.
*no entry to the barn, unless the absolute need for the toilet, which will be disinfected after use.
*do not bring extra belongings to your lesson, just your riding equipment, the lockers are off limit.

As we are working solely outside, from the yard to the arena there no need for face masks as we will be able to maintain at least 1m on the ground and 2m on the horse, but off course masks can be worn at your own wish.All our staff and myself will wear our masks upon dealing with clients.

Regarding trekking, I am not in position to cater for tourist and visitors outside the Beara Penninsula at present. The less outside interaction and movement we have the better for now. I must also think about my own family and myself.

Please remember:

If you are a high risk, have been sick, in contact with people showing symptoms, have been showing symptoms yourself, or just don’t feel comfortable in our environment, PLEASE DO NOT COME TO HORSE RIDING.

Bookings

If you would like to make a provisional booking please fill in the form below and we will get back to you. If possible let us know what you are looking for in the text box, lessons, trek etc, Thanks.

Pony Camps

Pony Camp

Pony Camps are fantastic learning experiences for all horse enthusiasts and here at Lios Lara our camps offer an added opportunity for any tourist visiting the area to make new friends whilst equine learning and having fun. We run various pony camps during the seasonal holidays, ranging from Beginner/Lead rein camps, Intermediate and Senior Camps, to Adults Camps.

Beginner Camps – average 3.5 to 4 hours for 2 days, usually with a morning and afternoon option.
Intermediate / Senior Camps – 3 full days including an intense 1 full day workshop for adults.

What to expect at camp:

Riding

Who thought learning could be so much fun as you’re taught to ride in beautiful Beara by fully qualified instructors! Matched to ponies of suitable standard and size (Camp Riders may also request certain ponies if available) all lessons are geared specifically towards varying groups and standards and held in a fun, relaxed and safe environment.

In Beginners, campers learn safety around horses, controlling their ponies, trotting and pony games. Advanced camp riders learn more technical riding on both flat and jump, all lessons offering the opportunity to play pony games. Trekking factored in during all camps.

Stable Management

Through the morning and afternoon, campers will have an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the care of horses and ponies in a safe environment. Stable management can be so much fun!

Adapted to standards and ages of the group, topics covered include:

• Fun with ponies , horse sense and grooming
• Day to day Care and feeding
• Hoof Care and Shoeing
• Tack & Saddlery
• Horse Health and basic first aid
Plus much more…

What to bring to Camp;

  • Lios Lara has a selection of hats and boots that campers can borrow. If you have your own, wellies are ideal or any boot/shoe with a flat sole and definite small heel. No runners please.
  • Riders are more than welcome to bring along their own equipment. A member of staff will check it first to make sure it is up to the latest safety standards.
  • Wear comfy clothes; jodhpurs, leggings, fitted jeans, or tracksuits bottoms (not too baggy). Warm clothing is a must during winter and spring; in the event of the occasional downpour (!) rain jacket and rain trousers are recommended as well as a change of clothes. During summer months, you might want to pack sun screen.
  • Bring a packed lunch and don’t forget plenty of drinks as this horse riding can be thirsty work!
  • Any medication should be reported and given to a member of staff accompanied by detailed instructions written and signed by the guardian.

Pony Parties

Looking for a great idea for your horse enthusiast child? Look no further than a Lios Lara Pony Party! In the event of a birthday, all you have to do is provide the cake and some goodies – let us do the rest. We offer 3 fun filled hours of pony incorporated fun and games – 1 hour riding lesson, brushing and grooming and decorating the pony. Minimum of 4 children and maximum of 6 (this excludes the birthday child, they are free!) €150 for 3 hours.

Pony parties are not just for kids; we also cater for teenage / adult parties to include trekking etc. Activities can be altered depending on group. To discuss a horsey birthday treat or a random any time gift for yourself or someone you love – just get in touch.