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“Donegal Trail West”
Review of Horse Holiday Farm

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Horse Holiday Farm
Reviewed 18 August 2017 via mobile

We've just had one of the greatest weeks in our lives. Right now sitting at Sligo Bus station, crying and crying for Rebel
We did the Donegal West trail, unbelievable, impressive scenery, most lovely hosts, unforgettable!! You MUST experience that yourselves, words cannot describe it.
I never even imagined a horse like Rebel existed! So strong, so brave and at the same time sensitively reacting to the slightest movement of my legs - there are simply no words for this adorable, amazing, perfect horse. I'll come back to Rebel asap
And of course, we fell in love with beautiful, lovely, reliable Cumberly, too!
Horse Holiday Farm ist the place to be, and once you have the "hhf-virus", you'll always want to come back!
County Donegal, Ireland, is certainly one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
Thank Ronja R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 34 reviews

Reviewed 9 July 2017

I recently returned from the Donegal West ride. My experience was very mixed.

The "trails" were 85% paved roads. Some of them were very busy narrow high speed highways. The horses handled the traffic, but years were taken off my life from the tension. I would not have booked the trip had I known about the pavement. I did not read the TA review from 2016!

There were exactly 3 places for a short canter on the entire "trail". The beach gallop was very short.... A group behind us had 2 horses who refused to go on the beach!!!! One of the horses would rear- on pavement!!!!

I suggest a person who books with HHF to be specific about what kind of horse he or she wants. I had to become very aggressive with the staff when they gave me a small horse who could not keep up with my companion's very large legged horse and I requested a matching mount- which we had already done since the 2nd day. My little guy tried his heart out and I felt very sorry for him. The staff finally- after 3 phone calls and offers of inappropriate replacement mounts, provided me with an exceptionally "brilliant horse" Celtic could keep up with Drifter. His training and nature was perfect for the entire rest of the trip.

The accommodations were very nice. Take a book with you- there is not much reading material available at the stops. Also, there are no opportunities for lunch on the way so pack snacks for energy. We did not mind this.

The saddles were old and not so well cared for. The group behind us horses feel into the bog on designated trails and one stirrup holder broke.

The "trail" was very well marked.

I was very disappointed and do not like writing this review. I want everyone to understand what they are signing up for. There are many folks who loved their trip. We all have different needs and standards.

Stayed: June 2017, travelled with friends
Thank Jane J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2016

We did the six-day Riding by the Sea offering. I did the Sligo Trail with HHF in the late 1980's.
Positives:
- Bed and Breakfast: Karin is a splendid hostess. Except for one evening when we were dropped off at nearby town without dinner reservations to fend for ourselves for dinner- we waited almost an hour - she delivered a superb guest experience. B and B was clean and comfortable. Excellent breakfast with lots of choices, not just typical Irish breakfast. Nearby Lang's and Harrison's were best spots for dinner.
- Horses: all were fast, strong, and sure-footed.They appeared sound and well cared-for. Tack of good quality and well-maintained (see Negatives).
- Guide: Scott is a gifted horseman and guide. Friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful.
Negatives:
- Riding by the Sea or on the trail packages, you'll spend a good fraction of your time riding on or directly alongside busy asphalt roads. No photos of that in their advertising. Very disappointing.
- Many of the mounts were not relaxed, and constantly had to be brought back from a trot. Worse than any school horse (and much worse than any trail horse) I've ever ridden. Got old fast. Our most experienced rider had to trade in her horse after two days, as she was so sore from constantly restraining her mount. A trail rider quit early when his horse, spooked by a motorcycle on the main road they were riding on, took the bit in his mouth and galloped out of control for 2 km on the road. Another trail rider fell from his horse on the beach as he started to gallop because the bit ring sheared in two places (what a nightmare!). I heard that the ring looked like it might have been repaired? He flew home early with bruised ribs.
- Payment: Requirement to wire money is very inconvenient. HHF provided us the wrong bank account number TWICE. We waited nervously to see if our $2400 had been irretrievably transferred to an unknown bank account.

  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Mark F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
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Reviewed 14 August 2016 via mobile

This is for people who like adventure and can ride.

I went with a friend and ended up meeting 2 really nice girls from Germany. We decided to stay together for the entire trip and had an amazing time.

We rode for over 100 km, each night stopping at B&Bs where we could have some hot tea, shower, have a full dinner and good night sleep, then start the next day with an awesome breakfast. Every single B&B was amazing and had more care than any hotel I'd ever stayed at. Extremely caring, and that means a lot when you have just had a long day riding and may have had some hours in the rain... Each time felt like coming home.

The horses were bombproof and I felt completely safe the entire time. I rode a horse called Davis. He never spooked, and also he was able to pick up very good speed when I wanted to (gallop on the beach). Very smooth gaits which made the ride very pleasant, even when I was drenched to the bone a couple of times. I am used to sport horses and Arabians, but for the trail this was the perfect horse. He knew the trail, was reliable and also had LIFE and energy.

I highly recommend "waterproof" gear, like North Face, which I did not bring. "Weatherproof" is worthless unless you like getting totally drenched and having the water trapped inside your clothes. Ziplock bags (bigger ones) are awesome for keeping your things dry in the saddlebags.

Horses are kept in paddocks each night, easy to care for, and each place is already set up with the horse food there. Very easy to take care of your horse on the trail. The staff and ladies at the B&Bs have been doing this for years (like 10-20 years+) and are super helpful and answered every question I had.

The horses are well cared for by staff who know the horses and have been working there for years. They are fed well, get to be out in the field, are well cared for based on my earlier Pony Club training.

Great place, I highly recommend it!

Stayed: August 2016, travelled with friends
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2016 via mobile

It was a real adventure together with my daughter and friend to ride along the Atlantic coast on well trained horses,beutiful landscape, saddlebags and a map. Everything was well organized, high professional level of staff and owners of the farm. Can highly recommend but be prepared it is not a walk in the park but it is a fanstic adventure!

Stayed: August 2016, travelled with friends
Thank Fagerberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Horse Holiday Farm

Address: Horse Holiday Farm Ltd. | Grange County Sligo Ireland, Grange, Ireland
Region: Ireland > Western Ireland > Province of Connacht > County Sligo > Grange
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Grange
Number of rooms: 17

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