Ireland is often referred to as the ‘Land of the Horse’, it provides an ideal training ground for both novice and experienced riders whether you own your own horse or not.

For those looking to learn how to ride and care for a horse there are approved riding centres around Ireland who offer expert guidance and tuition, see further details below.

There are a number of associations and organisations open to horse owners, many of which offer training and competition, as well as having an important social element. Each organisation has it’s own individual focus, this can range from being for riders within a specific age group or for a specific activity or discipline.

If you are taking a holiday within Ireland there are a selection of riding holidays available catering for all ages and abilities.

Riding Schools

Riding schools provide lessons for all levels and horses suitable for beginners to experimented riders. They also organise events and competitions. The standards at riding schools and equestrian centres are regulated by the Association of Irish Riding Establishments (AIRE), which is responsible for the inspection and registration of horse riding schools and establishments in Ireland. AIRE is responsible for promoting safety and standards at equine centres in Ireland. To find an AIRE approved riding schools the AIRE website.

Riding Clubs

The Association of Irish Riding Clubs (AIRC) is responsible for 125 affiliated riding clubs across 8 regions in Ireland. With almost 3,500 members the AIRC offers a range of competition, training and social events.

AIRC activities include individual and team show jumping, individual and team dressage, hunter trails, and horse trails. Events are also held for Trec and Cross Jump.

To find a club near you or to get more information please visit the AIRC website.


Equestrian Interschools Ireland offers competitions across various disciplines for both primary and secondary school students. Competitions take place around Ireland throughout the school year and include team and individual classes. For further information, entry forms, results,  upcoming shows and details on how to get involved please visit Equestrian Interschools website.


If you are interested in riding or owning a pony then you should find out more about the Irish Pony Society www.irishponysociety.ie and the Irish Pony Club www.irishponyclub.ie. These websites are useful resources for information on pony breeding, showing and competition.

Equestrian holidays

There are a range of equestrian holidays available across Ireland, details of can be found with Discover Ireland or with the Association of Irish Riding Centres.

Horse welfare

Anyone learning to ride or planning on buying a horse should be aware of some basic horse welfare information and we recommend you read the HSI’s Guide to horse welfare and responsible horse ownership